The recent #FeesMustFall student protests left many people feeling helpless, but for reality star Lasizwe they sparked an idea that has since grown beyond his imagination to find a way to offer help to students to get a “foot in the door” at tertiary institutions.
Speaking to TshisaLIVE, Lasizwe admitted he was exhausted after an eventful few days of mobilising Mzansi to help needy students through the #R10GoesALongWay campaign.
The reality TV star said he couldn’t stand by helplessly when he imagined what students must be going through and reflected on his own feelings back when he wanted to go to university.
“Back when I was supposed to go to varsity, the #FeesMustFall movement was just beginning and I remember wishing it would happen because at the time things weren’t looking too good for me to got to university due to money. It was a big thing and then it all just died down. Now with the recent protests, students being shot at and someone dying, it hit me that I could offer help.
“I only had R10,000 to give which presented a challenge because I knew it would help — even if it was just one person — but I wanted it to do more,” he said.
Prone to getting backlash on the socials, Lasizwe admitted he had to push past the thoughts of the backlash his R10,000 donation may receive. The star then decided to host an Instagram Live with students and potential students to find out from them how he could be helpful to them.
That’s when he realised most students were stressed out about registration fees and needed help getting a foot in the door.
“I had R10,000 and trouble deciding how to give it away. Do I divide it among three or four students or give it all to one person? I did an Instagram Live stream and that’s when people like Sibu jumped on and we began guiding each other as we heard the solutions students told us they needed.
“Most students said all they needed was to get registered. Many said they were on waiting lists and others were waiting on the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. What they needed urgently was to at least know they will be going to classes this year,” he said.
The conversation from the live turned into the #R10GoesALongWay campaign which has since raised more than R600k and is looking to reach R1m.
Lasizwe said they were reaching out to institutions that have the knowledge and experience in distributing funds to students so they are not in over their heads as their involvement in such an initiative is new.
He said they wanted to be as responsible with the money SA has trusted them to give away ethically and with a tight timeline because students need to register as soon as possible.
The reality star said he’s proud of what SA came together to do for the students.
“This is not an ‘I’ initiative, it’s a ‘we’ initiative, a South African initiative because all the R10 have turned into something more because Mzansi came together and stepped up to help.”
We are sitting R650 000.00!!!! We are so close😭😭😭
tomorrow is the last day to help reach the goal of R1 000 000.00
honestly I am super proud of us coming together as a nation on this initiative #R10GoesALongWay
— Lasizwe Dambuza (@lasizwe) March 16, 2021