Zanele Jonas and Kombisile Mthethwa have been awarded bursaries through The Rialto Project to Simon’s Town Lawhill Maritime Centre in Cape Town. The three year bursaries are funded by the Community Property Fund which has previously sponsored bursaries for Lawhill alumni Lutho Thomas, Joshua Mbana and Kumeshnie Nair, and currently also sponsors a bursary for Liyema Hogwana who is in Grade 11 at Lawhill.

Kombisile joins Lawhill from JG Zuma High School in KwaMashu, which is a school that the Community Property Fund supports through the Bridge City Academic Prize Programme. Khombisile is the youngest of her five siblings and her mother is a domestic worker. Her family is very proud of her achievement of being awarded this bursary. Her favourite subjects are Maths and Science and she aspires to become a scientist or a business woman.

Zanele joins Lawhill from Molly Blackburn High School in Uitenhage, which is the same school that Lutho and Josh attended prior to Lawhill. Zanele is one of nine children and both of her parents are Pastors. Zanele’s favourite subjects are also Maths and Science.

Rialto Project Mentors Stephanie Mort and Seeps Evans visited Lawhill in March to meet the new scholars who have both settled in well and are excited to be at Lawhill and in Cape Town as this is the first time that they have travelled interprovincially. “Meeting the girls was an extremely humbling experience for Seeps and I. Both girls were so excited to meet us and were bursting to tell us how thankful and grateful they are for the opportunity, and promised to work hard to make us proud. We were struck by how mentally strong both girls are, listening to them talk about their work ethic and their goals and plans to work hard was quite astounding. Both girls are extremely bright and highly motivated to be successful and make their families proud” says Stephanie.

The Lawhill programme accommodates scholars from Grade 10 to Grade 12 and since its inception more than 300 young South Africans have passed through the programme, many of them pursuing successful careers in the maritime industry, both ashore and at sea, while others have gone on to make their mark in other industries.