NMMU student awarded prestigious bursary

2015-09-09 06:00
Sam Beynon was awarded the prestigious Abe Bailey Trust and Travel Bursary.                               

Sam Beynon was awarded the prestigious Abe Bailey Trust and Travel Bursary. Photo: WERNER HILLS

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WHEN Sam Beynon speaks of politics and the future of female youth in South Africa, her entire being lights up.

At 25, this honours student in Political Science at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) has held dozens of leadership positions within the political sphere both on and off campus.

She was also one of the top six contenders in the series One Day Leader on national television where topics of democracy, leadership and shaping the future of our country were hotly debated.

Now preparing for her travels to the United Kingdom in November, being a recipient of the prestigious Abe Bailey Trust and Travel Bursary, she hopes to sharpen her knowledge of politics in other parts of the world.

“I believe South Africa has come a long way but we’re still pretty far from where we should be politically. It might sound clichéd, but the answer to really making a difference and completing transformation are in the hands of our youth.”

Born in rural Paterson near Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, Beynon speaks isiXhosa fluently. She believes that the time has come for people to choose their own ethnic identity as opposed to being told who they are and what they should aspire to be.

“I was 13 when I decided that I wanted to learn isiXhosa and acquaint myself with an African culture. Having seen how my uncle, a white South African, spoke isiXhosa as if it were his mother tongue inspired me. That’s when I knew: I wanted to be different too,” she says.

Beynon will travel to the UK with 17 other outstanding students around South Africa. The objective of the Travel Bursary is to broaden the views of young South Africans by exposing them to other language and cultural backgrounds, foster enterprise, commitment and effective participation in a common future.

“And of course to promote South Africa,” she says. “The most diverse country – pregnant with endless possibilities, but diverse nonetheless.”

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