Thirty-six year old, Wilmore Choto’s life-changing opportunity quite literally started with a click. He read about the Vulamathuba Empumelelo Bursary in Communicare’s monthly tenant newsletter and seized the moment to apply to further his studies and better his life and that of his wife and son.

With the assistance of the bursary, Wilmore is studying toward a Diploma in Electrical Engineering at Northlink College to fulfil his ambition of getting a qualification and ensuring that his family are better taken care of. “I didn’t like the types of jobs I was doing before,” he says. “I worked in the restaurant industry as a waiter for about six years, and I didn’t want to grow old and still be stuck as a waiter. I didn’t wish to see myself retiring while in that field of work”.

He was further inspired by his childhood and humble beginnings. Coming from a family of eight in rural Zimbabwe, he excelled academically and socially at school achieving many awards. “Growing up in a family of eight children was not easy. Money wasn’t always enough for all of us. I always dreamt of being a successful businessman so that I could support those that were in need”.

He fondly recalls, “My favourite childhood memory was when I wrote an end-of-year examination and forgot to write my name on the answer sheet. The teacher then came and gave everyone their answer sheet with their marks and I was the only one who didn’t get his marks. It turns out, my marks were the highest in the entire school. I had passed with 96%”.

“Education is the key to success, and success comes with hard work,” he adds.

Now, Wilmore has the opportunity to achieve his dream. When asked why he chose Electrical Engineering, he said, “It is one of the fields that I discovered I would never go wrong with because every household, business premises or school requires electricity to function. I knew there is demand in this field”.

Finding funding for his studies was not easy as funding for foreign nationals is limited. “It took me about seven years, until Vulamathuba Empumelelo came in as an angel sent to rescue me. In a foreign land, you either need to have your sponsor or you must pay for yourself to study. I tried to apply everywhere for bursaries. After seven years of looking for someone to fund my studies, I finally found hope when the Vulamathuba Empumelelo Bursary came my way”.

Wilmore further shares how he balances working and pursuing his studies. “Working and studying has never been an easy thing, it needs determination and knowing what you want in life for you to keep pushing and stay focused. I had to work to pay for my college fees, rent, food and other needs. I remember there was a time I suffered from depression and anxiety for three months because the workload and studies were a bit too much, but now I have learnt how to balance the two. It is possible to work and study, but it’s a life that needs discipline and proper planning”.

To adults looking to get a qualification he says, “There is a time when you must prioritise only your work and studies and forget about pleasure a bit because the time to enjoy will come when you have completed your studies. Keep pushing and never lose hope”.

Wilmore plans to someday open his own company and use his acquired qualification and skills to give back. “My biggest dream is to have my own Electrical institution where I will train young people about this field and empower them”.

To Vulamathuba Empumelelo, he said,  “Keep up the good work you are doing. Thank you so much for the opportunity you gave me. I appreciate it so much and now I see my dream of obtaining a BTech Degree and pursuing a career in Electrical Engineering becoming so real, closer and closer”.


The Vulamathuba Empumelelo Bursary Programme seeks to identify and award deserving disadvantaged candidates (including people with disabilities) who have demonstrated talent and determination in their previous academic lives. Contact