Bursary Case Study #5 – Babalwa Mtshawuli

Babalwa Mtshawuli was born in Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape where she completed her primary schooling. She decided to move to Masiphumelele at the age of 14 in pursuit of a better education and stayed with her aunt while completing her matric at the high school. She knew from as early as grade 9 that she wanted to work in a position that would allow her to give back to the community and was initially attracted to social work.

Babalwa later applied to join the Masicorp bursary scheme on the advice of several older students who she knew had participated in previous years. By this time her career planning had turned to working in a health facility. She arrived for an interview with an impressive set of high school results, particularly in the difficult subject areas of mathematics and physics. She had received an offer to study nursing at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the interview panel was pleased to offer her a bursary to being study in 2011.


After four years of excellent theoretical grades and practical classes Babalwa graduated in March of this year. She is currently working at Alexander Psychiatric Hospital in Maitland as a sister in charge of one the wards. Some of her best grades during the four years of study were achieved in psychiatric nursing and this is an area she has happily specialised in during her work. If time and money allow she would like to continue studying psychiatric nursing at masters level, and she is currently considering the possibility of taking a part time course.

Babalwa has now moved out of Masiphumelele and has been sharing a flat with other nurses close to the hospital in Maitland. However, she is regularly in touch with Masicorp and has generously offered to speak about her experiences on occasions such as our recent event at the British High Commission.  We were particularly pleased to see her at the recent graduation ceremony for the Evangeline Ministries / Masicorp life skills course, Babalwa was the guest speaker for the event and is seen here presenting the students with their completion certificates.

Sewing Cafe Graduation 2015 - photo by Louise de Waal (115)

Babalwa has been an excellent student and has made the best of the bursary opportunity provided. We look forward to keeping in touch with her in the years to come as her career in nursing continues

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