The Rhodes University Commerce Extended Studies Programme (ESP) and its sponsor, Investec, recently held a dinner to celebrate past and present students.
“At this annual Investec-hosted event, we officially welcome our first-year students to the Commerce family and recognise their academic achievements during the June examinations,” explained Ms Ivy De Vos, Commerce ESP co-ordinator.
Investec has been providing financial and other support to the Commerce ESP for over five years. This includes providing cash rewards to the top first-year achievers of the Programme in both June and November. “Investec also sponsors our first- and second-year students with textbooks and provides funding for extra tutoring and mentoring for the first-year students,” said De Vos.
During the event, Mr Setlogane Manchidi, Head of Corporate Social Investment at Investec, reminded the students how important hard work is on the path to achieving one’s dreams. Throughout the year, he makes regular trips to the University to meet and talk to the first-year students of the Programme.
Entrepreneur and founder of Legazy Technology Conferencing, Zuko Tisani, was there to motivate attendees regarding the importance of self-drive and motivation. “You have to continually work on improving yourself and step out of your comfort zone,” he told them.
Kayakazi Nomnqa, a former ESP student, told her inspiring story of arriving to Rhodes University from Nombulelo Secondary School and how she is currently completing her Masters in Management.
Investec rewarded every first-year student who passed June’s exams with a first class pass with a cash prize, and awarded special prizes and trophies to the top three performers: Kimberly David (first prize), Vutomi Sihlangu (second place); and Thandile Mkutu, Tafadzwa Sherewa and Yaneza Sidandala (third prize).
“It is humbling to be a part of this Programme,” De Vos said. “And having an evening set aside for our ‘family’, where first-years have the opportunity to meet those who have been through the Programme, and where mentors can celebrate with their mentees, is truly an exhilarating experience.”