Martin Moshal addresses executives to be a part of the Moshal Scholarship Program at the Radisson Blu Hotel. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Martin Moshal addresses executives to be a part of the Moshal Scholarship Program at the Radisson Blu Hotel. Photo: Caro Malherbe

The Moshal Scholarship Program invests in individuals who could end up mopping floors if they are not given opportunities.

The program that started in 2010, by Martin Moshal, seeks out exceptional individuals who have the potential to succeed.

“Potential is being wasted because they are too busy mopping up floors instead of mopping up the country,” said Moshal, when he addressed a group of executives at a conference at the Radisson Blu on Friday.

Selina Thebede is a UJ Business Science student. She majored in finance, economics, accounting and information-systems and is now a graduate of the Moshal Scholarship Program.

Before she was awarded the scholarship she found herself being uncertain of where she would end up. She did not think tertiary education was even an option.

Thebede overcame a lot in her life and now gives back to society by being actively involved in charities and using what she has learnt to be an example to others.

Like Thebede, 400 other students from Israel and South Africa have been given the opportunity to be properly educated because of the Moshal Scholarship Program.

“The way scholar selections take place is rather unique. Not only do we take academics into account, we also look for students with dogged determination to better themselves and their communities,” said Kate Kuper, Moshal president.

“In Jadish, the word for luck is ‘muzzle’,” said Moshal. .

“Most people who are successful got to where they are because of luck. This program is aimed at giving students from disadvantaged backgrounds a bit of ‘muzzle’ by creating opportunities for success”, he said.

The conference was to create corporate partnerships with top businesses in the country that will give Moshal students the opportunity to build networks, receive mentoring, internship possibilities and financial support.

Professor Jonathan Jansen from the University of the Free State spoke about the “graduate of the future”. His body language grabbed the audience’s attention, as he knocked over a bottle of water from the table while flinging his arms around in explanation.

Jansen said: “The pool of well-trained graduates will be small.” Receiving education is just half of what is needed to be successful. The other half is practical training in the working world, something that one does not get from at university.

The program is offered to students at all main South African universities, including Wits.

The conference room was made up of representatives from companies such as Investec, IQ Business, The National Treasury and a few major South African banks. As well as university and oil and mining companies such as Sasol and Anglo American delegates, just to name a few.

Corporate partners will follow students throughout their studies as potential future employees.

Gareth Cliff is one of the directors and partners of One on One Productions. This company has joined the program to train students in additional skills such as presentation, etiquette, body language and general dispositions- practical skills which are often overlooked as being necessary to find a job.

Jansen said he believed the program is beneficial because the time students spend getting a degree, being educated and training in the working world all “come together in a beautiful way”.