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03 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Vhugala Nthakheni
Uhuru Qwaqwa Arrival
The #UFSWalkToUhuru team arrives at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus on Friday 22 March.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the UFS Office for International Affairs, have joined hands to drive a fundraising and student-accessibility initiative dubbed, ‘The Walk to Uhuru’ (#UFSWalktoUhuru), which is aimed at raising funds and advocating for the educational rights of the less privileged. 

The project aims to raise funds in excess of R2 million from the public and stakeholders affiliated with the UFS (Kovsie staff and students). The project derives from the 2018/2019 UFS Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) mandate ‘Students Must Graduate’. The ISRC mandate aims to source funding opportunities for UFS students to register, and to complete their studies across all three campuses in 2020 and beyond.

The first leg of the project, a 350 km walk from the Bloemfontein to the Qwaqwa Campus, has already taken place and concluded on Friday, 22 March 2019 as planned. The #UFSWalkToUhuru team successfully completed the first leg of their journey to academic freedom for financially disadvantaged students at the UFS. The Uhuru team is now focusing its attention on the second leg and is determined to take on Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru) from 20 June to 20 July 2019.

The team sat down for a debriefing session to unpack the overall experience and result of the first half of the initiative, and they all agreed that the walk to Qwaqwa was an enlightening experience. It was a walk that comprised learning opportunities, team building, and goal crushing.

According to Rethabile Motseki, member of the #UFSWalkToUhuru team, the walk to Qwaqwa made a significant impact on the project, as the university community is now aware of the significant goals that the team is trying to accomplish. The team has also resumed their fitness-training programme to ensure that they are ready to take on the Uhuru climb in June.

A media briefing will take place shortly (date to be confirmed) to detail the ongoing fundraising initiatives rolled out by the #UFSWalkToUhuru team.  We implore you, and the nation as a whole, to help establish a better future for disadvantaged UFS students by donating to the initiative.

Students, staff, and the public can support the cause and make contributions/donations to the initiative by visiting the UFS Walk to Uhuru #givengain account page.

For more information, contact UFS SRC President, Sonwabile Dwaba, on DwabaSJ@ufs.ac.za  or Rethabile Motseki on MotsekiR@ufs.ac.za  

News Archive

From Architecture graduate to fashion sensation
2016-11-14

Description:Paul Whitehead  Tags: Paul Whitehead  longdesc=

Paul Whitehead, owner and founder of
Major John.
Photo: Supplied

Paul Whitehead never thought the small business he started in his hostel room at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Huis Abraham Fischer on the Bloemfontein Campus would develop into something of magnitude.

Paul, who completed his Honours degree in Architecture in 2015 at the UFS, is currently taking a gap year due to the rapid growth of his business. Major John started back in December 2012, with Love Warrior becoming Paul’s first outlet. In 2014 Paul started manufacturing his first series of timber bow ties and after that, sales started booming.

Supplier to 16 outlets in South Africa

“We currently supply 16 outlets throughout South Africa with a range of products such as timber bow ties, genuine leather suspenders and concrete and timber desk lamps, as well as other leather products,” Paul says.

He says that a new range of nine timber bow ties is launched every four months. “The timber is recycled and the fabric is handpicked from around the country to ensure quality, thus the bow ties are hand-crafted and unique,” Paul says.

Trust your gut feeling and believe in yourself

His main goal with the timber bow ties is to expand while the unique quality of the product is not compromised. “We are also in a process of expanding the range of our products in the exclusive market.”

Paul attributes his success to delivering excellent service to people who appreciate his pride and joy, his Major John collection. He encourages future entrepreneurs to listen to others’ advice, but to trust their own gut feeling and always believe in themselves.

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