Uplifting young people

28 Jun 2017 - 09:45

Athenkosi Nzala is a remarkable young man who is passionate about uplifting young people and giving them the guidance and mentorship they need to help them succeed in life. Athenkosi comes from Bisho in the Eastern Cape where he attended Bisho High School. He joined UCT in 2012, and over the years he has committed himself to his studies and has done well academically. This year he is due to graduate with his civil engineering degree.

Not only has he dedicated himself to his studies but he has also worked tirelessly to ensure that those around him succeed as well.  From his second year, he has been a mentor to first-year students in the residences and the civil engineering department. In this role, he has helped first-year students adjust to university life and made the transition from school to university easier for many of them.

Athenkosi has also been involved in a number of student societies and played a role in student leadership. In 2014, he was a member of the EBE student council where he held the portfolio for outreach and transformation. He has been an orientation leader, 100 UP schools mentor, an active member of Engineers without Borders, Green Campus Initiative, and Ultimate Frisbee UCT. He was part of the interim 2017 UCT SRC student council and held the portfolio of Labour Relations and Student Services. During this time, he was responsible for an initiative where he secured free transportation for first-year students who needed to get to campus from the bus and train stations.

As if this was not enough, he has recently founded a career development and mentorship organisation called AfricaCan. This provides a creative tutoring and mentorship programmes to fuel the passion for academic and social success through encouraging and inspiring high school learners to learn and think about how they learn.

He is also a member of Inspire Foundation Group Africa where he is head of personal development ensuring the mentorship and academic development of students from Grade 10 to 12 at Bisho High School. He is a volunteer for Call 2 Care that builds and maintains vegetable garden beds for disadvantaged schools.

Khulekani Keswa, a fellow student, said, “Athenkosi Nzala is an inspiration to many people who have met him and myself. He has worked tirelessly to make the society he in lives better and has engaged in various projects and leadership positions aimed at uplifting the community. He has made an outstanding contribution to society and has a strong commitment to civic engagement.”