Opening the doors of learning to disadvantaged children has always been an ambition of Luyanda Matandabuzo, a successful accountant in East London who was himself thrown a lifeline when he was student.
He donated uniforms to more than 300 pupils from 13 different schools earlier this year.
The young director at Khwalo Business Accountants in Vincent said he aspired to help disadvan- taged children since his success.
“I was born and bred in a mud house in Elutshaya village in Lusikisiki and come from a poor family myself, but I am the person I am today because of Mr Hobsin Mabena, a man whom I had asked for a job at his shop after I matriculated.
“I had been accepted at Rhodes and Walter Sisulu universities but I didn’t have the registration fee and I didn’t dare ask anyone for it.
“I accompanied him taking his children back to varsity at the beginning of that year and eventually I plucked the courage to tell him that I was accepted at Walter Sisulu University, the cheaper option, but didn’t have money to register among other things.”
Matandabuzo said at that moment he was given money to register and a monthly allowance of R1500.
On his graduation, the village was treated to a party hosted by Mabena.
“Ever since then I knew that I would do the same.”
First-year medicine student at the University of Cape Town Khanyisa Tutshana, 19, said she was happy about what Matandabuzo had done for her.
“I was very happy to hear him say that he would pay my fees.
“I had never imagined studying at UCT and now I am here.
“I was tempted to study in other fields where bursaries were offered, but it was medicine that I wanted the most.”
The former Holy Cross High School pupil in Mthatha said she had heard about Matandabuza through a family member who had heard him offer to help needy children on radio.
Lindelwa Xhati, 50, from Port Elizabeth said she had sent out a plea to the community on radio asking for school uniforms for children at Joe Slovo Primary School.
“I had asked because the children at my neighbouring school were in ragged uniforms.
“Some wore different socks and torn jerseys.
“Matandabuzo stepped in and made a difference to the lives of those children at the school.”
Farmer Sivuyile Dwane donated R12000 to Matandabuzo’s back-to-school campaign earlier this year and has since formed a partnership with the accountant to extend the programme to children of other areas.
“I was impressed by the work Matandabuzo had been doing and I wanted to support him.
“Now, to give back to the communities that support me, I want to implement the same in the community of Middledrift under his mentorship.”
Dwane owns Kwa Bhefili Trading, a company that specialises in providing affordable animal feeds and medicines in Middledrift, Centane, King William’s Town, Lusikisiki and East London.