“Nokholeji needs you,”– Dr Jongi Klaas
Members of the University of Fort Hare’s Gauteng Province (UFH GP) Alumni Support Organ, under the leadership of Dr Jongi Klaas, remain resolute in their mandate to support their alma mater. Driven by their motto: “We never went to school just to make a living, we went to school to make a difference”, the Organ has already identified following five priority areas for funding:
- IT Equipment to improve academic performance
- Programmes to support university students
- Possibility of establishing a fund for students in distress and;
- To strengthen the university’s Alumni office.
Launched in August, the support organ consists of 24 influential and esteemed luminaries such as Adv Dumisa Ntsebeza, Adv Thandi Orleyn, Prof Barney Pityana, Dr Sizwe Nxasana and Dr. Sisa Ngebulana
Speaking to This Week @ Fort Hare, Dr Jongi Klaas said the purpose of the organ is to pursue three pillars: Mobilization; Networking and Fund Raising.
“We believe we are at a time in our history where we need to do our best within our means to provide support to our alma mater.” According to Dr Klaas, the luminaries viewed themselves as the bees that must go out and get honey for the university.
The ultimate goal is to replicate similar support organs in other provinces across the country and wake up all those sleeping giants and say to them: Nokholeji needs you, what can you offer?”
So far, six scholarships have been secured. One from Mr Sipho Pityana to sponsor a PhD Agriculture Student and Dr Sisa Ngebulana has funded five scholarships for undergraduate students in various disciplines. “That is the kind of honey I am talking about.”
Dr Klaas spoke fondly about his alma mater as he reminisced about his time at Fort Hare between 1993 and 1996. “We love Fort Hare. There is something mystical about the university. We want Fort Hare to rise and have a very strong alumni community not only to provide funding, but an alumni community that is present and active.”
Last week,on 10th October, a delegation from the university including the Administrator, Prof Loyiso Nongxa, Vice-Chancellor Prof Sakhela Buhlungu, the Director of Institutional Advancement, Tandi Mapukata and the newly appointed Fort Hare Foundation Development Director, Nokulunga Mnqeta and the Alumni Relations Officer, Noluvuko Makohliso met with the esteemed luminaries in Johannesburg.
The meeting was to identify the needs of the university and craft a progressive plan of action based on those needs. It is safe to say we can all anticipate great things to come.
Other support organ members include:
Ambassador Sandile Nogxina, Ms Nolitha Fakude, Dr Simphiwe Madikizela,Adv Mkhabela Sibeko, Mr Ayanda Mjekul, Mr Silumko Sokupa, Ms Busi Ngwenya, Judge Justice Moloto, Mr Sipho Pityana, Dr Khotso Mokhele, Dr Percy Mahlathi, Dr Sazi Kunene, Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele, Prof Nombeko Mpako, Mr JJ Njeke, Mr Mhleli Sibanyoni, Adv Mzukisi Mgxashe, Ms Nompumelelo Stamper and Adv Nomazotsho Memani.