UCT selects Majebe as first Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship recipient

The Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship was established in honour of the UCT student who was raped and murdered in 2019.

Luhlanganiso Majebe is the first Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship recipient. Picture: Lerato Maduna/UCT.

JOHANNESBURG - Luhlanganiso Majebe has been accepted as the first Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship recipient.

The Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship was established in honour of Mrwetyana, the first-year University of Cape Town (UCT) student who was raped and murdered in 2019 by Post Office worker Luyanda Botha when she went to fetch a parcel. Mrwetyana was studying film and media at UCT.

Majebe said her family had prayed for a positive response to her application.

“God, let it be positive,” she had muttered under her breath as she clicked on an e-mail from Associate Professor Shose Kessi, the dean of UCT's Faculty of Humanities.

“It is my pleasure to inform you that your application for the Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship in 2021 has been successful,” read the email.

The scholarship is an initiative of the Faculty of Humanities and has been set up in partnership with UCT’s Development and Alumni Department.

“I feel honoured, humbled and privileged that I have been selected to receive this scholarship. I don’t take this decision lightly, because I am well aware of the responsibility that now rests on my shoulders,” said Majebe.

WHAT IT MEANS

The scholarship is aimed at financially deserving students in the Humanities Faculty. It provides wrap-around funding – covering tuition, textbooks, accommodation, and health and wellness – for the duration of the recipient’s undergraduate degree programme.

Majebe is a first-year social science student, majoring in political studies and sociology.

She said the scholarship was “extremely important”, for a number of reasons: it offered her the opportunity to study towards the degree of her choice in a field that fascinated her, and it provided a platform for her to raise awareness of the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa, and to preserve Mrwetyana’s memory.

“It is important that everyone understands the impact Uyinene’s tragic passing has had on UCT, South Africa and society. This scholarship is a way of propagating her legacy within the university, and to help fight GBV,” said Majebe.

GIVING BACK

Part of the scholarship agreement is that Majebe needs to contribute to the work of the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation.

She will need to enlist to volunteer at a non-profit organisation (NPO) whose work addresses GBV at a community level.

She is in the process of signing up with The Justice Desk, an award-winning human rights NPO that aims to empower, educate and equip members of society with the necessary tools to become agents of change, and to understand their human rights. The NPO has several projects on the go, but Majebe is keen to contribute to the Mbokodo Club, which provides self-defence classes to survivors of GBV.

“I am excited to get started, and to give back in my own way,” she said. “My work with The Justice Desk will further cement the solid foundation I aim to set for future Uyinene Mrwetyana Scholarship recipients. I am utterly grateful for this opportunity.”

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