Bekisizwe "Stanley" Ndimande was born in a township in the northern Transvaal in South Africa. He survived the brutal segregated South African education system and did well enough on his school leaving exams or "matrics" to qualify for admission to an historically black university. But of course he did not have the money to pay the tuition fees that would gain him admission and access to the country's loan system. My scholarship organization, University Scholarships for South African Students, provided him with that money and he enrolled at the University of Durban Westville. He did well, supported each year by one of my grants. After graduation he came on a US government grant to the University of Massachusetts School of Education. From there he went to the University of Wisconsin at Madison to do a doctorate in education. Yesterday, I received an email from him, telling me that he has just been promoted with a large salary increase to the rank of full professor at the University of Texas San Antonio.
Some of you may be familiar with The Brothers Karamazov. If so, you will no doubt remember the fable that Grushenka tells Alyosha about the old lady and the onion. I often think that Bekisizwe is my onion. When I die and go to hell, I hope I will be able to restrain myself from kicking as I am pulled out of hell by the angel holding the onion.