Cape Town - The hard work and dedication of a young man who aims to improve the lives of those around him has landed him an award.
Thembalethu Seyisi, a final-year law student at Stellenbosch University, won the Rector’s Award for Excellent Social Impact on Thursday night.
The awards follow a collaborative effort by the university's Student Representative Council (SRC) and its rectorate, to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of students who have gone above and beyond in the categories of academics, sport, service provision, leadership, culture and social impact.
Seyisi said he was humbled and honoured to win the award.
“This award is a pat on the shoulder and an encouragement to be a force for good. It is truly a humbling experience but it is also an opportunity to spotlight the social justice work I have been part of,” he said.
Some of the social justice work Seyisi has done includes: #Action4Inclusion, a crowdfunding campaign aimed at alleviating student debt for the so-called ‘missing middle’ students. He is also part of the Salesian Life Choices, a non-profit organisation which encourages healthy, informed and responsible choices amongst youth from disadvantaged communities in Cape Town.
“It feels good to do good but as a law student, I feel that it is my duty to advance the constitutional project and to contribute in getting South Africa to be the society that is so envisioned in SA’s constitution,” he said.
Last year, Weekend Argus wrote about Seyisi, who instead of having a 21st birthday bash decided to do something more meaningful to inspire and motivate other young people.
Not only did he pass his exams on his birthday, but he also received the first print copy of the book he compiled, 21 Life Lessons @ 21. All profits of the book were donated to three causes close to Seyisi’s heart.
“One positive outcome has been a collaboration with the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival who came on board to make video interviews with some of the prominent people who contributed to the book as well as some other well-known South Africans,” he said.
Stellenbosch University professor Thuli Madonsela said: “I am overjoyed about Thembalethu Seyisi winning the Rector’s Award for Excellent in Social Impact.”