Nights sleeping at a taxi rank over for aspiring law student

2016-04-15 09:15
Molefi Mareka, 21, slept at the Bloemfontein taxi rank for five days while trying to register to study LLB at UFS. (Jeanette Chabalala)

Molefi Mareka, 21, slept at the Bloemfontein taxi rank for five days while trying to register to study LLB at UFS. (Jeanette Chabalala)

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Bloemfontein – An aspiring LLB student at the University of Free State said his sleepless nights at the Bloemfontein taxi rank are finally paying off.

Earlier this year, Molefi Mareka, 21, took a leap of faith, and left his home at Clocolan in the Free State in pursuit of a law degree.  

He told News24 on Thursday that he spent several days sleeping at the local taxi rank.

“The university had accepted me so I knew I had to come to Bloemfontein in order for me to secure a spot and also get a bursary. I didn’t care if I was sleeping at the taxi rank; I just wanted to get an opportunity to study, but I didn't have the money or a place to stay,” he said.  

The shy Mareka completed his matric last year at the Tshepang Secondary School in Clocolan.

He said his older sister had taken care of him after their parents died, but he wanted to break the cycle of poverty.  

“I came to Bloemfontein with nothing and I believe when I leave this place, I will have something to show off,” he said.

Resident took him in

“When I arrived here I started losing hope because nothing was going my way.  

"I also failed to apply for the NSFAS [National Student Financial Aid Scheme] because our municipality gave us the wrong forms, and when I tried to get the correct forms, it was just too late for me to apply.”

However, after spending a week sleeping at the taxi rank, his situation took a turn for the better.

Local resident Mochini Mokhena from Bloemfontein took him in and offered him accommodation while he looked for financial assistance.

Mokhena posted on his Facebook page that Mareka needed financial assistance in order to study.  

Soon after that, a company in Bloemfontein offered their services. Mareka received a bursary that covered his tuition and accommodation fees.

Speaking to News24, Mokhena said he was touched by Mareka's story because he had been in a similar situation.

“When I met him, I knew I had to help him and I just wanted to motivate more people, that regardless of their situation, they can still make it on top,” he said.  

Read more on:    ufs  |  bloemfontein  |  education  |  university fees

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