Above: Kopano Boakholane, Prof. Tawana Kupe and Max Makumya M’membe
By Xolani Mathibela I This article was originally published by the University of Pretoria
University of Pretoria Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe visited Pretoria’s Menlyn Park mall on Thursday 14 February to make a personal donation to Tuks FM and Menlyn Mall’s #Back2Varsity campaign. The initiative, which kicked off on 11 February and ends on 3 March, is aimed at providing students from disadvantaged backgrounds with help in the form of non-perishable foods, stationery, clothing and toiletries.
“This a wonderful initiative,” Prof Kupe said at the handover. “As Vice-Chancellor, I am going to be leading many fundraising drives to generate money from the private sector and other entities to support students who cannot afford to pay fees, and to provide other necessities for them.”
He added: “Each member of the community must a play role in support of this great initiative. Communities survive because people assist one another. Also, in terms of raising funds we aim to partner with students themselves, by for example organising fun walks and other campaigns so that the money can benefit them. I personally think that UP must adopt the ‘Together for each other’ philosophy.”
Prof Kupe also called on members of the UP community to come forward and make donations, whether food parcels or clothing items.
“Menlyn Park is a proud Tshwane community member, and we are in full support of the #Back2Varsity drive,” said Megan Meas, Marketing Manager at Menlyn Park. “Many tertiary students shop around here, and it is vital for us to support them in return, especially students who do not have financial ability or support. Hopefully these donated materials will take them through the year in terms of school books, non-perishable goods, toiletries and other vital supplies. This is our way of saying we appreciate the support from them and their parents for shopping at Menlyn Park, and that we should look out for each other. We urge other members of the society to get involved as well.”
The #Back2Varsity partnership between Menlyn Park and Tuks FM was launched in 2018. It achieved great success, so both parties agreed to do it again this year.
Leanne Kunz, Station Manager of Tuks FM, says, “The radio station is only too happy to again be involved with an initiative as necessary and valuable as this one. Many students are battling to keep their heads above water with the high costs involved with getting an education. The last thing they need is to also have to worry about where they’re going to get their next meal, or how they’re going to afford stationery or basic things they need to get them through the day. We were so encouraged by the success of last year’s event, and we’re determined to make #Back2Varsity2019 even more successful.”