Having launched in 2021, the KFC Ikusasa Lethu Scholarship programme once again continues to grow skills and feed potential across the country with 30 learners enrolled in 2022.
The Scholarship programme provides access to quality education to deserving learners whose parents work for a KFC restaurant and to children who are Add Hope beneficiaries across South Africa – many of whom come from a single-mother headed household. The scholarship was designed in partnership with the Curro Group of Schools who have 76 campuses across the 9 provinces. Learners who met the selection criteria remain recipients of the programme as long as they meet specific annual requirements, until they matriculate.
“Last year we started the programme and were not only pleased with the hard work shown and the results from our participating students, but that we are able to extend the programme even further in 2022 – offering more students the opportunity to build their futures with a strong educational foundation,” says Akhona Qengqe, Chief People Officer at KFC Africa. “Good quality and private schooling education is expensive and inaccessible to a majority of South Africans. We recognise the role that good education plays in building an economy and a sustainable future and hence our investment in this programme. It's beyond our Brand, it's about fuelling this nation's potential.”
Of the current students, the majority this year sit in Grade 9 (16 learners), followed by Grade 10 (6), and then Grade 11, Grade 8 and Grade 12 respectively.
The learners that participated last year not only received over 30 accolades and recognition awards, but an outstanding 96% pass rate – including Bachelor and Diploma passes.
Speaking to her experience during the inaugural year and providing advice to some of the new learners enrolled for this academic year, Phumzo Sthande Mshubi, who is in grade 10, said: “To be quite honest I was not expecting to be awarded this gigantic opportunity to be able to show my capability and potential at school. The pressure was and still is a lot but with the support structure I had I was able to pull through with outstanding performance and hope to keep it like that this year until matric and hopefully even into university to study medicine. My advice to other learners who would like to be granted the opportunity would be that they should change their priorities - never let the fear of striking out keep them from playing the game. We shall all make history.”
And of course, any parent would be proud, Sindiswa Mshubi, who works at KFC Florentia, said: “Just like any other parent’s reaction would be, I was ecstatic about the scholarship. I always knew that there was something special about Phumzo, but her obtaining the scholarship broke the record and gave me more reason to wake up every day and perform my best at work like a true leader would. I am very grateful to my superiors and KFC for seeing her as the best candidate and giving her this opportunity.”
KFC’s purpose-led culture and commitment to youth development will ensure that the scholarship continues for years to come, and that the programme is able to increase the number of selected students each year. The Scholarship programme is just one of the many ways that as a business KFC is feeding people’s potential to fight inequality.
“Over and above feeding young children through our Add Hope programme, we are also interested in who they grow up to be and Ikusasa Lethu is a platform that allows us to contribute in a meaningful way and feed our youth’s potential. The programme is focused on providing educational opportunities, and upskilling our youth; making sure they have a solid platform and support system to prepare them for the challenges of adolescence and adulthood – so that they can reach their full potential. We look forward to watching our selected learners grow as well as expanding our program to touch many more lives,” concludes Qengqe.