Phikolomzi (Phiko) Matikinca is the first recipient of the John and Maureen Summers Memorial Scholarship. He received a full scholarship to attend Rhodes University in Grahamstown where he has completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Geology and Environmental Science. He would like to go on to do post-graduate work and research in his field. Phiko, the third of six children in his family, was a top student at his high school in Umtata. After his mother passed away in 2010 he had to search for outside support to complete his high school education. After being admitted to Rhodes in 2013, he was desperate to find a way to fund his undergraduate degree. Phiko learned about the John and Maureen Summers Memorial Scholarship through an acquaintance and friend of Sifunda Kunye. With his excellent grades and tenacious personality, Sifunda Kunye was proud to award him the first scholarship. “Sifunda Kunye and Calabar Foundation were able to help me with all the necessary essentials such as paying my University fees, stationery, laptop, and a small stipend for living expenses to keep going through the year … I would like to thank everyone who is involved with the John and Maureen Summers Memorial Scholarship, Sifunda Kunye and Calabar Foundation for giving me an amazing opportunity to follow my dreams and achieve goals. I am eternally grateful and may God bless you all with good health and more years coupled with joy, love and peace.”
My story continues in 2018; since my Bachelor of Science (BSc) undergraduate and postgraduate BSc with Honours (BScHons) at Rhodes University, Grahamastown, South Africa. After graduating for my undergraduate degree in 2016, majoring in Environmental Science and Geology, I proceeded to pursue my postgraduate BSc Honours degree in 2017. I did my BSc Honours in Environmental Science with the Department of Environmental Science at Rhodes University. The Honours degree was made up of both, coursework and research components. At the end of 2017 when I finished my BSc Honours I graduated with Distinction and was awarded Full Academic Colours Certificate by Rhodes University. I still wanted to further my studies so I applied for a postgraduate Master of Science (MSc) degree majoring in Climate Change and Sustainable Development offered by the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). As such, I am currently busy with my Masters. My interests predominantly lie in academic research so that is why I applied for a MSc degree after my Honours. However, I am also keen on working in the industry to gain experience and have bits of both worlds.
The hopes I have for this year is to do well in my studies while enjoying the beauty of this city (City of Cape Town). My sincere gratitude goes to the John and Maureen Summers Memorial Scholarship for taking care of my studies financially, the Sifunda Kunye and Calabar Foundation team for the love and support they have shown me over the years. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity. May God equally bless you all.