Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
A Day in the Life: Alwin Mabuza
Author: Corporate Communication & Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking [Anél Lewis]
Published: 14/05/2024

Alwin Mabuza goes above and beyond to help generate support and awareness for various fundraising initiatives, from the annual Giving Day campaign to the Cape Town Cycle Tour. This indefatigable fundraiser at the Development and Alumni Relations Division says the most rewarding aspect of his job is the meaningful connections he makes with the people he meets. As we kicked off May celebrating Workers' Day, we dedicate this series of profiles to our staff and their crucial contributions to Stellenbosch University (SU).

What does your role at SU entail?

As the Individual and Regular Fundraiser at Development and Alumni Relations (DAR), my primary focus is fostering relationships with individual donors and encouraging consistent giving to support the University's initiatives and student community. Some affectionately dub me the University's official professional beggar—a title I wear with humour and humility!

What does a typical day at work look like?
My days are a whirlwind of reaching out to potential donors, nurturing existing relationships, and collaborating with colleagues to devise effective fundraising strategies.

How did your education or past experiences prepare you for this job? Are you from Stellenbosch originally?
I am originally from the small town of Ermelo in Mpumalanga, and I studied industrial psychology here at SU many moons ago. In a way, this has equipped me with valuable insights into navigating various personalities effectively. Additionally, my previous roles in grant funding for both government and nongovernmental sectors have provided me with a glimpse into what I need for this position. While I'm not originally from Stellenbosch, I've found it to be a welcoming, beautiful, and vibrant community.

What do you enjoy most about your role and working at SU?

The most rewarding aspect of my role is building meaningful connections with donors, alumni and my team at DAR. Witnessing the profound impact of their support on our university community is truly satisfying. Participating in the recent Cape Town Cycle Tour campaign, where we achieved remarkable fundraising success, was particularly memorable.

Tell us something exciting about yourself that few people would expect?
Well, beyond my role as a fundraising prodigy, I've got a couple of quirky hobbies. I am a professionally trained choral conductor—although I'm not sure the office is ready for my impromptu performances! I'm also a wilderness enthusiast, thanks to my days as an invested Master Guide Scout. And believe it or not, I've had a few gigs as a radio and TV presenter – although you won't catch me asking for autographs anytime soon!

Photo: Stefan Els