We won a jackpot, without gambling.

Luck was not a factor, Rands were not needed. Thousands of people applied, and only those with knowledge and potential were the winners.

The jackpot is called the Moshal Scholarship Program.

Not only is it a jackpot, but more importantly, it is a family.

Sanele Nkosi (1st year BSC Biochemistry University of Pretoria) says that the scholarship “always makes you feel like you are the chosen one out of a lot of people, to be part of this family”. However, us recipients are not the only ones benefitting, because he admits that all-in-all it has been “financial relief for [his] parents more than anything else”

The Moshal Scholarship has proven to be more than just financial support. It is a holistic program that ensures that each recipient becomes the first wave to get a university qualification in their family. Ntsika Booysen (2nd year BCom Statistics University of Pretoria) thanks the program for allowing him “to obtain such high-quality education”. Delela Ndhlela (2nd Year Law University of Cape Town) in addition sees the program as “having a dedicated team that is behind you all the way”. This team of support makes each recipient feel at home and “not just another student number to them” says Juané Meyer (3rd year Veterinary Sciences University of Pretoria). ‘It is a very intimate scholarship”, is how Zenani Nzwana (3rd year BSC Food Science University of Pretoria) sees it all.

Did I forget to mention that we do not have to pay back our funding? All we must do is pay it forward! It can be in any form and any size to people around us, so they too can feel empowered. Bongolwethu Harmans (3rd BCom Accounting Witwatersrand University) has already completed 8 pay-it-forward projects this year, his biggest being his donation of school uniform to some students at his high school. Paying it forward is and will always be the first Moshal value that any scholar will mention!

The winners of this Moshal Scholarship Program jackpot were all invited to the Annual Weekend in August 2019. A weekend filled with networking, skills development, workshops, entertainment and an unbelievable amount of gourmet food. There was even etiquette training! Royal Zikhali (1st BSC Mathematical Science University of Pretoria) was blown away and admitted “who knew there was so much to etiquette?!”

What stood out for me, apart from the food of course, was the reactions of the first years when they saw where we were staying. WhatsApp stories were flooding, and Instagram was buzzing with photos and videos of merely the arrival at Birchwood Hotel. All their reactions took me back to when I too experienced Birchwood for my first time. Absolutely incredible! These first years had no idea of the incredible memories they were going to pack home with them.

This time round I, and the rest of the seniors, brought senior energy back to life! We made sure to enjoy the event as if it was our first time. The years below us had to see that although we have been here for the fourth time, we still look forward to it every year. It was a much-needed break from our respective honours studies which have been strenuous, but with the wellbeing support of our co-ordinators it has been a controllable experience. This is where university balance is highlighted.  Juané says “you can’t play and not work, but you can’t work and not play.” The annual weekend was a great time to play.

So here I am signing off as an honour’s student in BCom Marketing Management at the University of Pretoria, thanking Martin Moshal for the incredible experience at the Annual Event. I thank him immensely for giving this jackpot to all scholars in the Moshal family, and particularly investing in me for the past four years! But it does not end here, I always say that you can take me out of the scholarship (after I finish my honours please), but you can never take the scholarship out of me as I head out to better my future and those around me while I pay it forward.

Written by Dibueng Bosman