As the class of 2020 looks to the future and many prepare for their tertiary studies, individuals across South Africa are faced with the challenge of securing funds for the year ahead to cover registration fees, text books, accommodation and the unexpected costs they’ll face on their new academic journey.

Click here to Raise Funds for your educational needs on BackaBuddy

For this reason, many students reach out to their family, friends and their wider community to avoid student debt by opting to raise funds for their education through crowdfunding.

Empowered to take responsibility for their studies, students pen their stories, film a short video appeal, set their fundraising target and take to social media with their unique campaign link to encourage donors to support their cause.

Take a look at these students and how they secured their university fees with a little help from their friends.


Xolisa Shenxani (18) from Sir Lowry Pass Village in Cape Town, has had his heart set on becoming a commercial pilot from a young age despite coming from a disadvantaged background.

Xolisa Shenxani

“I used to look up into the air and see helicopters fly over my house but I didn’t know what they were. I thought, ‘I would love to fly that thing!’, but I wasn’t sure if people could fly in it. I remember, in grade 1 or 2, a helicopter landed on the soccer field in Sir Lowry’s Pass and I got to see inside of it. That’s when I knew that I wanted to become a pilot!” – says Xolisa

Xolisa’s dreams were set in motion in 2019 after almost R200 000 was raised to fund his grade 11 and matric year at private school. Xolisa was taken by surprise when an anonymous donor contributed R 101 500.00 to his BackaBuddy campaign, leaving only a short message of support “Glo jy kan dit doen”

Xolisa’s mentor, Philip Bellstedt was happy to report that Xolisa passed matric with impressive results and achieved the minimum requirements to apply for the airforce this year!


Over the last 2 years, Mulanga Forgiveness Kolela, a dedicated, hard working Congolese asylum seeker that has been residing in South Africa for the last 9 years has raised over R115 000 on BackaBuddy towards her Engineering studies at Stellenbosch University for BEng Mechatronics.

“I have set three long term goals for myself. My first goal is to get my Honours in Mechatronics. The second is to get my Master’s in Biomedical Engineering. My final goal is to eventually run a company dedicated to creating and making cost-effective medical devices for financially disadvantaged children with physical disabilities.” – says Forgiveness 

Mulanga Forgiveness Kolela


After completing 2 years of study at the University of Cape Town, Frances Whitehead was awarded Golden Key Honours Society membership and placed on the Dean’s Merit list.

When her family faced financial struggles in her final year, Frances turned to crowdfunding to cover the cost of her tuition. With the support of donors both locally and internationally, over R130 000 was raised and Frances was able to access her second year results and register for her studies in n February 2019.


Randy Seda (21) always had dreams of becoming a chartered accountant. Showing that hard work pays off, Randy was decorated with the Golden Key Honours Society membership which is awarded to the top 15% of students at the University of Pretoria.

With his loving family unable to support his education, Randy set up a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, that raised over R350 904.98 which was payed directly to the University.

Randy Seda


During the lockdown, Nissi Maguwa, a 23 year old fashion student at Fedisa Fashion School set up her crowdfunding campaign to cover her fees as both her parents were unemployed and unable to afford the cost of her education.

Illustrating her passion for fashion, Nissi put together a short video to introduce her campaign to potential donors. Her campaign has thus far raised almost R15 000 from kind donations.

As a student on BackaBuddy, you can raise funds if:

  • You are a public/private student
  • You are a foreigner living in South Africa
  • You are experiencing Financial exclusion
  • You can provide valid documents to support your fundraising needs.

What you can raise funds for?

  • Laptops
  • Registration
  • Accommodation 
  • Transport
  • Tuition fees
  • Graduation ceremony

Sign-up on BackaBuddy to raise funds for your studies

Tell us your story by submitting this form and begin raising funds within 24 hours. If you have any questions, feel free to reach our to our team: [email protected]