Patience Nombeko Mbava was born and bred in Guguletu. Although she started her high school career at ID Mkhize High School, she matriculated from Isilimela Comprehensive School In Langa, Cape Town.
This is what Patience has to say about ASF:
“I was one of the privileged learners who received school bursaries from the African Scholars Fund. Every June and December I had to produce good academic results in order for me to receive my bursary stipend. With the money received, I was able to assist my family and contribute towards the buying of full school uniforms and stationery. It was made clear that I have to earn the bursary awards by producing good and decent results in both my June and December school reports. Failing to do so would mean financial hardship of my own doing, as well as disappoint my family. I therefore did all I could to do well in class. Despite the difficult schooling conditions and the challenging political environment, which included regular stay-aways, endemic school boycotts, student marches, absent teachers & the lack of resources, the African Scholars Fund walked with me throughout my high school journey. Looking back, I firmly believe that ASF provided a necessary anchor and support system to my young life at a a time of great uncertainty and youthful vulnerability. The constant encouragement evident in the letters that ASF sent me was invaluable. I was motivated and determined to do well against all odds – I was determined to rise above my circumstances and I decided to hang on to education, no matter what was going on around me, because I hoped and believed in a better future.”
My journey takes a fascinating turn:
“ In 1991, I was the TOP MATRIC STUDENT in the Western Cape. I had excellent matric results. I was featured in local newspapers and interviewed on SABC Radio. ASF then facilitates for me to be awarded a prestigious scholarship from Smith College in Massachusetts, USA. I traveled, studied and lived in the US for five years. I graduated from Smith College in 1996 with a BA degree in Economics. ASF motivated me at a young age to aim for better results and have a quest for excellence. I was inspired to believe that life offers us great possibilities and the key to our own success lies within us. Your environment and where you grew up does not determine your future and how great an individual you can be.
Today I have an MBA degree from Stellenbosch Business School and I am Senior Manager at a national public entity. None of this will have been possible without the right and adequate schooling foundation, as well as the crucial support I received from ASF in my formative years. Thank you African Scholars Fund (I fondly remember Dr. Margaret Elsworth). Thank you to all past and current ASF Donors and Trustees. Your contributions and support are transforming lives.”