Simbulele's story

 Simbulele Mgengo was born in 2002 in the Eastern Cape in a village of Mhlopekazi.

At the age of 2 she lost her mom and her father was forced to relocate to the Western Cape, making the Dunoon Township their new home. True to Simbulele’s character, she embraced what life brought her way and made the most of every opportunity. She excelled in her school work and established herself as a top performer. She combined this with great friendships amongst her peers and it came as no surprise in 2014 when she was elected as Head girl of Sophakama Primary.

Simbulele with her friends at Sophakama Primary School


Unfortunately the prospects for 2015 looked grim. Sadly, due to extreme financial challenges at home, it seemed impossible for Simbulele to go to high school. Fortunately, her English teacher, Mr. Jacob Funyura, took Simbulele under his wing and made it his mission to find a solution.


He approached the ROGZ Academy to  assist Simbulele. ROGZ Academy has a long standing relationship with Sophakama Primary School as the CEO of ROGZ, Irené Raubenheimer, had been partnered with the principal of the school, Sabelo Makubalo, as part of the Partners for Possibility programme in 2013. This Partnership has continued to grow beyond the year that was required of the participants. Irené and Sabelo remain a constant support to each other, which is why it was easy for Mr Jacob Funyura to approach ROGZ Academy.


ROGZ Academy in turn managed to secure financial support from the ROGZ distributor in Belgium, Benelux NV, which ultimately lead to the first scholarship offered by the ROGZ Academy. The scholarship enabled Simbulele to apply for entrance at a school outside Dunoon Township which is providing her with an opportunity to expand her horizons. With the generous support from Benelux BV, the scholarship covers all school fees, uniforms and stationary costs, transport and pocket money for the year.

Simbulele seen here with Irené Raubenheimer, her sister Inam, her Mom Nozuko, her Grade 7 teacher Jacob Funyura and Yolande de Klerk from ROGZ. 


We wish to sincerely thank the team at Benelux NV for their kind contribution to change the trajectory of Simbulele’s life. We are confident that this gesture will have a far reaching impact, not only on her future, but also on the lives which she will be interacting with along the way.


We also wish to salute Mr Jacob Funyura for recognizing the potential in Simbulele and for not accepting no as an answer.


Finally – special thanks also to Yolande De Klerk from Rogz who has been instrumental in getting Simbulele entered at Bloubergrand High. Apart from having taken responsibility for the multitude of arrangements along the way, Yolande has also stepped up the plate to be a friend and mentor to Simbulele.


But the real hero of the story remains Simbulele herself. She has embraced the new chapter with enthusiasm and conquered many new challenges along the way. This in turn led her to deliver a commendable report at the end of her first term.

Simbulele excited about her future.


She has subsequently returned to her friends at Sophakama to share her story and inspire others to set their sights on a bigger and better future.

We wish her all of the best for the remainder of the year.

30 November -1, 00:00