Michael Tladi's Success Story

Michael

GRADUATE ELECTROMECHANICAL ENGINEER, THE UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN - 2009

  • The Engineer

Mr Michael Tladi received a scholarship from Link-SA Trust as well as bursaries from the Cape Provincial Administration during his undergraduate studies towards a BSc Electromechanical Engineering at UCT.

A Survivor

Michael was abandoned by his single mother when he was five years old and had no relatives to take care of him and had to find food wherever he could. He joined a group of other young street children in order to survive. The younger boys were taken care of by older gangs of teenagers and young men who lived as outlaws. Thus the only way of life known to the little boy was one of “survival of the fittest and fastest”.

Fortunately the younger children were befriended by a group of volunteer charity workers who persuaded those kids who were willing to give up a life on the streets to enter a children’s home, and attend school, and live decent lives. The organizers of this charity recognized a very bright mind in Michael Tladi, and his education was paid for by the charity. Michael matriculated with sufficient points to gain him a place at UCT who accepted Michael into the BSc Engineering programme.

Link-SA gave Michael a scholarship in his second year. His graduation ceremony was an occasion for much celebration. The original social worker from the USA who helped Michael to move into a place of safety followed his progress over the years via e-mail, and made a point of returning to South Africa for Michael’s graduation. The administrative secretary of Link-SA Trust also attended to add support to Michael in his finest hour!

After Graduation

Since graduating in 2009, Michael has been working for the Province, supervising air conditioning installations at government hospitals in the Western Cape. He is happy and fulfilled in his work.

Selfless Heart

Michael works tirelessly in his spare time to help at an orphanage in one of the poorest parts of Cape Town. He gives extra lessons to school children, and campaigns against crime in the townships. He gives motivational speeches at schools, churches, and mentors inmates of a Cape Town prison so they can see that it is possible to turn one’s life around and become a useful and productive member of society. People born to poverty don’t need to accept their fate. Glory and reward lies in hard work and the determination to succeed.

In 2012, Michael organized a group of friends and businesses to donate time and goods to build a wing onto an existing orphanage in Nyanga, one of the poorest areas of Cape Town. The children have safe, clean accommodation which includes a separate study room with computers and desks at which to do their homework. A house-mother cooks and cleans for the boys and acts as a parent. The initiative was such a success that it has led to further building projects for Cape Town’s orphans.

What Michael creates is a home environment for these boys, all of whom have been abandoned by their parents or orphaned.

We applaud this selfless young engineer and are proud that Link-SA was able to assist him in achieving his goal to make the best of his life and assist his community through his efforts as an unpaid social worker, mentor, teacher and provider.

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