Wits Student Representative Council president Kefentse Mkhari (21) originally from Kanana in Hammanskraal was thrust into the leadership spotlight during last year’s student protests. We got to know him a little better.
Who is your role model in life and what inspires you about them?
Actually that’s a very difficult question to answer, because life has many aspects to it and in as much as this might sound crazy, each and every aspect has its own role model. I am inspired by many individuals especially those I interact with on daily basis. It is really impossible for me to point out one specific person.
How has the role as SRC President at Wits changed you as a person?
One is never constant, with each challenge you face, you change. Growth itself is change. Has being SRC President changed my moral values and principles? No! In fact it enhances them every day.
What is your philosophy in life and as a student leader?
It is summed up by these few words that I hold dearly: “I am a human being and nothing human can be alien to me.” An ancient Greek quote which simply means I am human like anyone as and I must never see myself more human at any point.
What are your expectations for this year as the Wits SRC President?
I am generally a person who never works on expectations. I appreciate and embrace every moment as it comes. All that needs to be done is work and work always speak for itself. Whatever challenges that lie ahead I will be face head on and hopefully we conquer most if not all of them.
How do you feel about being this year’s SRC president?
It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to optimise my contribution to Wits community and the entire South African society. A blessing one can never take light. I just feel honoured and humbled and therefore would like to extend my gratitude to everyone who voted for PYA
What do you plan to do differently as compared to previous years Wits SRC presidents?
Life is never really about comparison, it’s not a contest. The right question is what are my plans? My plan is really to reach out to as many students as possible in their diversity. Just to mention a few:
- Student entrepreneurship is something that we really need to ensure that we actively and materially support. We are therefore going to create platforms for student entrepreneurs to be known and supported by the entire student population and even beyond.
- Community work is a must! We are members of the community before we are students. We are therefore looking into adopting at least 2 two disadvantaged schools. We are going to support the learners academically by providing tutoring sessions and as well as provide some political education so that they become conscious of the current socio-economic issues that they have a responsibility to provide solutions to. We are still engaging various stakeholders on this.
- We are also looking into the possibility of introducing an SRC scholarship. Obviously this a long term goal but the process will be initiated this year.
What is the one thing you would like for all first time students to know about their SRC President?
Lol, he can call for rain. But really, their president is a very chilled, approachable person who you can have a chat with at any time.
What are you currently studying?
BSc General majoring in Mathematics and Computational and Applied Mathematics.
How do you balance you school work and being a student leader?
That’s actually one of the most challenging things, especially given the political climate. It’s still something I am still working on.
How has the role of being SRC President been so far?
In all honesty it has been very challenging. I mean I was ushered in by a protest that no one could have prepared anyone for. That was one the most challenging times of my life because during the most difficult stages of last year’s protest my mother was hospitalised twice. But generally, it has been a great experience that is fully packaged with endless lessons and enormous growth.