We currently have eight students from South Africa. With offices in Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg, the number of South African program participants is expected to rise. Below we profile our students currently studying in the United States.
Mthokozisi Bright Mazibuko
Duke University '11
Mthokozisi Mazibuko was born in Kwa Mashu, a township in Durban, South Africa. This is where he would grow up, experience life, attend, and fall in love with school. In particular, high school had a profound impact on him for the people he met there were truly inspirational; models not so much older than he changed his thoughts. He would then proceed to be involved in student government of the school eventually becoming president of the student body on the year of his graduation.
Through his participation in Project Citizen, a program that seeks to address issues facing schools and communities, he would gain attention from an American native from whose suggestion emerged USAP in Durban of which he was the first and only participant. He is currently a freshman at Duke University, North Carolina, pursuing his dream of becoming a Mechanical Engineer, which should materialize on the dawn of August 2011 upon his graduation.
Sieraaj Francis was a member of the first graduating class of The Cape Academy, representing the school as one of nine of their students to achieve distinctions in their Matric exams. At the end of tenth grade, he participated in the First International Young Mathematicians' Convention which entailed a competition of which he was a part of his school's first team. It was in eleventh grade when Sieraaj fell in love with computer programming. He was always fond of computers and played around with them and he loved the challenge of using programming them towards certain solutions.
He is now pursuing a BAS in Computer and Cognitive Science and is undeclared as a BA pursuing student at the University of Pennsylvania. He plays club rugby at the university, is a member of the university's Intercultural Leadership Program, plays soccer for a team in the CASA league in Philadelphia and he is one of eight of the first Penn World Scholars.
CASA league in Philadelphia and he is one of eight of the first Penn World Scholars.
Nkosingobile Tholomusa Ngubeni or "Musa" for short was the first Johannesburg student to be accepted onto USAP and be awarded a full scholarship. Musa grew up in Soweto Township, south of Johannesburg City where he attended Bhukulani High School. He matriculated in 2006 with four distinctions in his final exam. He achieved top 30th out of all matriculants in Soweto that year. Musa was an HIV Aids Peer Counselor at his school and church for which he received many accolades.
Taking up his scholarship at St Lawrence University was Musa's first opportunity to travel outside of South Africa. He loves every minute of being a student at St Lawrence University where he is pursuing a major in International Business.
Banele Booi is from Knysna, South Africa, and he attended the Cape Academy of Maths, Science and Technology for the last three years of high school. He was selected by the Make a Difference Foundation to receive help with the costs of his education, and in grade 12, he was selected as a USAP student to apply to study in the United States. His dream is to make a better person of himself so that he can be a valuable asset to his community and to South Africa.
Banele is attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut and plasn to graduate in 2011. He is contemplating Engineering (electromagnetic & electric) as a potential major or Economics (probably financial economics). He hopes to equip himself so that he can reach to the places in his home country of South Africa where the government and its officials have difficulties reaching.
At Wesleyan, he plays junior varsity soccer and works in the university's library.
Born in Rwanda in 1990, Sandra Aimée Giramahoro became a refugee in South Africa upon arrival with her family in 1997. Despite the enormous challenges facing her and her family, she managed to, with the help of generous people long the way, enroll into Durban Girls' High School where she was appointed the Head Prefect as well as the Head of the Executive Committee in her matric year. Apart from maintaining academic excellence throughout her schooling career (extending as far back as her primary school years at Addington Primary) and achieving top positions in subjects and in her class in general, Sandra also played numerous sports as part of the school teams (softball, netball, tennis and squash) and was a member of the school choir. She also held positions as Media Centre Monitor, Guidance Monitor, member of the RCL and Class Captain.
Sandra draws her strength, tenacity and resilience from her parents, but also especially from her faith in Jesus Christ. She attributes her very survival of the genocide that tore her nation apart and her subsequent successes in life to Him. It is for this reason that she dares anyone to "tell her that the sky is the limit, while there are footprints on the moon". She is currently attending college at Yale University as part of the class of 2013 and is aiming to become a surgeon in the future, particularly in the field of paediatric neurosurgery."
Jason Adams is a sound young man who was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. A proud son of the region, he has beside his academic involvements immersed himself in music; singing, playing the trumpet and the guitar. One of these three musical talents is displayed by most Capetonians who are of Malay descent in the annual "Tweede nuwe jaar", January 2nd celebrations. Jason is interested in languages and is currently studying Russian and Zulu. As a compassionate and passionate Christian he has devoted his time to on campus missions, community outreach and international causes. In the summer of 2011, Jason taught English. He will be teaching Afrikaans in the 2011-12 academic year. Majoring in Economics and Political Science, Jason has his sights set on initiating holistic, sustainable social then national improvements in his home country.
Dreamer, optimist, and intellectual who responds to life's detriments with a smile on his face, hope in his pocket, and a dream in his heart.
Always being a precocious individual Bulelani Jili excelled at school, as early as primary school where he received academic; rhetoric awards. Receiving a bursary to continue his education at Montclair Senior Primary was paramount. Because after the death of his parents his grandmother did not have the financial resources to facilitate his studies any further.
Completing his schooling at Montclair and accumulating additional academic accolades at senior primary, he attained Glenwood Boys' High School, arguable the most preeminent school in South Africa. During his years in high school, he gained number of scholastic awards most notable he was a national gold medallist at the Maths Olympiad by the 10th grade on the senior level, had received colours and honours for academics before the inception of his matric year. He was a prefect and graduated grade twelve with an A average and unlike most students he completed matric doing nine subjects (two additional subjects were maths paper three and history). He also enjoyed success outside the classroom, taking part in Toastmasters, rugby, math club, and debate and speech (his greatest success coming from debate and speech). Ranked among the top ten speakers in the province of Natal and top twenty in the South Africa.
In an altruistic manner, he was involved in a program known as Smile (Smile is a program dedicated at the mentoring and education of penury orphans. The program utilizes ambitious and compassionate scholars who have the cognizance and character to make a difference.) Furthermore, he also taught at his local Sunday school.
Furthering his studies in economics, politics, and mathematics at University, he hopes to become an instrument for harmony and prosperity.
Born in Bukavu, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Due to the civil war, Colette and her family were forced to leave their familiar environment and explore the rest of Africa. After leaving in Tanzania and Mozambique for a while, they eventually settled in South Africa. Upon arrival, Colette could speak no word of English, but within six months, she was more fluent than some locals.
Though described by many as a 'girly girl', this self-proclaimed tomboy could often be caught kicking the ball in the soccer field with other boys and often spent the whole weekend watching various sports games and enjoyed tormenting her friends from the losing team the next day at school. However, it was only after getting top marks in the whole grade in various subjects at school that Colette finally realised that she 'had brains' and began spending extra time studying. Not only was she a dedicated student in class, she also balanced that perfectly with being the spokesperson for Dreams and Teams (club for organising sports activities in school), secretary of Umoja, a member of the Debate Club, a Debutante and had the privilege of being one of the few students chosen to form the junior provincial parliament and presented a speech at the South African parliament in front of various cabinet ministers. In her final year of high school, Colette had the honour of being the Head Girl and came in second place in her grade. She was humbled upon being informed that the teachers had voted for her as the Student of the Year.
After attending 10 different schools in three different languages, Colette will be continuing her intellectual journey at Harvard University. With a passion for helping people and making a change, she plans on pursuing a degree in Economics and would like to one day go back to her native country and use her knowledge where it's needed.