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The Sol Plaatje University (SPU) Division of Student Affairs presented the Vice-Chancellor’s Special Award to Mr Buza Kennedy Ndebele on 18 October 2022 at the inaugural Student Leadership Awards.

In the Vice-Chancellor’s only award category for student leadership excellence within the SPU Community, the Student Leader of the Year Award recognises a student who has showed effective leadership capabilities and dedication to student leadership within the SPU community. This student actively takes part in student-centric university programmes that advance the University’s strategic goals and objectives. 

Mr Ndebele has served on the SPU Council, the highest decision-making structure at Sol Plaatje University. By advocating for the needs of students, he has ensured that all students at SPU are heard. He is the current Deputy President of the Student Representative Council for the academic year 2021/2022. In addition to this, Mr Ndebele has helped conceptualise and launch the SRC Thusa Moithuti Fund, a fund that advocates for “no student left behind” and oversees fundraising initiatives for students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. In this capacity, he also helped to launch the SPU Student Nutrition Programme, which targets students living in off-campus accommodations and day students alike who face food insecurity regularly.

Ndebele is no stranger to leadership development initiatives and community outreach and engagement as scholarly activities. He also founded #BreadChallenge, a soup kitchen initiative which served Wolmaranstad during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. In 2021, as the SRC Projects Officer, he further displayed exceptional leadership skills.

His leadership roles include serving on the SPU Student Disciplinary Committee, as well as being a member of the EFF Student Command On-Campus. Mr Ndebele is a worthy recipient of the highest honour at the event: the Vice-Chancellor’s Student Leader of the Year.