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Travel bursary takes Walter Sisulu University student to UK

Travel bursary takes Walter Sisulu University student to UK

Before Cradock-born diamond tycoon Sir Abe Bailey drew his last breath in 1940, enshrined in his will was a directive to establish a travel bursary that would see future sparkling young leaders visiting his ancestral home, the UK, to broaden their experience.

Walter Sisulu University Mthatha-born IT student Zikhona Tshaka (23) is amongst the 18 young leaders from 22 universities around the country who’ll be making the annual pilgrimage to Britain this year on an educational tour.

“I’m so excited to about the trip – to see all those sights and hear all those unfamiliar sounds. This will without a doubt be the best experience of my life,” says Tshaka.

The Abe Bailey Travel Bursary was established in 1951 and is open to University students and young academics under the age of 25 for their exceptional leadership qualities and community service.

Tshaka, a BTech student who achieved Cum Laude status in obtaining her diploma earlier this year, is the first person from her family to graduate from University.

Her passion and drive for academics is only matched by her benevolent ways in the community – traits that made it near impossible for the trust to overlook her for candidacy.

“Coming from an impoverished background, I know how desperately in need of a helping hand our people are. It’s only natural then that I want to help people – give them hope going into the future,” says Tshaka.

Tshaka tutors fellow students as a peer helper. She also leads efforts to enhance the student experience as a Computer Science Society secretary.

“I also run a number of programmes through my church in trying to organise workshops, awareness campaigns and outreach programmes aimed at improving people’s lives, especially the youth,” she says.

Tshaka departs for London on 28 November after three days of orientation in Cape Town. She is set to return on December 20.

“This is a great opportunity for me to learn what other youth leaders are doing in advancing social cohesion in our country,” concludes Tshaka.