Ghanaian matriculant gets funding to start university

Company pays half Ebenezer Odei’s fees and will try to crowdfund the balance

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Phot of Ebenezer Odei
Ebenezer Odei matriculated with five distinctions and wants to become an accountant, but his parents are Ghanaian and he does not have a South African ID, and so has not been able to get a bursary. Photo: Tariro Washinyira

After reading Ebenezer Odei’s story published by GroundUp on 11 January, Mama Money has decided to pay Odei’s university fees deposit of R25,000 — about half the annual cost — by 25 January. This will allow Odei to start an accounting degree at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Mathieu Coquillon, the co-founder and director of Mama Money, said the company would try to crowdfund the balance of Odei’s first year fees.

Coquillon met Odei — who matriculated with five distinctions — and his mother on 14 January. Though he was born in South Africa, Odei has a Ghanaian passport (his parents immigrated to South Africa). He doesn’t yet have a South African ID and so has not been able to obtain National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding. Last year, he says, he applied for more than 20 bursaries but all required him to have a South African ID.

Odei said he was very happy to have received help. He is hoping his documentation problems will be solved by the time he gets to second year.

Mama Money is an international money transfer company that migrant workers use to send funds to their families outside South Africa in Africa and Asia.

“Odei’s story really hit home as our customers send school and university fees home using our service. Our current campaign is #mamaeducates and one of our corridors is Ghana,” he said.

Coquillon also said the company had a long association with the Ghanaian Excellency Awards team who had promised to use the award dinner in March to promote Mama Money’s crowdfunding campaign.

TOPICS:  Education Tertiary Education

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