Class of 2019
Master of Science (Financial Mathematics)
University of Liverpool (London Campus) (September 2018)
Born in the village of Nontshinga in the Eastern Cape, Olwethu's story is a powerful testimony to what sheer grit, ambition and hard work can achieve. Growing up in a place with no running water, negligible community services and poverty all around him, Olwethu nevertheless overcame these early obstacles and completed his matric (grade 12) at Pakamani Secondary School in Bika Township, Butterworth (Eastern Cape). It was here that a dedicated teacher helped Olwethu discover a love for mathematics, eventually matriculating with a higher grade pass of 89% in the subject.
In a second stroke of good fortune, Olwethu was subsequently introduced to Jock McConnachie, a lawyer and notary who runs the Qolora Education Centre in the Eastern Cape. Jock took Olwethu under his wing and arranged a bursary for him through Eskom for tertiary study. In 2011, at Eskom's behest, Olwethu began studying Mechanical Engineering at Walter Sisulu University. It was, in his words, "a disaster". With no real love for the subject matter, and poor facilities and support structures, Olwethu failed his first year, and returned home disappointed and disillusioned.
Jock suggested Olwethu take a break from studying in 2012 to rebuild some confidence and understand what he really wanted to study. During this time, he worked at Qolora Education Centre teaching high school students computer literacy and mathematics (something he continues to do to this day in his holidays). In 2013, with Jock's help, Olwethu applied for a BSc Foundation Course at Rhodes University, and since being accepted, has never looked back. After completing the foundation year, Olwethu graduated with a BSc (Mathematics) in 2016, and obtained his BSc (Hons) (Mathematics) in 2017 from Rhodes University.
Olwethu has been accepted to study an MSc (Financial Mathematics) in London through the University of Liverpool from September 2018, another in his long list of achievements. However, with tuition fees being denominated in Pounds, and living expenses, he needs help to get there. The Foundation has committed to providing both financial and mentor support to this incredibly driven and talented young man, and we need your help to do so!
You can read Olwethu's full story in his own words here.