A former Fish Hoek High School pupil has proved that any obstacle can be overcome with determination.
Takunda Mundawarwo, who was deputy heady boy, matriculated from Fish Hoek High School last year. He earned many accolades including the debating trophy and the coveted black honours blazer.
He was thrilled when UCT accepted him to study actuarial science, but there was a catch: as a Zimbabwean national, Takunda did not qualify for a bursary despite his excellent academic record.
Most of the bursaries were for South Africans and those that were for foreign students required them to return to the countries of their birth once they qualified.
“This was not an option for me due to the high rate of unemployment in Zimbabwe,” he said.
So he and his mother, Alice Mundawarwo, put their heads together and launched a BackaBuddy crowdfunding campaign.
They had been hesitant about the campaign, not knowing how it would be received, Ms Mundawarwo said.
Takunda’s father died in 2004, and Ms Mundawarwo, a nurse and community carer, could not afford to pay for her son’s university studies.
She had sometimes worked several jobs seven days a week and was so proud of Takunda and his achievements, she said.
“He is self-motivated and a go-getter and has so much potential so I thought let’s give the campaign a try,” she said.
To their surprise, they raised enough money in six days to cover Takunda’s first year in full and half of his second year.
The campaign went viral in South Africa and circulated on social media abroad.
“The community has been so generous to us. We received donations from people overseas that don’t know us. We are so humbled by this,” Ms Mundawarwo said.
Takunda said he had always enjoyed maths and science. “In Grade 10, I decided to study medicine, but then I heard about actuarial science and decided to find out more about it. I job shadowed and knew it was what I wanted to do,” he said.
Takunda will start his studies on Monday March 15.
“I am so excited. I am looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing new challenges,” he said.
Fish Hoek High School principal Gavin Fish said the response to Takunda’s campaign was “heartwarming.”
“Takunda is deserving, a gentleman of wonderful humour, impeccable manners with leadership skills aplenty. He will do well, and I will follow his progress with keen interest,” Mr Fish said.