Update on the Club’s first Lawhill bursary students, by Liesl King.

In 2017, the Club decided to provide bursaries for two students to attend the Simons Town School’s Lawhill Maritime Centre. Lawhill provides Grade 10 to Grade 12 students with a maritime-industry-focused education, thus opening up opportunities in the maritime industry for them, both here and abroad.

Our first two bursary students, Apelele Ntshinka and Thapelo Moletsane, successfully completed their schooling in 2019. Thapelo was offered a learnership by the Oceana Group, while Apelele received a SATS General Botha Old Boys Association bursary for an Officer in Charge of Navigational Watch course at the SSTG Maritime Training Institute. We caught up with them recently to see how their careers are progressing.

Thapelo Moletsane served his learnership at Oceana Group during 2020 and up until April 2021. With the Covid pandemic in full force, this was quite a challenging time for him. Thereafter he completed a contract as a Covid Monitor on one of Oceana’s vessels Desert Diamond, while it was in the dry dock.

Thapelo is still dreaming of becoming a Captain onboard a ship one day and in order to make this possible he is rewriting Grade 12 Maths and Science at the end of this year.  Thereafter he is hoping to access a tertiary bursary to start his studies towards becoming an Officer of the Watch in 2022. In between his studies he is pursuing his other passion, which is cycling, through his Khayelitsha based club Velokhaya.

Apelele Ntshinka matriculated from Lawhill in 2019. Her bursary included boarding close to the SSTG and she started her course in 2020. The advent of Covid in March of that year presented several obstacles, but luckily SSTG switched to online learning where necessary. Apelele passed her course very well and is now ready for a cadetship onboard a ship.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing Covid pandemic and the resultant challenges with crew changes these are hard to secure.

It is heartening to see our first two students doing so well and at the same time sad that COVID and its accompanying challenges is preventing them currently from progressing further. We hope that they will stay strong in their resolve to reach their dreams and wish them all the best for the future.

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