“My father was murdered. My house burnt down. My dream is to study.” The tale of a top achiever

Ebenezer Odei has had a tough life with his home burnt down and father murdered. Despite the hardship, he achieved 5 distinctions and got accepted to UCT, but it’s unaffordable for his family and due to documentation issues he can’t get a bursary.


Life has not been easy for young Ebenezer Odei. When he was eight-years-old his home was burnt down during a violent outbreak of xenophobic attacks in 2008. Cape Town was not a safe place for the South African born Ghanaian whose family had to flee to the remote farming town of Vryburg in the North-West Province, which was an 18-hour trip by car

Six years later in 2014, Odei’s father was murdered on the evening of his birthday. He was the main breadwinner of the family and ran his own business working as an architect. His death devastated the family, and Odei was uncertain about his future or whether he could remain in South Africa.

Sturdily built and softly spoken, Odei worked incredibly hard through the pain and financial struggle, and achieved five distinctions out of his eight subjects. His dream is to study further and become a chartered accountant, and although he qualifies for numerous bursaries, Odei cannot get funding because of documentation issues.

“I want to carry on my father’s legacy and start my own business so I can support my family, but without a South African ID, I can’t get funding to study. I’ve been through over 20 applications and all require an ID,” said Odei. 

A helping hand 

A Cape Town based international money transfer company called Mama Money has already paid half of Odei’s tuition fees as he’s been accepted to study a Business Commerce degree at the University of Cape Town.

Odei still needs R30,000 for the remainder of his tuition, and a crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help him raise the money. This amount covers only the tuition fees, and Odei still worries about how he’ll afford the expensive textbooks, let alone accommodation nearby the university.

Odei and his mother, Elizabeth, now stay in Khayelitsha. The rest of his family, including his siblings, have gone back to Ghana following the death of his father. Odei only knows South Africa as he was born here, and hopes that this degree will give him the tools needed to become successful, and continue his father’s legacy.

Click here to support Ebenezer’s Odei’s dream to study »

Sources: Mama Educates 
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens.
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *