Meet one of our Bursary students, Siyabonga Mathebula, who’s currently doing his 2nd year Master’s Degree at North West University Mafikeng Campus. The Foundation supported him since 2011 when he started his agricultural studies at the Lowveld College until he obtained the Honours Degree in Crop Science and qualified for a bursary from the Department of Agriculture to attain a Master’s Degree in Crop Science. His current research focus is “The effects of planting dates, organic and inorganic fertilizers on the growth of three tomato cultivars”. Despite challenges he encountered earlier this year, the experiment has been going well and fruits have been harvested.
Siyabonga was offered an opportunity to be a facilitator in Mareetsane village, a community that is situated 50 km away from Mafikeng. His duty as facilitator was to educate subsistence farmers in that community about primary agriculture. In his time as a facilitator he learnt a lot regarding communication with adults who cannot write or speak English. He also realized that even though they were not equipped theoretically, their work experience were advantageous.
Siyabonga is continuously looking for opportunities for further studies and applied for a scholarship at a university in Ireland. He was invited for an interview (which he passed) and qualified to move to the next round of writing an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test. He will receive admission to one of the two universities (Galway or Dublin), where he applied. The two qualifications he has applied for are MSc in climate change, agriculture and food security while the 2nd option is MSc in agriculture, rural development and sustainable agriculture.
Siyabonga Mathebula serves as a great inspiration to many in his community. We wish him well with the IELTS test as well as his future academic and vocational goals.