About Marake M Morapeli
Marake Michael Morapeli retired in 1994 as Chief Director in the Department of Education and Training. In 1982 he became the first Black Rector of the Soweto College of Education. He obtained an M Ed from Wits University in 1984.
He hailed from Bothaville in the Free State where he lost his father at a young age, resulting in him moving to Johannesburg with his uncle with whom he grew up. This move made it possible for him to progress with his education – as the child of a farmworker he would possibly at best have reached Grade 6. His uncle worked in a low paying job in a factory and the young Michael had to contribute to the cost of his education by working in shops and in gardens over weekends.
He became involved with Studietrust through his friend Rev Jan Hofmeyr, a youth minister in Soweto of the then Dutch Reformed Church in Africa of which Mr Morapeli was also a member. He found that his own background prepared him for a career of service to Studietrust as an organisation that makes educational opportunities available to young South Africans with the potential and determination but without the financial means. Mr Morapeli joined the Studietrust Board of Trustees in 1984 and served as its chair from 1992 to 2011, when he became the organisation’s patron.
Under his watch Studietrust grew from humble beginnings in 1974 to rendering financial aid totalling R63 206 867 to 1106 learners and students in 2013. The individual mentoring of students, in which Mr Morapeli in earlier years participated, resulted in a success rate of Studietrust bursars over the last decade of just under 90%.
In 2011 the first Marake M Morapeli Annual lecture was delivered by Studietrust alumnus Mr Thamsanqa Maqubela, at the time SAGDA CEO. This was followed in 2013 by Prof Tinyiko Maluleke, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg. Prof Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor of Wits University, accepted the invitation to deliver the 2014 lecture on 2 October, on the occasion of Studietrust’s 40th birthday celebration.
A video on Mr Morapeli’s life and contribution was made for screening at his farewell function when he stepped down as chair of the Studietrust Board in 2011 and can be watched by following this link.