Rhodes scoops six Mandela scholarships
The Mandela Rhodes Foundation has announced its selection of Mandela Rhodes Scholars – six of whom will be studying at Rhodes University this year.
With a total of 8 277 students, Rhodes University makes up 0.8% of all tertiary students in South Africa, making it one of the smallest universities in the country. The University has won six of the 52 scholarships awarded for 2017.
The scholarship is open to citizens of all African countries for postgraduate study at a South African university. Scholars are selected from hundreds of applicants on the basis of their commitment to education, reconciliation, leadership and entrepreneurship and a history of above-average academic performance.
During their time in residence, the Mandela Rhodes Scholars also participate in customised leadership development programmes.
This is the 13th year in which the scholarships have been awarded.
The vision of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation is to “build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa”, a match with the Rhodes University motto – “Where leaders learn”.
Siseko Kumalo who will pursue postgraduate studies in Political and International Studies and Philosophy has presented at a number of conferences on questions of language policies in higher education and sits on the language sub-committee of the Rhodes University Senate.
Kumalo continues to champion an educational project in Joza schools, where he assists students and teachers in curriculum development and teaching.
Poloko Mosesi will be studying towards a Master’s degree in Sociology. Recently, Mosesi’s endeavours and commitment to collect sanitary towels for school girls was acknowledged in her home town and the local municipality pledged to provide boxes of sanitary towels, as well as bicycles, so children have a way of getting to school.
Sheena Talma will be studying towards a Master of Science degree in Fisheries Science and Ichthyology.
Talma has also led the establishment of community engagement projects, such as the wildReach wildlife club at Ntsika High School.
Ancha Angel Bulunga will be studying towards her Master’s degree in Education. She has been a member of the student volunteer programme since her first year at Rhodes and has served as one of the student leaders at Home of Joy.
As an Allan Gray Fellow, Bulunga has been instrumental in the establishment of Existential Conversations with Inkululeko at Ntsika High School.
With a voracious appetite for literature and literary studies, Keenan Collett will be studying towards a Master’s degree in English. His passion for literary studies marries with and is fed by his intense commitment to social justice and community engagement.
Sinenhlanhla Bhengu will study towards a postgraduate degree in Economics.
Her vision is to improve the lives of South Africans by educating them to be critical thinkers: participants rather than observers, challengers of the norm and creators of opportunity. Bhengu was awarded the 2015 Allan Gray Academic Achievement award, as well as being on the Rhodes Dean’s List and being awarded an Investec Top 100 Academic Excellence award. In 2015, she founded a tutoring programme in her home community, where she taught English, Mathematics, and Science to school children.
“We congratulate our students for their contributions, and thank them for representing Rhodes University in a way that we can all be proud of,” said Mabizela.
“We trust this scholarship will further develop their knowledge and leadership and advance our objective of build- ing a better society and a better world.”
The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, based in Cape Town, is one of the three official charitable organisations established by former president Nelson Mandela. The others are the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
The MRF is a partnership with the Rhodes Trust, which separately administers the Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford University. Further information on the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship is available on their website: www.mandelarhodes.org
• Veliswa Mhlope is Rhodes University’s Communications Manager