As part of the Feenix Youth Month Campaign, third-year Durban University of Technology (DUT) Video Technology student, Samkelo Mlambo was given the platform by Feenix to unpack his life with a ‘Hero Video’ because of the power of his story.
Feenix puts the power back into students’ hands and legitimises their efforts as they fundraise amongst friends, families, and businesses. Feenix provides a transparent and trustworthy way for students to connect with their own community as well as the company’s network of givers. From 2017-2022 to date, Feenix has donated over R120 million towards 2780 students.
Feenix, also honoured the Durban University of Technology (DUT) with an Appreciation Award for its continued support, valuable partnership, collaborative efforts and contribution towards ensuring that access to education is not dependent on wealth.
Ms Cara-Jean Petersen, Feenix Student Engagement Manager, said Mlambo was selected for its Youth month campaign because he represents what Feenix students embody grit and resilience.
“June is a difficult time for university students. Anxiety about mid-year exams, coupled with the fear of getting kicked out for unpaid tuition fees, can often be too much. Feenix is an online fundraising platform that allows students to connect with potential donors and fundraise towards their studies. By investing in a Feenix student, you support them in paying off their university debt, allowing them to graduate,” she said.
The emerging filmmaker, who was the first one to matriculate in his family and further his studies to a tertiary level; gave insight into his journey to DUT and his excitement on his win.
“Feenix helped me a lot they have given me the opportunity to be able to tell my story, by sharing South African stories one lense at a time, I want to inspire the world like how my grandmother inspired me,” said an elated Mlambo.
His love for storytelling started at a very young age when he used to listen to stories that his grandmother used to tell him.
His grandmother was the chief story teller, whenever she told stories she would mimic the characters and no matter how many times he heard the stories they were always interesting to listen to.
“I would share my grandmother’s stories at school. Those fiction stories taught us something about life. That’s how I developed a love for telling stories. Now, I want to share my stories with the world,” he said.
Mlambo grew up in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Coast, with his sister. He lost his parents at a very young age, and then stayed with his grandparents. He regards his sister as a major driving force who pushes him to chase his dreams.
“I believe in my dream and I am willing to do whatever it takes to equip myself as a young film producer. With my passion, I don’t only want to change my life but my community as well, I want to kill the stereotype that if you come from a disadvantaged background your dreams are limited. Anything is possible in life. Your tragedies don’t define you or what you can become,” he said.
Advancement and Alumni Relations Director at DUT, Zwakele Ngubane said: “We are very proud of Mlambo’s selection by Feenix with a ‘Hero Video’. He has not used his circumstances as an excuse, thus allowing them to hinder his progress, but rather it has been the driving force behind his thirst for success. Mlambo represents the many young people who want to change the narrative and work towards creating a better life for themselves, their families and their communities,” he said.
Ngubane further added that their partnership with Feenix has continued to strengthen over the years.
“Feenix, through a collaborative partnership with our office, has assisted many DUT students continue with their studies when other avenues were not accessible to them. During 2020, whilst in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, Feenix provided assistance to students in the form of devices, data and meal vouchers. We are thankful to partners such as Feenix and I am sure the relationship will continue to grow,” he said.
To view Mlambo’s story, go to https://we.tl/t-MldBdzpDtL
Pictured: Samkelo Mlambo
Nonkululeko Ngcobo/Waheeda Peters