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Former KFC CEO comes home to present the inaugural Roger Eaton “Make a Difference” Scholarship Award to Add Hope beneficiaries

On Monday 13 May 2019, Mr Roger Eaton, the former Chief Executive Officer of KFC Global, visited South Africa to present the inaugural Roger Eaton “Make a Difference” Scholarship Award to two young students supported by KFC’s social responsibility initiative, Add Hope which this year celebrates10 years.

Eaton, who retired as KFC CEO last year, after more than 20 years of service with Yum! Brands, was born and raised in South Africa. In honour of his contribution to the company, KFC South Africa established this legacy award in Eaton’s name.

At the awards ceremony Eaton said, “One of my last duties as CEO of KFC saw me come back home to South Africa. In fact, the very last KFC store that I visited officially was in Soweto. This was so incredibly impactful for me as . there truly is no other place like South Africa in the world in terms of its beauty, its uniqueness and its people.

“I am truly honoured to be part of this scholarship award, and I plan to provide hands-on guidance to our young awardees. Although academic performance is important, I would ask that our two winners also spend time focusing on their relationship performance. In the last five or so years, I’ve come to realise that building real connections with those around you can drive effectiveness in everything that you do. By getting to know colleagues properly and in turn being open and transparent with them can lead to genuine and trustworthy relationships. If our young scholars pay attention to this aspect in life, they will be amazed at what they can achieve.”

The very first recipients of the scholarship award are Johannesburg-based Mphilisi Emmanuel Dube and Mbuso Maphumula. As school-goers, both young men benefitted from the Add Hope programme through Afrika Tikkun, one of Add Hope’s national beneficiaries. Both young men have chosen to study at the North-West University (NWU).

Dube, who plans to study engineering said, “With this opportunity, I’m never turning back. Through Add Hope and Afrika Tikkun I have people around me who supported me when I needed it most. Someday, my community will need me, and I will be there to support them too.”

Maphumula, who will be studying optometry, said, “I cannot begin to say what it felt like to find out that I had been awarded the scholarship. When I initially applied for the scholarship it took me just a few minutes to complete the application form. Little did I know then that those few minutes would change my life.”

Dube and Maphumula are part of the more than 150 000 community of kids who have benefited from the Add Hope programme. Driven by customer and KFC donations combined, Add Hope enables the provision of vital daily nutrition and nurturing to pre-schoolers and school-goers (and often their families) through the programme’s over 140 beneficiaries.

The Roger Eaton “Make a Difference” Scholarship Award will be awarded annually to provide two full tertiary qualification bursaries to deserving individuals. The award will be offered to KFC Add Hope beneficiary organisations across the country who can nominate young individuals that they believe exhibit great potential.

Reflecting on the success of the Add Hope initiative, Eaton says the essence of its success comes from the relationships that the company has with its beneficiaries, enabling trust to be nurtured and hope to emerge.

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