Pay it forward

As many people in the InfoSec community are aware - getting your OSCP is something life-changing.
Worldwide, there are a vast number of individuals who understand what a golden opportunity it is to complete the PWK course, even more so when it’s free.

Yes, FREE!
No strings attached.
We just want our community to succeed.


Following the death of George Floyd, Offensive Security created their Social Responsibility Program. One of the goals of this program was to provide sets of PEN200 / Penetration Testing with Kali Linux vouchers to various community organisations around the world, who would be able to pass the voucher onto underrepresented individuals in the industry, or those who were trying to get into the industry.


Initially the applicants were restricted to South Africans only, but due to a surprising and disappointingly poor response from local candidates, submissions were opened up to applicants from Africa. This was done in an effort to keep the initiative as local as possible, and not to lose our momentum.

The application process comprised of roughly three steps:

  1. An application email, where the applicant needed to meet the criteria outlined here.
  2. If an applicant was considered suitable, their submission was followed up with a video meeting (aka, “the interview”). This was primarily to get to know the candidate better, as well as determine if they would be a good fit.
  3. Applicants were then asked to complete (aka ‘root’) three machines and submit a report.

This ensured that (other than requiring access to a computer and/or data) the process was entirely free, and that candidates were at an adequate technical competency to:

  1. Manage and benefit from the content in the PWK course and,
  2. Have a high likelihood of passing the exam after completing the course - as our intentions have always been to set our candidates up for success.


The campaign was aptly launched on Youth Day, 16 June 2021, and the final voucher was awarded on 25 May 2022. Below are some high-level stats from the last year:

  • 34 individuals applied to Pay It Forward
  • 33 were male
  • 1 applicant was female
  • 12 were from South Africa
  • 13 were from other African countries
  • 9 were from countries outside of Africa
  • 19 candidates were interviewed, 11 submitted reports and 10 vouchers were awarded.


Congratulations to our ten awardees, in chronological order:

  1. 1warrenshoko - South Africa
  2. Hustlebunny - South Africa
  3. Anonymous - Nigeria
  4. Anonymous - Madagascar
  5. Sp3ctrlM0nki3 - South Africa
  6. SonOfABot - Nigeria
  7. Anonymous - Madagascar
  8. Anonymous - Nigeria
  9. Anonymous - DRC
  10. Gari - Rwanda


I’d like to thank AngusRed for his help during the first 6 months and to TOKO for the second half of this year long process. I couldn’t have done this without you two and I’m beyond grateful for your contribution to this initiative.

I’d also like to thank those who agreed to be mentors. Spymky ran a Buffer Overflow workshop recently for candidates, classes like this allow questions to be asked in real-time and candidates can benefit enormously from sessions like these, and we (as a collective) will continue to contribute to their ongoing success.


Initiatives like this rely on the generosity of those who see the value in them. On that note, I’m delighted to announce that I was able to secure another 10 PWK vouchers from Offensive Security, which means PIFv2 will be starting up soon!

Pay it forward!

Candidates who have already applied will be prioritised, as well as South African candidates - but if you think you meet the criteria and would like to apply, please follow the instructions here.

I cannot wait to see what the next chapter of the Pay It Forward initiative will bring, and how many lives HackSouth is going to be able to change.