Wame Boitshepho Nchabeleng, 17 years of age, from Mmabatho in the North West Province is a first-year BSc Civil Engineering student enrolled at Wits University.

What drew you to Civil Engineering?
What did you hope to learn?

I always took an interest in how things are built, particularly iconic landmarks such as the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa in Dubai. In Saudi Arabia, there is another currently being built that will be the new tallest building upon completion. I’m also fascinated by the tallest bridge in the world, Millau Viaduct in France. It is truly amazing! I take an interest in the artistic aspects of the industry; it’s especially exciting to see your work come to life with prototypes. Unfortunately, there aren’t many fascinating buildings in South Africa, but I plan on being the first to create a cool building which will make a mark on South Africa’s landscape.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt in your curriculum this semester?

My most interesting subject has got to be physics. It’s also been a challenging and fascinating experience being able to use a computer for the first time. I really have learned so much and look forward to learning a lot more.

If you hadn’t been awarded your SANRAL bursary, what do you think you’d be doing this year? What was the back-up plan?

Had SANRAL not funded me, my mother was planning on leaving her job in order to use her pay-out to fund my studies. I didn’t want her to do this, as my younger siblings need to eat and be educated as well, but there really wasn’t an alternative. I’m more than relieved that she didn’t have to resign and that I’ll soon be able to help out at home. I want to thank my parents for being so supportive. Had my mother not helped me with the bursary application, I wouldn’t be here. I also appreciate the assistance I received from my bursary administrator at SANRAL, Rhona Erasmus

What does your SANRAL bursary pay for other than your tuition?

Besides tuition, the bursary covers food, accommodation, textbooks and a basic allowance.