Nhlakanipho Mkhize, a distinguished 33-year-old academic originally from Imbali Township, Pietermaritzburg, and now residing in Springs, east of Johannesburg, embodies the belief that education is the key to unlocking boundless opportunities.
Now, he’s embarked on a mission close to his heart: to pay forward the transformative power of education to his cousin, Busiswa Kuzwayo, aged 14. His goal is to provide her with a chance to broaden her horizons through an educational tour of the United States in September 2024.
At just 14 years old, Busiswa is described as focused, ambitious, self-disciplined, hardworking, and an ambivert. She has already shown remarkable academic prowess and versatility. Excelling in her studies at Pietermaritzburg Girls High and actively participating in sports such as soccer, netball, and hockey, along with cultural activities like poetry, she has consistently performed at the top of her class.
Her achievements have earned her a coveted spot among the 50 top achievers invited to the U.S. tour, highlighting her as a multifaceted individual with a deep-seated desire to make her mark on the world.
The heart of this story lies in the crowdfunding campaign initiated by Nhlakanipho on BackaBuddy, aiming to cover the significant costs associated with the trip, such as flights, accommodation, and other travel expenses.
With a target of R78,000, the campaign has already raised over R36,000, a testament to the community’s belief in Busiswa’s potential and the collective effort to invest in her future. The funds will ensure that Busiswa, raised by a single mother alongside her grandmother, can embark on this life-changing journey without financial burden.
Nhlakanipho’s journey from his hometown to the world’s leading academic institutions provided him with a deep understanding of the transformative impact of international exposure on young minds. He excelled early on, ranking first in matric in 2008 and serving as the deputy head boy at Carter High School.
His significant period as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he pursued a DPhil in Material Science focusing on electrohydrodynamic jet printing, exemplifies his commitment to academic excellence. Having traveled the globe for his education, Nhlakanipho has gained firsthand insight into the breadth of perspective and depth of knowledge that such experiences afford.
“I believe that this opportunity will allow Busiswa to dream bigger and more boldly! She will see that the world is truly her oyster, she only needs to work diligently towards her goals to attain them,” Nhlakanipho articulates, emphasising the profound effect this tour will have on Busiswa’s aspirations and worldview. His conviction that education and exposure are key to unlocking one’s potential resonates throughout the campaign, inspiring others to contribute to Busiswa’s journey.
Busiswa’s aspirations to study Dermatology, Real Estate, Town Planning, or Geoscience at prestigious universities like UCT, Stellenbosch, Wits, or even internationally at Yale, Harvard, or Stanford, are ambitious. Yet, these dreams are firmly within reach with her track record of academic excellence and the unwavering support of her cousin and the community. The U.S. tour is poised to be a cornerstone experience, offering her insights into global academic communities, diverse cultures, and the kind of independent thinking and confidence that will serve her well in her future academic and professional endeavors.
“This tour will lead to character-building, confidence, independence, self-discovery, and creating lasting friendships. It will also broaden Busiswa’s horizon academically thus building academic capacity,” Nhlakanipho remarks, highlighting the multifaceted benefits of the tour.
This story transcends the narrative of individual success; it’s a vivid illustration of paying it forward, of using one’s achievements as a platform to uplift others.
As the campaign continues to gain momentum, it stands as a call to action for those who believe in nurturing the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and innovators. It’s a story of family, ambition, and the collective effort to turn dreams into reality, proving that together, we can overcome barriers and pave the way for a brighter future.
“I am certain that this trip will open her eyes to a world beyond her wildest imagination!” Nhlakanipho concludes
Support this campaign on BackaBuddy: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/
Alternatively donate via Snapscan: https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/BusiswaKuzwayo
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