Illuminating the path for those who want to study further

Asanda Pezisa is the founder of World Illuminators.
Asanda Pezisa is the founder of World Illuminators.
Image: SUPPLIED

Hoping to help students secure a brighter future, East London resident Asanda Pezisa established World Illuminators in 2019.

His organisation aims to help high school pupils apply to tertiary institutions for NSFAS funding and other bursaries.

Pezisa, who studied hospitality management at Walter Sisulu University, but is unemployed at the moment, said World Illuminators started as a favour to a few people who needed help when applying to university in 2018. However, it soon became his passion.

“I saw that there was a lack of information flow to our high schools about tertiary education in terms of career choices, and the application processes for both schools and bursaries.

“I also noticed that some people don’t apply to tertiary institutions because they think it’s their parents’ responsibility to pay study fees while there are NSFAS and other bursaries available to help them.

My biggest trigger for starting this initiative was seeing how many people ended up being victims in various ways out of their desperation for an education

“My biggest trigger for starting this initiative was seeing how many people ended up being victims in various ways out of their desperation for an education.

“Some are scammed to pay certain amounts to get into school; some receive the wrong information about the admission of walk-ins at certain institutions and spend a lot of money to get to those institutions.

“Some, especially women, end up being taken advantage of by some so-called comrades who offer a place to sleep for sex,” Pezisa, 24, said.
 
Pezisa has already helped almost 500 pupils acquire the correct information, sift through it and successfully fill out applications. Under World Illuminators, Pezisa  has also tutored pupils at Mzuvukile High in  Mooiplaas and held career expos.

“World Illuminators applies to tertiary institutions, to NSFAS and other bursaries for grade 12,  post-grade 12 learners and some varsity students.

“I do career exhibitions for high school learners, especially those in remote areas, and we try to empower communities through the importance of education,” Pezisa, who grew up in Flagstaff and later moved to Kokstad, where he completed his matric, said.

So far we have helped about 500 students with applications, but only a few, about 200, were accepted into tertiary institutions as not all of them passed their matric

Pezisa said due to limited finances he was only able to tutor at one high school, but hoped to grow and help many more pupils.

“In terms of tutorials I have only tutored at Mzuvukile High at Mooiplaas due to the costs of transport and other expenses. Career exhibitions have been done in many different schools in collaboration with other organisations,” Pezisa said. 

“So far we have helped about 500 students with applications, but only a few, about 200, were accepted into tertiary institutions as not all of them passed their matric.”

Pezisa said he hoped to change this and help increase the number of pupils who went on to study further.

“Every year there are grade 12 learners and they want to go to tertiary institutions the following year.

“There are schools that still lack teachers and support even today, so as an organisation we try to close the gap to keep the education process going. 

“Some communities no longer see a future and life in education; as an organisation we want to show them the significance of education,” Pezisa added.

He said seeing students successfully follow a path of tertiary education with the help of World Illuminators was his biggest reward.

“The joy of seeing students progressing in their lives through our help, and having people who come to say ‘thank you for what you have done for me, I’m here today because of you’, is the reward.

“Seeing the results of our help is the most amazing thing for me as a founder of World Illuminators.”

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