UKZN honours top scholars

2014-08-28 00:00

TOP-PERFORMING undergraduate and post-graduate students have been rewarded.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Annual Scholarships Award Ceremony took place last night on the Westville Campus, honouring the institution’s top scholars.

The Distinguished Students Award went to law student Ntokozo Qwabe and sports science student Kelly Sloley.

Qwabe (23) has completed a Bachelor of Law degree and is about to do his Master’s in international law at ­Oxford University in England.

Qwabe said he found the award “quite overwhelming” as it was the highest award the university could give to a student.

This not only recognises academic excellence but also the student’s contribution to the wider community.

Qwabe co-founded the academic journal, UKZN Student Law Review. This assisted students in improving their writing skills and impacted on how they wrote about social issues and how the law could be used to solve society’s problems.

Qwabe was especially concerned about issues affecting students from rural areas — he’s from Eshowe — and founded the Rural Students Society. “It was designed to take information about the university and careers back into the rural areas — to provide mentorship.”

Sloley (26), who is doing her Master’s in sports science, welcomed the award. “It will help contribute to the community projects I am involved with.”

In partnership with the KZN Swimming Association, Sloley coaches girls in synchronised swimming in Umlazi and kwaMashu.

Candice de Boer (21), from Pietermaritzburg, won both the Zac Yacoob Scholarship for the top honours student and the Maryam Babangida Scholarship for the best female student proceeding from undergraduate to honours study.

De Boer is completing her honours degree in biochemistry in the School of Life Sciences. “It is an awesome feeling knowing all my hard work and dedication paid off,” she said.

“The scholarships are a huge blessing as they relieve the burden of financing my studies for honours,” said De Boer who intends doing a Master’s at the University of Cape Town in Health Sciences (Biomaterials).

Rashalia Pather (20), who is doing a Bachelor of Music in piano performance, was awarded the Brenda Gourley Scholarship.

“This inspires me to continue in my field,” she said. “I really need the financial backing the scholarship brings. And it will bring prestige when I graduate and embark on my career.”

Pather began playing the piano at the age of six, inspired by an older sister. “She got me interested and when I was 10 years old I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.”


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