Kunene, the second time winner, surpassed last year’s massive R60 000 incentive as First National Bank (FNB), platinum sponsor, showered him with trophies and R40 000. The Office of the Vice-Chancellor pledged extra R40 000, and SizweNtsalubaGobodo, fifth largest auditing firm in South Africa added R20 000 to make it a R100 000.
Kunene, who is set to graduate in May this year at UL, hailed himself as someone with a distinguished character rather than intelligence, and is pursuing a Certificate in Theory of Accounting with the University of Johannesburg.
“I’m very happy to have won the award. I’m not an extremely intelligent person as perceived by many. What people don’t know is that I once failed in my first year but I never gave up. I studied hard and showed a lot of character to be where I am today,” said Kunene. He added that he intends to continue with his accountancy studies and qualify as a Chartered Accountant (CA) as there are very few black CAs in the country.
Professor Mahlo Mokgalong, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UL, paid tribute to Kunene. He said that his achievements are enough to inspire other students to strive for excellence. “I would like to congratulate the winners of the various categories and appeal to students who have not received awards today to respond to the challenge and ensure they are recognised in 2015,” said Mokgalong.
Speaking about the impact of the FNB sponsorship, Mokgalong highlighted that these awards have increased student competitiveness and performance resulting to increased pass and graduation rate in the School of Accountancy. “For example, of the 75 students registered for the Bachelor of Accounting Science degree in 2010, 36 (48%) are due to graduate in May 2014, within a record time of four years. The University’s graduation rate average is 19% while the national average is 22%.”
Mr Kgosi Ledimo, FNB CEO of Provincial and Local Government said: “We would like to congratulate the recipients of this coveted prizes on their sterling academic achievements. Our partnership with the University of Limpopo demonstrates our commitment to empowering the youth of South Africa through education. Accounting skills are essential to the country’s economic development and we’re delighted to see the ongoing collaboration amongst key stakeholders”.
The top achievers awards also saw 39 other students walking away with trophies and cash prizes ranging from R2 000 to R20 000. Sponsored by First National Bank (FNB) for a period of five years since 2011, the annual Vice-Chancellor’s Accountancy Top Achievers awards are aimed at recognising top achievers in accountancy studies.