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REAP welcomes all former students to the REAP Alumni Association.
We have always wanted to cultivate a sense of extended family at REAP and believe strongly that ties should not be cut at the point of graduation. Our alumni association has huge potential benefits for both REAP and its students ...   READ MORE
REAP welcomes all former students to the REAP Alumni Association.

We have always wanted to cultivate a sense of extended family at REAP and believe strongly that ties should not be cut at the point of graduation. Our alumni association has huge potential benefits for both REAP and its students.
You are now part of a network of fellow graduates, each of whom travelled a similar path from humble rural beginnings into professional life. We know that connections and relationships are critical to future success and this unique network can be a vehicle for you to utilize to your advantage if you take the initiative and grasp it.
You also have an opportunity to give back to REAP students who follow you. This could be as an industry mentor, as a presenter at our camps & workshops, as a future employer and even as a donor. REAP strongly encourages a spirit of community serving humanity and this is a great way to put that into practice.
You can be encouraged and motivated by what other REAP graduates have gone on to achieve as we feature stories and testimonials in our Facebook site, regular newsletter, Annual Report and website. It is also a chance for you to showcase your achievements to other alumni.
REAP can much more easily track your progress, which is invaluable when demonstrating to our corporate donors and government partners the longer term impact of our work. MINIMIZE

Meet our Alumni

Alumni Updates

Durban Consultative Meeting

Polokwane Consultative Meeting

JHB Consultative Meeting

Cape Town Consultative Meeting

Dundee Consultative Meeting

Klerksdorp Consultative Meeting

Aliwal North Regional Representatives

Beaufort West Regional Representatives

Bloemfontein Regional Representatives

Kimberley Regional Representatives

Mthatha Regional Representatives

Northern Cape Regional Representatives

Port Elizabeth Regional Representatives

Worcester Regional Representatives

Meet Akhona Gqada

My name is Akhona Gqada. I left the Eastern Cape and came to Johannesburg after I received a message from Wits University, confirming that I had been accepted for Mining Engineering. This was a dream come true for me. I made a call to REAP and a representative came from the head office in Cape Town to assist us with getting accommodation as we were not used to the area. This showed that the bursary company was not all about money, they also cared about our well-being. After we were safe and had settled, the REAP representative left but ensured that we had a mentor in place. READ MORE For me, Wits University was a new environment and navigating through it was a challenge. A bigger challenge was awaiting me as we were required to use computers. This was my first time even coming close to a computer, but with the help of the REAP mentor I was able to learn the basics. This was important because I was studying with people who owned laptops and using it was not a challenge for them.

I eventually graduated from the University of Witwatersrand with an honors degree in Mining Engineering. Currently, I am employed at Sibanye Gold. I also run my own events and catering company called Abundant Events which was birthed from community service. Community service being a requirement as a beneficiary of a REAP bursary, this was my way of giving back to the community. Any surplus funds from the events I host are then given to a shelter or those who are homeless. This goes a long way in assisting the less privileged.

In retrospect, people around me believed that my life would never amount to anything, and at some point I also believed that was true. I am where I am because God all mighty made it possible. Without the funds from REAP, going to university would have remained a dream. It's amazing how one person’s idea can change a life. I would like to thank and show my appreciation to all the donors who give funding to ensure that opportunities are given to the ones who cannot afford to realize their dreams.

Meet Advocate Matthew Mpahlwa

REAP made me who I am today!

My name is Matthew and I come from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. I was supported by REAP from 2007 to 2009. I completed my BA from Rhodes University, LLB from Rhodes as well and a Master of Arts degree in African languages. I am currently pursuing my PhD. While studying towards my LLB, I worked as a reporter for the South African Press Association. Thereafter I worked as an investigative journalist in broadcast and print media leading me to a news correspondent role, reporting on East and West Africa, often undertaking cross-border investigations as an undercover reporter exposing lethal criminal activities in the underworld in Africa. In 2010, I was selected by World Press as being among the top 18 Journalists in Africa. READ MORE I then joined the Bar after the successful completion of pupillage at the end of 2012 and I am currently working in the Eastern Cape as an Advocate. My biggest challenge in life currently is time. There is just not enough time to do what I need to do. There is a popular statement that says “the law is a jealous mistress and requires a long and constant courtship.” This statement was written in 1829 by Joseph Story, a Harvard law professor and U.S. Supreme Court justice. What it means is that to be successful in the legal field you have to be highly committed to it. Finally I would like to share the following words of wisdom that I live by “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” (Stephen Grellet). To REAP thank you for being my family and pillar, without the support I received from this organization, I would not have been inspired to pursue my goals.

Meet Azwidovhi Tshishonga

My name is Azwidovhi Tshishonga and I am 23 years old. I am from a small village called Kuruleni, just outside Vuwani. I first engaged with REAP in 2009 when I was in Grade 11 through a gentleman called Mr. Mavhungu who introduced the REAP programme to me. I believe Mr. Mavhungu had seen potential in me and wanted to give me an opportunity to exploit this potential. He then advised me to contact him the following year when I was in matric so that he could assist me with the application process, which I did, and as promised Mr. Mavhungu assisted me through the application process. After a rigorous selection process, I was contacted by a REAP representative who inform me that I had been accepted onto the REAP programme. That was one of the happiest days of my life. READ MORE Campus life was made easy as REAP was there every step of the way for me. I was assigned a REAP mentor who assisted me with logistics and showing me around campus. For the three years of my study life REAP was not only my bursary provider, but they were a family and support system to me. Everything that REAP provided me with, helped shape me into the confident young woman I am today.

I am a BSc Financial Mathematics graduate (currently doing my Honours in Applied Mathematics) and employed at the Public Investment Corporation as a Graduate Investment Analyst. I attribute these successes to REAP as I would not have been here if it were not for them. I am now an aspiring business woman working to give back to the community in an unlimited way, all because of the support provided to me by REAP.

Thank you REAP, I pray that you grow even larger and impact on even more young peoples’ lives.

Meet Sanele Gamede

Sanele graduated with a BSc from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2013. He writes: “I am so grateful for what REAP gave me. Today I am involved with personal development, which consists of Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Sales Coaching and Career Guidance. I have recently been published in 4 newspapers, UKZN Online Indaba, Isolezwe, Daily News and The Sowetan after my IT Company won the 6th KZN Young Achievers Award for 2016.

REAP has created a platform for me not only to be educated but to create jobs, empower other people and be an inspiration to many. READ MORE

It is for that reason that I would like to be one of REAP ambassadors and promote the spirit of excellence in all REAP students in the country. I am still a registered student at UKZN Howard College doing my Masters and I am able to handle all. I have not only graduated but I am also married and my wife goes to Howard College too. We have one beautiful daughter. As a public speaker and motivational speaker I would like to be part of the team, that motivates REAP students who think they can't make it. As a life coach also I would love to coach a lot of young people who seem to be confused at some point in universities.”

Meet Amanda Peter

I am originally from Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape. I grew up with my aunt and cousins in the village whilst my mother was working in Retreat as a cleaner in one of the restaurants. She was earning so little, but we were all dependent on her financially because my father was unemployed.

I matriculated in 2001 with exemption. In 2002, when I arrived at the University of the Western Cape to study a BSc Physiotherapy course, I had no idea how my mother was going to afford my tuition fees, but all I knew was that I wanted to be a first generation graduate in my community. I started looking for the bursary office on campus to find out about available bursaries and that was how I found REAP. I was invited for interviews and was granted the greatest chance in life. REAP was there for me and they wanted to help make my dreams come true. READ MORE When you are from rural areas and you are used to having your family around you, it can be overwhelming to be on your own, doing what you want, when you want. This is where some of the soldiers fell in varsity. There is that gap where you need someone to tell you about what you are going to encounter, someone to empower you with the necessary skills, someone to educate you about how to manage your time and that's what I got from the REAP workshops in addition to the financial assistance.

I finished my degree within the minimum 4 year period and life changed for the better for me and my family. I got a job at Pretoria Academic Hospital to do my community service; I worked there for 2 years and then moved to a private hospital. That is where I started learning about being independent from the self-employed physiotherapists that I met. I started running my own private practise after hours, sharing a room with a dentist. I continued with my day job at the hospital while seeing private patients in the evening.

Within a year, I knew I was established enough to risk resigning from my job and working for myself. From there, by word of mouth, within 6 months I was already starting to consult in a hospital. I am now working full-time at Heart hospital and I have rooms there. I have three locum physiotherapists working with me on weekends and when it is very busy. It has been 6 years since I started working on my own and it has not been easy. It requires dedication and hard work and most importantly where you come from in life humbles you.

Four years ago I was blessed with a handsome boy and he is the love of my life. I always say "life is not about where you come from, but where you are heading". I am forever grateful for the opportunity REAP gave me and they will always be part of my journey.


Meet Bongiswa Dingani

REAP made me who I am today!

I was brought up by my grandparents because my parents divorced when I was four months old. A vivid memory that has stayed with me is how my grandfather used to ask me to choose between Christmas gifts and a School Uniform. I always chose the Uniform!

I went to Zinyosini High School where I was the best student and all my teachers motivated and appreciated me. Sadly I fell pregnant whilst at school and I had a daughter that I love dearly. As much as I knew I disappointed my grandparents, they supported my dream of studying further but we were deprived financially, so I had to take a gap year after matric. READ MORE A year later I was accepted at DUT and I also got REAP funding.

I am now a REAP Graduate and I am doing my Btech while working for the South African Sugar Association. My first contract was as an administrative Assistant at the Industry Affairs Division and now I am an Assistant to the Sugar Industry Trust Fund for the Education bursary.

Without God, REAP staff like my student advisor Mbali Shange, my mentor Sonwabile Gxabane, my grandfather and my parents who made me strong by their absence from my life, I wouldn't be where I am today. I am thankful for everything that REAP has done for me. I wouldn't own a wardrobe without you; I wouldn't own any certificates and no company would recognise me without your support. Wherever I go, I do not just introduce myself as a graduate, I say I am a REAP Graduate. I am going to give back. I would like to be one of the REAP funders in the near future and I know I will.

During the month of June, REAP went on an intensive search for past graduates, as we have been wanting to develop an alumni association for some time now. With the assistance of two interns, sourced from our student cohort, we managed to track down approximately 220 alumni via social networks, telephone phone calls and e-mail. We hope to maintain a vibrant, active and innovative network moving forward.

Inspired by a "pay it forward" approach, the REAP alumni will be a resource to the current REAP students through mentoring and other activities. The alumni will also be “door openers” for REAP, by representing the organisation within their networks and spheres of influence. REAP’s Face Book Page and LinkedIn Group also provides a platform for interaction with other alumni. READ MORE

This is an ongoing project, so if you are a past REAP student or know of anyone whom we have not been able to make contact with, please e-mail alumni@reap.org.za as we look forward to hearing from you.