Investing in Greatness: Bulelani Ngqukuvana, Allan Gray Scholar | Allan Gray Orbis Foundation
Investing in Greatness: Bulelani Ngqukuvana, Allan Gray Scholar

Investing in Greatness: Bulelani Ngqukuvana, Allan Gray Scholar

Bulelani NgqukuvanaGrowing up

I was born in Cape Town at the Mowbray Maternity Clinic in 1999. I grew up with my family in an informal settlement which I always enjoyed, but when my parents separated I had to go live with my grandparents and seven other people. This was a bit hard as it wasn’t a big house that we shared – just two small rooms – but everyone got along. When my grandfather passed away I went to live with my grandmother, who worked for a family in Claremont.


The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation

I attended Grove Primary School and it was there that I first heard about the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. I knew I deserved a good education but was worried that I wouldn’t be accepted, as I thought that selection was based only on academics. Luckily, the Foundation also takes into account the personality of each individual, and whether they show the potential to make a difference. I knew I was willing to work hard and make the most of this opportunity – even if it meant leaving my family to get it. I was surprised and very grateful when I learned I was selected as an Allan Gray Scholar.


I am currently at Bishops Diocesan College. My favourite subject is Biology and I hope to someday study Business and Biochemistry at university.  I have also considered going into Zoology. My main interests are nature and inanimate organisms, and my passions are hockey and cooking. I have made the Disas Zonal hockey team. I am especially proud of this because I only started playing hockey last year, which goes to show that with hard work, determination and a good mentality, you can achieve anything in life. I have a unique personality and I strive to be myself and not who others want me to be, because I can’t change who I am until I know myself.

My Future

I see myself using innovative scientific inventions to try and improve the current state of our country. I hope to inspire young people who may think that they are not capable of doing big things – because after all, look at me. I am just a young person who grew up with my family in a shack. I knew I had the potential but I lacked the financial means. But lack of money never got us down and hopefully never will. My advice to young people who may doubt themselves because of their upbringing or circumstances? If you feel you can make a change don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, because with courage, determination and people who are willing to help, you will succeed. The fate of our country lies in your hands.


About the Author


  • Thabang kokwana 10/09/2013 at 7:57 pm

    Bulelani, my fellow brother, that truly is a touching post. Keep up the great stuff man. I’m proud to call you my Allan Gray Orbis Foundation brother.

  • melissa 23/09/2013 at 7:17 am

    When will we know which grade 6’s have past the application round and where we will be writing the exams

  • Ibrahim Kerbelker 25/11/2013 at 11:49 pm

    bulelani hard working lad

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