Culture: Gamalakhe Student among 19 who will represent SA in U.K.

2011-08-05 00:00

LINDELANI Nkomo, a fourth year psychology student from Gamalakhe, Port Shepstone, who is studying at the University of Zululand, has been selected to represent the university in England and Scotland later this year on an Abe Bailey cultural tour.

Nkomo says the news is still sinking in and it is unbelievable that a township boy could be part of such a tour.

“I haven’t even been on a plane before so for my first plane trip to be overseas is just extraordinary. I am so excited I don’t even know how to describe what I feel.”

He will be among a group of 19 tertiary students selected from each of South Africa’s universities and universities of technology. The group will assemble in Cape Town in November for a three-day orientation before jetting off to the United Kingdom.

“It is an exciting and informative tour where we will get to go to the museums, learn about their history, meet parliamentarians and experience their theatre, food and music,” he says.

The group will be visiting Stratford, Oxford, Cambridge, York and Edinburgh and the tour covers their airfare, accommodation and travel in the U.K., food and a daily allowance.

Nkoma matriculated from the Olwandle High School in 2006 and being raised in a township spurred him on to achieve more from his life.

“Growing up in a township was very challenging. You are exposed to all kinds of people with varying degrees of ethics so I used that to motivate myself to rise above that and seek more.”

He was orphaned at a young age and was raised by his grandmother, who he says is over the moon about his upcoming adventure.

“Both my grandmothers are still living so they were very excited to hear the news. At first they thought I was pulling a fast one on them,” he laughed.

He enrolled at the UniZulu in 2008 and the following year he topped the top arts faculty and was awarded the senate silver medal.

“I want to do my masters as a clinical psychologist,” he says with pride.

He is also an all-round student who participates in various activities on the campus. He serves on the executive of the UniZulu SIFE, an offshoot of the U.S.-based Students in Free Enterprise organisation, he is a member of the Unizulu branch of the Black Management Forum student chapter and has facilitated as a peer counsellor and educator on campus.

He thanked his Creator, grandmothers and extended family, lecturers, especially Gugu Gule who is the international linkage officer, “and all my friends”.

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