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Monday, August 15, 2022

South Africans helped pay off a final-year medical student’s debt



In a video posted on Instagram on Tuesday, fitness enthusiast and final-year medical student Mumtaaz Emeran reached out to many on social media asking for financial assistance to help get her degree. Thanks to many shares, tags and donations, Emeran has reached her financial target!

In the five-minute video, Emeran says, “I’m in a very tricky situation . . . This is a very difficult thing for me to do . . . to put out a video like this . . . but I thought why not swallow my pride for a second.”

Originally from Cape Town, Emeran explained that after finishing her final medical exam, she thought that she would feel excited, as one would. Unfortunately, this was not the case. A devastating message from her faculty stated that until her historical debt was paid, she would not be able to graduate.

“If it’s not settled by the 9th [today], my name will get removed from the graduation list.”

Emeran also explained how she accumulated the debt. “… in my third year I got a sponsor . . . I thought ‘everything would be sorted out, I don’t have to worry about money again’, but then unfortunately things happened.”

According to Emeran, someone had stolen money from the foundation sponsoring her, and because they didn’t know how to recover the funds, Emeran only found out on Monday that they wouldn’t be able to cover all the outstanding fees.

“The amount that I owe is ridiculous . . . It’s all the money that accumulated since third year because of everything that happened in the foundation. Money never really got into the Wits account and nothing was ever settled . . . To shock you a little, the amount is R471 000.

“I reached out to Wits and asked if there is anything that I can do… acknowledge the debt and take it on myself . . .  just so that I can graduate and get my degree and start working on the 1st of January, but unfortunately that was a big blunder. They said no.”

The video has since garnered over 380 000 views, with many social media users tagging celebs such as Rachel Kolisi, Somizi, the Motsepe Foundation, Trevor Noah and many other local and international celebs as well as local radio stations.

The video – titled “Unable to Graduate” – even got the attention of rugby players Siya Kolisi and Cheslin Kolbe.

Within 24 hours, Emran was able to pay off her debt.

“We did it! We raised the funds and we reached our target!,” said Emeran in a new video posted on Wednesday afternoon. “Thank you so so much!”

“Thank you to every one of you out there for all your prayers, your donations, for sharing my video, for getting the word out there, for commenting. You guys have really made my dream become a reality.

You guys have really shown me that the spirit of ubuntu can make anything possible.”

Emeran then explains that her video got the attention of Standard Bank and thanked all the employees at the bank. “They came through for me in a really big way.”

She then ended off by saying, “This is [going to] be something that I hope inspires a lot more people . . . not to give up and I hope it instills a lot of hope into South Africa – to show that if we stick together, anything is possible.”

Jade Rhode
"I write what I like" - Steve Biko


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