The Vincent Tshabalala Education Trust is an initiative of the comrades and school friends of Vincent, who wanted to recognize his contribution, honour his legacy and ensure that his memory lives on and inspire generations of young people from Alexandra. The education trust has become a fitting tribute to this young and courageous soldier of the Umkhonto We Sizwe, in recognition of his commitment to an equal & better education and to the struggle for a better South Africa.
The Vincent Tshabalala Education Trust was successfully launched on 24th September 2004 at the Alexandra Technical College. It was well attended by the community of Alexandra. The Alexandra Technical College has a specific significance in that, the spot where Vincent heroically fought & died in a battle against the apartheid security forces forms part of College yard.
In October 2008 the community of Alexandra recognized his contribution by renaming “London road” into d Vincent Tshabalala road. His organization the ANC in Alexandra has named one of its branches after him. He was also one of those honoured by the president in December 2009 and had his name added to the list of heroes and heroines at Freedom Park
About Vincent “Toivo” Tshabalala
Vincent was a determined combatant who fought the apartheid regime and sacrificed his life for freedom. He was born on 15 August 1964 in Bethal, Mpumalanga. He was an extraordinary young man who at the tender age of 13 understood the hardships of black South Africans, and decided to join the struggle after being inspired by the Bethal Trial in 1977. He became the chairperson of COSAS while schooling at Minerva high school in Alexandra and thereafter became one founding members – together with Paul Mashatile and others – of Alexandra Youth Congress (AYCO).Vincent had passion for education and was a dedicated learner . His favourite sport was karate and was active in poetry and drama both at school and in the camps in Angola. He joined the ANC underground and left for exile in 1983 where he joined Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1983. He returned to South Africa in 1984. Vincent died in heroically in a battle against the apartheid police on the 9th February 1985 at the age of 20.
The Vincent Tshabalala Education Trust
The core principles that underline the founding of the Trust include community participation, a multi-pronged approach that encompasses educational development, enhancement of human capital and strengthening of the social fibre of the Alexandra community.
Primarily the initiative is aimed at assisting young people from Alexandra who have the potential to advance their education and social contribution to their community, but are hindered from doing so by financial restraints as well as lack of awareness of opportunities.
The Objectives & Initiatives of the Vincent Tshabalala Education Trust are as follows:
- Award full bursaries to the top matriculants in Alexandra high schools
- Sponsor two financially disadvantaged Grade 8 pupils till completion of high school and provide holistic support
- Initiate national and international exchange and exposure programmes
- Support and enhance the culture of teaching & learning in Alexandra High Schools
- Identify & support networking opportunities, collaboration & exposure for beneficiaries of the Trust
- Create and support a volunteer network to enable the beneficiaries of the Trust and other students to engage in community development initiatives
- Paul Mashatile ( Chairperson)
- Constance Bapela
- Louis Seeco
- Mxolisi Zwane
- Dipuo Mvelase
- Joe Manana
- Sizakele Nkosi
- Pam Mallela
The following are the sources of funding:
- Monthly contribution by Trustees
- Individual contribution by members of the community including our graduates
- Annual Golf and Dinner fundraising
Bursaries for top students
- Full bursary : covering tuition, books, accommodation and monthly allowance
- Basic bursary : covering tuition and books
- Recognition of best performing educators – award prizes that include laptops and cash
- Leadership awards for Principals and deputies leading best performing schools – award prizes that include cash, laptops and holiday vouchers.
- Recognition for best performing schools – identify and mobilize resources to address the needs of the school to enable better teaching and learning environment
- Other initiatives to support and enhance teaching and learning – example career guidance; facilitating the establishment of Alumni at various Alexandra high schools, engaging parents and teachers in support of education. We also buy books written by South African authors – especially Africans for the high schools. On a quarterly basis we organize a breakfast for principals to enable interaction and sharing of experiences and lessons
- Supporting community programme through the involvement of the trust beneficiaries in initiatives aimed at improving education standard and the lives of the people of Alexandra – Saturday Classes, community clean up campaigns etc