Prestbury pupil wins U.S. scholarship

2008-07-31 00:00

SIPHELELE Ndlovu is only 13 years old, but already his future seems well on track.

Next week, Siphelele will be jetting off to a private school in North Carolina in the United States, where he will spend his high schools days and tertiary education with all his expenses paid.

Siphelele is the second pupil from Pietermaritzburg who has been selected to study in the U.S through a project spearheaded by a Durbanite and Hilton College old boy now living in the United States.

Mike Nicholson, who has been tasked with the responsibility of scouting for beneficiaries through his connection with local schools, said the purpose of the project is to help fund and educate previously disadvantaged students with the aim to have them return to South Africa and give back to their communities.

This is what Siphelele plans to do. “I hope to study and do well. But I plan to come back to apply those skills to help other young people to get a good education, because you can’t sustain a good living without education,” he said.

Siphelele started grade eight at Heritage Academy, an independent Christian school in Prestbury earlier this year, but will be joining his peers for grade nine for their American academic year this month.

Ndlovu believes his selection is a blessing from God.

“I just see it as a blessing from above and God working in my favour. I have been faithful to him and now he is giving back,” he said.

This is not the first time Siphelele has been in the spotlight; his resumé includes writing a book when he was just 10 years old.

Siphelele said the book is based on his life as the child of an HIV-positive parent and through it, he wants to encourage other youngsters with HIV-positive parents.

Siphelele is also an avid basketball and rugby player and has been invited to deliver motivational speeches at schools and companies.

Cindy Thomas, the principal at Heritage Academy, describes Siphelele as a leader and someone with a lot of potential. “I’m very proud of him. But I’m also sad that he is leaving; he is the kind of boy we would like to stay here, but this is a great opportunity for him.”

Three other students are funded under the same programme in Hilton and St Annes, and the sponsors hope to fund another 10 pupils by next year.

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