[WATCH] Local Rugby star (20) to tackle an American Dream

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Philani Simamane (20) from Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-zulu Natal has always dreamed of playing rugby overseas and obtaining a university degree.

Despite coming from a disadvantaged background, Philani was appointed as a prefect at Maritzburg College and completed his National Senior Certificate in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree pass.

As a talented sportsman, Philani, played 1st team rugby for 3 years and gained provincial age-group selection. He also captained the 1st Basketball team in his final year. 

Philani Simamane

In awe of his sporting ability, Philani has been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity – a scholarship by LIFE University in the United States of America.

Without funds to cover the cost of his visa application, flights and his freshman year’s fees, estimated to cost about R150 000, Philani’s friend, Andrew Soden, launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy in hopes that he will be able to enrol at the university in January 2021.

Since his campaign launched on the 9th of October, almost R86 000 has already been raised through kind donations from 20 donors both locally and abroad.

“I met Philani a couple of years ago as the scholarship recipient of an educational Foundation I supported. A more humble, committed and engaging young man you would be hard-pressed to find! This campaign being successful will mean that Philani will be able to successfully enrol at the US university and will be the kickstart to him realising his dream” says Andrew

View Philani’s crowdfunding campaign:
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South Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy has supported more than 10 000+ individuals and charities in setting up fundraising campaigns for medical fees, tuition and various causes in South Africa. The platform has thus far raised over R200 Million.


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