When MK Nompumza, a fourth-year Education student, registered at Stellenbosch University in 2014 he did so with the resolution that he will take full ownership of his journey at this institution.
Growing up in the Eastern Cape, he came to Stellenbosch with the predictions of naysayers in his ears: That as a black male he wouldn't be able to flourish. That he would have no influence or the ability to make an impact. That there is no way that he could possibly stand out.
These assumptions were all proven wrong. On Thursday, 5 October, MK received not one, but two Rector's Awards for excellent achievement: one for excellent leadership and one for excellent service delivery. Read article about event here.
“I'm feeling very honoured because I think these awards say that we recognise your efforts, your leadership in this space and your contribution."
His proud father Vusumzi Nompumza travelled from King William's Town to Stellenbosch to share the moment with his son.
MK admires his father who had to leave school at primary school level to look after livestock on a farm.
“He used newspapers and anything else he could lay his hands on to teach himself English. Now he is successful in business, successful in farming and he is a leader in his community. He has showed me that regardless of your circumstance, education is within your reach and that some initiative from your side is needed too."
During the past four years, MK has made use of every possible opportunity that came his way and created some of his own.
He was elected as the chairperson of the Education Student Committee in 2015/2016 and was instrumental in the design and implementation of a Leadership in Education short course. For the past two years, he has acted as the coordinator of this course presented by the Faculty of Education in collaboration with the Frederik van Zyl Slabbert Institute for Student Leadership Development.
“I have to give credit for the space that allowed me to take this initiative," MK adds.
He travelled abroad for the first time to attend an international summer school at Humboldt University in Berlin and was also involved with a partnership research project on planning and policy for bi- and multilingual schools.
His dream is to become a true facilitator of learning in which ever school he teaches one day.
- MK is graduating at the end of the year and has applied for an honours degree in Education Development and Democracy.
- Photo: MK and his father, Vusumzi Nompumza