Collen Tshifhiwa Mashawana receives his Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) degree at UNISA. Photo supplied.

Philanthropist Collins Mashawana honoured with doctorate degree


The University of South Africa (UNISA) conferred the a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (Honoris Causa) on well-known businessman and philanthropist Collen Tshifhiwa Mashawana on Thursday, 18 April.

Mashawana, who hails from Itsani near Thohoyandou, is known for his philanthropy. During an interview, he said he was humbled and grateful to receive his flowers while he could still smell them.

“It’s not just a personal accolade but a recognition of the collective effort of everyone involved with the Collen Mashawana Foundation. Each day, we strive to make a significant difference in the lives of those who are most vulnerable. Our work is fuelled by passion and commitment to change lives, and this honour strengthens our resolve to continue our mission,” he added.

He said the recognition was a powerful affirmation that the path he had chosen, focusing on the marginalised - the disabled, child-headed homes, and the elderly - was not only necessary but impactful.

“It validates our belief in active citizenship and community engagement, reminding us that our efforts are indeed making a tangible and meaningful difference in people’s lives. It encourages us to keep pushing boundaries and expanding our reach. We are a foundation that is firmly guided by biblical principles, and it is only by his grace that we have been able to do what we have done thus far,” Mashawana added.

Prof Derrick Mashau, acting deputy executive dean of the college of human sciences, lauded Mashawana's contributions, highlighting his foundation's construction of more than 300 homes for the elderly, people with disabilities, and child-headed families without external assistance. Mashawana's foundation also played a crucial role during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing essential aid to underprivileged and vulnerable communities.

Mashawana's impact extends beyond business as evinced by his recognition among the 100 most reputable Africans and receipt of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Department of Social Development.



Date:04 May 2024

By: Maanda Bele

Maanda  Bele, born and raised in Nzhelele Siloam, studied journalism at the Tshwane University of Technology.

He is passionate about current news and international affairs.

He worked as part of the Zoutnet team as an intern in 2017.

He is currently a freelance journalist specialising in news from the Vhembe district.

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