Making history – Tobela Gqabu, Lawhill’s first Master Mariner

At the end of 2010, 28-year-old Tobela Gqabu became Lawhill’s first, internationally-qualified Master Mariner, having obtained his Master’s Certificate of Competency.

Tobela had come a long way since 1999, when he, as a 16-year-old South African, applied for a Safmarine bursary to complete his schooling at Lawhill. He recalls how he had no idea what he was choosing when he selected his subjects, Maritime Economics and Nautical Science, among others.

He had also never heard of Safmarine, a company which not only funded his studies and the entire Maritime Studies programme, but also provided accommodation for out-of-town students through its donation of 47 shipping containers used to build a safe, comfortable and supportive boarding school environment.

Tobela Gqabu

Tobela Gqabu

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