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Joy as hope is restored to bright student

- Wits University

When classes started on Monday, Triphin Mudzvengi was sitting attentively among the studious first-year engineering students.

Mudzvengi captured the hearts of South Africans about a week ago with her story. She had achieved seven distinctions in her matric final exams but had no funding to pursue her studies as her parents - a domestic worker and bricklayer - could not afford the fees.  Although she had a merit award of R15 000 from the University in recognition of her achievement, she still needed more funds to cover tuition, accommodation and book expenses.

Her plight caught the attention of well-wishers ranging from corporate donors to individuals wanting to contribute to a life that holds promise. It was this spirit of generosity that paid the fees of the Zimbabwean young lady who arrived in South Africa in 2010 with her parents.

In a meeting with Prof. Ian Jandrell, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, whose office facilitated her arrival, Mudzvengi shared her excitement: “I am relieved, happy and excited to finally be here.”

She also thanked everyone that wished her well and paved the way for her studies.

“We continue to be amazed by the spirit of generosity shown by ordinary South Africans when matters like this emerge. We hope that this spirit will extend to many others across the country who are in similar positions, by donating to university fundraising offices,” said Jandrell.

Now that her future is secured, Mudzvengi is looking forward to diving into her engineering programme and exploring university life. Her extra-curricular interests include debating and she will be right at home with the Wits Debating Union, a student society that was won many African titles as the best team in Africa.  She has also settled in at a Wits residence where she reunited with two friends that she met at national debating tournaments and science expos.