Presidency awards TUT Alumnus’ philanthropy

1 November 2019

Newly qualified doctor, activist, Tshwane University of Technology alumnus and lecturer, Dr John Molepo, has not only received his doctoral degree in 2019, he is now also a recipient of the Presidential Award in the category of Compassion. He will receive the award and exclusive inclusion into the Presidential Family, during a ceremony next month.

Dr John Molepo, TUT Alumnus who will receive a Presidential Award for his efforts to raise funds and assist underprivileged students get into university.

The Award recognises the 29-year old Molepo for his efforts to get underprivileged students registered at university and paying for their tuition fees through his #ThusaNgwanaGeno campaign. 

The award recognises people for their leadership skills and bravery, among others. 

According to the letter he received from the Presidency, “The presidency recognises the immense value of your contribution to your community through the establishment of #ThusaNgwanaGeno youth empowerment, which aims to provide registration fees to underprivileged students.  We commend your focus on skills-building and wish you the best with your journey.”

However, he is quick to give credit to others for supporting his campaign.

“I am really honoured and delighted to be recognised, but this is a collective effort by many people to assist a child to get into university. I would like to appreciate every person who, since 2017, stood at traffic lights and stop streets with me to raise more than R300 000 up to now. Today, more than 200 students have received tuition and registration fees. Having received help myself, has inspired me to push harder. A special word of thanks to Prof Mashupye Maserumule, acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Doctor of Public Affairs, my lecturer and mentor, for building me, and many of his other students, to understand the value of giving back to the community,” he said this morning.

The campaign started with him standing on the intersection of the R80 Mabopane Highway and Es’kia Mphahlele Drive with a placard, “I am a graduate and I want someone to be like me”. 

“It is not about getting recognised, but to help people. We are going back to the streets in the next three weeks to make sure more students can be assisted,” he added.

Molepo has since also embarked on a project to help people from his own pocket to get their drivers’ licenses, while he and other volunteers help with buying schoolbooks too. 

Molepo, who recently received his PhD in Public Affairs, is one of the youngest students to graduate with a doctorate from TUT. 

In October 2018, Molepo was appointed as the national executive director of the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM), making him one of the youngest candidates in this position too. SAAPAM is a national association that encourages and promotes good governance and effective service delivery through the advancement of professionalism, scholarship and practice in public administration and management.

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