Congratulations to the following students, who have been named as the recipients of the November 2016 Oxbridge Academy Succeeding Against the Odds Award:

  • Dillion Banda
  • Lizette Steenkamp
  • Mokitsi Kekana

These three students have shown exceptional determination and courage and have achieved academically despite a range of obstacles that stood in their way. 


Read their stories here:

Dillion Banda
Dillion Banda, a Security Management student at Oxbridge Academy, initially came to South Africa to escape the civil unrest in his home country, Zimbabwe. It was a treacherous journey.

When he arrived here, he started working as a security guard. He says:

The job of a Security Guard was a take it or leave it option. I took my Zimbabwean Diploma and degree and flushed them down the drain. I had no story to write home about.

In 2012, the dark cloud over me became more darker and gloomier, my financial situation began to drown me. It was that time when a Good Samaritan passed by pointing into the dark cloud for me to notice the silver lining. Behold on that lining sat proudly the Oxbridge Academy. My bridge to redemption and salvation.

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Lizette Steenkamp
Lizette grew up in an abusive home, with an alcoholic father who took her out of school when she was in Grade 9. After she was taken out of school, she tried to teach herself using her friends’ textbooks, but she couldn’t write the exams and therefore couldn’t get her certificates.

Lizette is now studying a bridging course at Oxbridge Academy, but she has not had an easy journey. She says:

In 2007 I met a wonderful man, got married and had 2 beautiful children. In 2013 we were attacked in our home, my husband was shot and killed in front of me and my two children, and I was 3 months pregnant with my third child. She was born 5 months later, 6 weeks prematurely. I was alone and had no family or support. I was a full-time working, single mother of 3. I struggled on my own for two years with no help.

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Mokitsi Kekana

Mokitsi is a single mother and full-time employee. Aside from being financially responsible for her own immediate family, she is also financially responsible for her brother (who was forced to take early retirement due to a respiratory illness) and her niece (who was involved in a car accident). She says:

Back home in Limpopo I have to financially & emotionally support them [her brother, niece, and daughter]. At work I still have to be productive & perform. I have an 8-year-old that I have to fend for on my own. Daily homework supervisions, house chores, school meetings, Dr’s visits as she has severe chronic allergic rhinitis, shopping, sporting activities and so forth. I work long hours & it takes me 2 hours to and from work every day. Sometimes traffic is extremely bad. I use public transport.

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Once again, congratulations to Dillion, Lizette, and Mokitsi – who will each be receiving a medal and a Special Merit Award (which will cover 30% of their next course’s fees at Oxbridge Academy).


Do you also want to be considered for this Award?

If you are an Oxbridge Academy student, you will receive details regarding the next round of nominations via e-mail. The closing date for the next round will be 30 June 2017.

If you are not a student, but you know someone who studies at Oxbridge Academy, and you would like to nominate them for this Award, you can send your motivation to (Please remember to include your own contact details, as well as the name, surname, student number, and contact details of the student you wish to nominate). 


The closing date for the next award is 30 June 2017.