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1Million1Month campaign catalyst

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The 1Million1Month Campaign at Wits, launched in February 2015, raised over R2,3 million by May 2015. Donor Ms Basetsana Thokoane was the tipping point in the achievement of the first million with her donation of over R500 000. Born in Soweto, she was no stranger to socio-economic hardships during the pre-democracy era.

“I was a poor, black, teenage girl in the streets of South Africa. I was a dropout with no matric; the country was at the height of instability and it was all doom and gloom in the townships,” explains Ms Thokoane, who went into exile with the ANC in Tanzania.

“I was educated through ANC scholarships and support, and I am a proud graduate of the ANC’s Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Tanzania, and universities and colleges in the UK.”

Ms Thokoane brought her skills back to South Africa and held senior posts in the post-1994 government for many years before going into business. Ms Thokoane said her donation was both a tribute to her benefactors in exile, and an acknowledgment of her roots: “The benevolence of others taught me that one cannot be an island in a sea of poverty. I will always make sure that young people who work hard are supported to achieve their dreams, as so many did with me.”

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