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I did not want Fresh Kid to collapse – Rajiv Ruparelia

At the end of last week, Patrick Ssenyonjo’s scholarship was approved by Kampala Parents School through the efforts of Rajiv Ruparelia. The school offered the young singer a full scholarship and he reported to school on Wednesday, admitted to Primary Two.
Fresh Kid’s scholarship came at a time when the State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi intervened and demanded to know whether Fresh Kid goes to school and suggested that he enroll in a boarding school but the parents rejected this. In stepped Rajiv Ruparelia who offered Fresh Kid a scholarship after he sat and passed the admission interview with 80 per cent.

Supporting talent
“I only identified a talent that was moving so fast and I feared that it would collapse in a short period,” Rajiv Ruparelia said. He added that there have been many people as talented as Fresh Kid but because they do not or never went through school, they easily collapse and their talent goes to waste.

“I sat and thought about Fresh Kid and how good he was and realised that if given a good education, he can maintain the talent and continue doing what he does better while at the same time going to school”.
Rajiv says he pays school fees for more than 50 children under his Ruparelia Foundation. “The other children are in different schools but I saw exceptional talent in Fresh Kid and the only way to make him polished is getting him from wherever to come and study at Kampala Parents School because it is well equipped.

Scholarship vs talent
When asked if the enrollment at Kampala Parents will also help in shaping his talent, Rajiv said: “Fresh Kid will get all the education that he needs but as Kampala Parents, there are also other facilities that he will find, for example, the Kampala Parents TV where pupils practice TV presenting, he will learn computer and other activities.
Rajiv says the school will respect the fact that Fresh Kid has a business as a singer and when a gig comes and he was committed to perform, he will go perform and return to class as long as his people communicate in time. “He is free to do his business because our job is to only offer education. He can always catch up on what he misses during break or lunch time.”

Possible future scholarships?
When asked if Ruparelia Group will continue paying school fees for Fresh Kid even in secondary school and probably at the university, Rajiv drives it back to commitment. “As Ruparelia Group, we are committed to giving Fresh Kid a good education and it is up to him to show that he is committed to being in school”. If he fails to live up to the standards and expectations of the school or the foundation, Rajiv says Kampala Parents has procedures that they follow and when Fresh Kid goes the wrong direction, they will have to engage his parents and whenever he makes his own decision with the parents, it will always be up to him.

What else comes with the scholarship?
Well, Fresh Kid is in a good school, we all expect him to have some upkeep from the foundation for him to be motivated. Rajiv says he could have chosen to pay school fees for Fresh Kid in Kawanda where he was studying, he also thinks that bringing Fresh Kid to Kampala Parents is more than a scholarship because he will access many facilities and also interact with like-minded pupils with various skills because he is not sure there is a swimming pool at the school in Kawanda.

logwal@ug.nationmedia.com

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