It was decided on an impulse, but she knew it would work. Like the Springboks and their millions of supporters, she believed.
When captain Siya Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis Cup after the Springboks beat the All Blacks 12-11 in the final of the IRB Rugby World Cup in France, Nomvula Chasakara, chairperson of the Potchefstroom Campus Student Council (PCSC) at the North-West University (NWU), and her dedicated team had ensured that R100 000 would be allocated to aid struggling students with their registration fees in 2024.
On the day of that epic final, a large television screen was erected in the Amphitheatre on the Potchefstroom Campus and tickets to watch the game were sold to students. In total, 2 100 seats were available at R20 per ticket, or R30 for two tickets. At 19:45, more than an hour before kick-off, there was not an empty seat left.
This was done in collaboration with the office of the vice-chancellor, Prof Bismark Tyobeka, the office of Prof Daryl Balia, Potchefstroom Campus deputy vice-chancellor, the office of Dr Corrie Rheeder, director of Student Life on the Potchefstroom Campus, and the office of Danie Hefer, manager of the Central Bursary Office, who all contributed to making the magic R100 000 number a reality. Nomvula and her team raised R33 000, with the latter three offices sponsoring the rest. The funds raised will be distributed by the Central Bursary Office.
This is how it all began.
“Last week Monday, the deputy chairperson of the PCSC, the Students’ Interest and Development officer and I decided to go to the Student Life office to pitch our idea to Dr Corrie Rheeder. We explained that we would like to use the Rugby World Cup final to raise funds, with all the proceeds going to helping students register next year. She said if the registrar approved, we had her backing. We then spoke to the registrar, who gave the go-ahead. We decided to challenge Prof Bismark Tyobeka to match the ticket sales. He said that not only would he join us, he would match the sales as well,” Nomvula explains.
“When Saturday came, we had already sold more than 1 200 tickets. That evening we sold 870 more. The students came in their numbers. It was so exciting and we as the PCSC felt very proud. There were no incidents during the day or the event. Everyone just came together to support the Springboks. Prof Daryl Balia was kind enough to sponsor the television screen, and our other expenses ran to about R12 000, so it was a big success. It was an on-the-spot decision and all involved just came together in a remarkable fashion.”
The Springboks might have been crowned four-time world champions, but students from the NWU again showed why their culture of care makes winners of us all.