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JOHANNESBURG/07 December 2018 – The Secretariat, Rhodes Scholarships in Southern Africa is pleased to announce the election of the 2018 Rhodes Scholars-elect for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland to study at the University of Oxford from October 2018.

The Rhodes Scholarship, awarded for the first time in 1903, provides exceptional students with the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

Each year 89 Rhodes Scholars are selected from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica & the Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), United Arab Emirates, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In Southern Africa there are:

  Ø  four Scholarships every year for applicants from South Africa-at-Large,

  Ø  one for applicants from KwaZulu-Natal,

  Ø  one for applicants from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland, and

  Ø  one each for applicants of or from:

    o   Diocesan College, Rondebosch (Bishops) and its partner schools, St Cyprian’s School, St George’s Grammar School, Herschel Girls School, and LEAP 1 School;

    o   South African College School, Newlands (SACS) and its partner schools, Sans Souci Girls’ High School and Rustenburg High School for Girls;

    o   Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch and its partner schools, Rhenish Girls’ High School and Bloemhof Girls’ High School; and

    o   St Andrew’s College, Grahamstown and its partner school, Diocesan School for Girls.

Applicants to the Rhodes Scholarship are evaluated on academic excellence, character, leadership, and commitment to service.

Ndumiso Luthuli, General Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarships in Southern Africa, congratulated the Rhodes Scholars-elect on their achievement: ‘As always, it is an honour to meet young, bold South Africans who have excelled in the classroom and have begun to tackle significant challenges in the wider world. We are inspired by their achievements, their drive and commitment to the public good. We wish them all the best at Oxford and beyond.’

The Rhodes Scholars-elect for the year 2017 are:  

South Africa-at-Large:

Bronwyn Gavine (26) was born in Potchefstroom and attended St Andrew’s School in Welkom. She completed her MBChB with 1st class honours at the University of Cape Town, and went on to complete her internship in East London at Cecelia Makiwane and Frere Hospital. She is an advocate for equal access to quality healthcare, with a focus on surgical and neurosurgical services. As a student, she ran SHAWCO Health’s Simthandile Clinic and assisted in developing a health promotion programme that was implemented in all of the clinics. She was Vice President of the UCT Surgical Society, and in 2014 she was Deputy Chair of the organizing committee of the International Association of Student Surgical Societies (IASSS), which hosted its inaugural multinational surgery conference in Cape Town that year. She is passionate about neuroscience and neurosurgery, with a focus on disease profiles that impact developing countries, and South Africa in particular. Her research focus has been the burden and impact of traumatic brain injury and tuberculous meningitis in the paediatric population, which she has presented at conferences, and published. At Oxford, she plans to read for an MSc in Neuroscience.

Morategi Kale (22) was born in Pretoria and attended Pretoria High School for Girls. She is a graduate of the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Social Science in International Relations (with distinction) and Philosophy. She has recently finished her Honours in International Relations where her thesis was written on a feminist critique of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Throughout her studies, Morategi has worked keenly on increasing and improving youth participation in policy-making – particularly in climate change policy. In 2015, she was invited to join the official South African delegation to COP21 in Paris, where she was invited to speak on a panel for hosted by the World Association for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and a panel on green jobs organised by the African Development Bank.  She has co-authored and edited a Youth in Climate Action report that will be included in South Africa’s official report on climate action to the United Nations. Morategi looks forward to pursuing an MPhil in Development Studies at Oxford and thereafter, return to South Africa to undertake a career in research and in the public sector.

Lehlohonolo Moche (23) was born in Pretoria and attended Pretoria High School for Girls, where she was Deputy Head Girl in 2012. She completed a Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Engineering (with distinction) at the University of Pretoria in 2016. She is currently completing masters in Industrial Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar. She is passionate about the empowerment of women particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and therefore founded a Lean In chapter at the University of Pretoria. Lehlohonolo also as mentors undergraduate engineering students. She is an alumnus the South Africa-Washington-International Programs and the Women in Engineering Fellowship. As part of the programs, she undertook community engagement projects at PEN Ignite Education Centre and at Seshegong Secondary School. She has won the WomEng Technovation Challenge. She intends to pursue a master’s degree in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation while at Oxford.

Koot (Jacobus) Kotze (26) was born in Somerset West and attended Parel Vallei High School. Koot attended Stellenbosch University where he completed his MBChB (cum laude). Koot was awarded the university’s highest academic honour, the Chancellor’s Medal. He has published four academic articles (one as the principal author) and also writes in the media. He currently works in East London, and is excited to be starting community service at Zithulele Hospital in 2018. As a student, he was a co-founder of the NGO TB Proof, which advocates for the prevention of TB transmission, access to new and safer TB medications and the reduction of TB stigma. He was also a co-founder of the Safe Working Hours Campaign, which advocates for the implementation of continuous shift limits to prevent harm to patients and practitioners within the South African healthcare setting. He loves reading, spending time outdoors, dogs, and enjoying the company of his wife, family and friends. At Oxford, will study towards an MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine.

Farah Jawitz (25) was born in Cape Town and attended Westerford High School. A medical doctor, artist and activist, Farah is passionate about improving the lives of patients and healthcare workers through innovation and human-centred design. Farah is currently serving as the chairperson of the Western Cape branch of the Junior Doctors Association of South Africa, and leads various campaigns affecting junior doctors. She co-led the Safe Working Hours campaign which reviewed the impact of fatigue on medical error and led to a reduction in the maximum continuous shift for junior doctors in South Africa. She is an avid painter, vocalist and clarinettist. Farah aims to pursue an MSc in international and tropical medicine and MBA at Oxford.

Dylan Barry (22) was born in Johannesburg and attended Sacred Heart College. Dylan completed a BSc (with distinction) at the University of the Witwatersrand with majors in Economics and Physics, and has just completed an Honours degree with a focus on theoretical physics. He is a contributing author on the 2017 UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Youth Report and a UNESCO Youth Ambassador. In 2017, Dylan won a challenge posed by Pravin Gordhan and Trevor Manuel to draft a Charter of Economic Rights in supplement to the South African constitution’s Bill of Rights. He was the lead economics contributor on the group of students and academics that authored the Thuto ke Lesedi financial model for free undergraduate higher education in South Africa. Dylan represented South Africa at the 2015 Junior World Orienteering Championships in Norway.

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Kumeren Govender (24) was born in Durban and attended Star College. is currently completing his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree and Master’s degree in Health Science on a special dual-track degree program at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa. During his undergraduate years of study, he has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, written letters to journal editors and presented at conferences. He founded the South African Medical Students Association UKZN branch and coordinates numerous social campaigns. He is an accomplished violinist and also swims the Midmar mile, which is the world’s largest open water swim. Govender hopes to bridge knowledge from developed worlds to developing worlds and contribute to pioneering innovative and interdisciplinary solutions that are globally relevant to ultimately improve the lives of those burdened by diseases.

Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland:

Temwa Chimphepo (22) was born in Malawi and attended the Marymount Catholic Secondary School. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree (Economics) with Distinction from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. Temwa was awarded the National Bank of Malawi: Best Student award for the Faculty of Social Science in 2016. She developed interest in Mathematics and started working on Statistics for Economists and Abstract Algebra books; planned for completion in 2018This award came with a cash gift that Temwa used to provide gifts for SOS Children’s Villages in Mzuzu. Temwa has served as an intern at World Bank in Malawi and was part of the team drafting the fifth edition of the Malawi Economic Monitor launched in June 2017. She has also interned at World Vision Malawi in the Education Department. At Oxford, Temwa will study towards an MSc in Mathematical and Computational Finance and an MSc in Financial Economics. Upon completion of her studies, Temwa intends to be a lecturer and an investor raising money to sustain philanthropic organisations.

Schools’ Scholars-Elect

Bishops, St Cyprian’s, St George’s Grammar, Herschel Girls, and LEAP 1 School

This committee did not award a scholarship for 2018.

SACS, Sans Souci Girls’ and Rustenburg High School for Girls

This committee did not award a scholarship for 2018.

Paul Roos Gymnasium, Rhenish Girls’ High and Bloemhof Girls’ High

Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen (27) choose a career in medicine as it represents an intersection between people’s stories, science and policy. She obtained an MBChB (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch. She is co-founder of the NGO, TB Proof, which focuses on preventing Tuberculosis transmission in healthcare facilities and reducing TB stigma. She co-led the Safe Working Hours campaign which reviewed the impact of fatigue on medical error and led to a reduction in the maximum continuous shift for junior doctors in South Africa. She founded the Stellenbosch University Medical Orchestra in which she played the oboe for five years. Helene-Mari would like to pursue a career in public health and intends to study Primary Care at Oxford University, looking at strategies for TB prevention in high burden settings.

St Andrew’s College

Aaron Graham (23) was born in Johannesburg and attended St Andrew’s College in Grahamstown. He graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2016 with first class honours in a BSc. Eng. (Mechanical). He is currently completing an MSc. Eng. focusing on Continuum Mechanics and Finite Element Methods. Throughout his university career he has been heavily involved in student organisations, focusing on ethical leadership and effective governance, winning an award for best performing sub warden. He is an officer in the South African Navy, spending a couple of months per year with them. Aaron intends to read for a DPhil in Engineering Science at Oxford, focusing on material characterisation and FEA modelling of soft biological tissue during impact events. Aaron spends his free time hiking, running and reading, as well as tending to his bonsai.

For further information please contact Annette Gibson at or Trudi Makhaya at or visit

Notices Oxford social enterprise start-ups

Social entrepreneurs vie for Skoll prize

The Skoll Centre is pleased to announce the finalists of this year’s Skoll Venture Awards. Each venture will pitch at the final on Thursday, 15 June.



VRTU (pronounced virtue) delivers simulated time-travel therapy to dementia patients through virtual reality content. While dementia is widely speculated as incurable, the mission of VRTU is to improve the quality of life of sufferers by triggering intact long-term memories to enhance cognitive, physical, and emotional capabilities.


Redbird Health Tech will operate in Ghana to offer a full suite of rapid diagnostic tests (pregnancy, malaria, diabetes, UTI, anaemia, cholesterol) via pharmacies so that patients have a more convenient and broader range of care than currently experienced. They intend to circumvent the existing supply chain and import directly from rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) manufacturers.


PowerMarket simplifies the process (feasibility through construction) of switching to solar, through an online, machine learning enabled platform which overlays solar potential, local regulatory benefits, and cost inputs from local suppliers and financiers.

The expert judging panel consists of:
Amanda Feldman – Director of the Bridges Ventures’ Bridges Impact+ team
Paul Miller – Partner at Bethnal Green Ventures
Lyn Hill – Consultant to the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

Please join us for the Skoll Venture Awards Pitch Event on Thursday, 15 June at Oxford’s Saïd Business School. Successful finalists will be awarded up to £20,000 in grant funding from the Skoll Centre. The winner/s will be announced on the night, followed by a networking drinks reception.

Register here
By: Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
achievement Opportunities Oxford

Slaying the scholarship game – advice from a selector

– by Eusebius Mckaiser

After 6 years of doing duty as a regional committee member selecting potential Rhodes Scholars to Oxford, I now retire from the Eastern Cape/Free State regional committee, so that a new pair of eyes can join that committee. I will do no other selection committee work this year, but might again in a year or two.

With all that experience, and no conflict-of-interest, I want to give advice to students about scholarships. Not every scholarship selection process is the same, but there are some general truths worth noting, and in particular if you’re applying for the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, all of my advice will apply:

1. Do NOT leave your application to the last minute. Trust me, it WILL show in the quality of your written application, the quality of the testimonials you submit, and the quality of your engagement during scholarship interviews. Give yourself plenty of time to submit the best possible paper application.

2. The SINGLE most important advice – which really makes me tearful when I think of how many brilliant young people make this mistake – is this: do not decide for yourself whether you are worthy of a scholarship.

Apply. It is not illegal. It is not embarrassing. But take a chance on yourself.

Self-exclusion is one of the worst tragedies many young people suffer. It is sometimes based on lack of knowledge about opportunities, but it is more often based on us not knowing we are talented or worthy because no one told us.

achievement education inspiration Opportunities Oxford Rhodes Scholarship travel Video

Studying abroad – pros, cons, how to go about it

Deadlines are looming for those applying for admission and funding to study abroad. A while back, I chaired this #eNCAlive discussion on the benefits (and downsides) of studying abroad. My guests – Itumeleng Malebye (an executive at Alexander Forbes) and Nhlanhla Dlamini (founder of Maneli Group) – are open and engaging about their experiences abroad, and offer some useful tips on how to go about this journey. Itu did his A levels in Scotland in the  late 1980s and earned a degree in social sciences at Manchester University in England.  Nhlanhla, a Rhodes scholar, obtained a masters degree at Oxford University in England and an MBA from Harvard University in the US. Watch and learn.

economic development literary non-fiction Oxford travel

Oxford in September

Christ Church, September 2012 (Trudi M with friends)

It’s been ten years since Thuli first set foot on Woodstock Road. She came to Oxford to read for a master’s degree in development economics. Oxford in September is cool and serene. The cab driver could not resist to point out that is a lovely day. As usual, Thuli is not able to take full advantage of this crisp and bright day because she has some work to do. Has she ever had a peaceful moment in Oxford?

As soon as Thuli had been dropped off at the front door of the short let apartment building that she was staying in, she mapped the day ahead of her. She would walk into the city to get some basic supplies – nice tea, fruit and salad basics, and some snacks. She expected that she would eat out a lot over the coming week. The small apartment is further from the city centre than she had estimated from the map. But it would be good to walk, she assured herself. She looked forward to sashaying down Woodstock Road again, taking in her old neighbourhood without all that early twenties angst.

Such angst there was. Why had that blue-eyed boy of the economics department; in that case a tall Nigerian young man, not returned her affections? The last she had heard of him, he was chasing a doctorate in the United States. Did her statistics professor put all the black students in one study group out of racism, or was it just a coincidence? Thuli had never been able to estimate, to a reasonable degree of accuracy, how much racism there was at Oxford. Nothing overt would ever occur here. The place was too civilised. But a lot can be betrayed by the tone of a lecture, by invitations to the high table (or lack thereof), or by a look on the street.

There was a certain king of angst that was shared by almost all Oxford students – undergraduate or post-graduate, rich or middle class, black or otherwise. It all boiled down to one question. Am I good enough to be here? Thuli had been sophisticated enough; as a young, black woman; to have anticipated the question even before she stepped onto Woodstock Road. She was aware of the ‘impostor syndrome’. But it is one thing to devour African-American and feminist literature and quite another to come face to face with doubt. There were incidents that made her wonder whether some of her professors would prefer to be educating someone else, some brilliant creature with more testosterone and far less melanin.

Some things had changed in the stretch of Woodstock Road she was most familiar with, but a lot had stayed the same. The Quakers, the Scientologists and the Blackfriars were still here. And the Oxfam store, to which she had once donated the stuff that she could not justify shipping home or carrying in her already over-sized bags. Charity under duress. Then again, it’s possible that all charity is given under pressure. Fear, guilt, vanity or power.

A degree in development economics has had a curious effect on Thuli. She cannot stomach institutionalised charity, especially when it came in the form of international aid or corporate social responsibility. Her scepticism had its roots in her childhood. Her grandmother had inculcated in her a deep belief in self-help. Even though the old woman had lived the best years of her life under apartheid, her spirit was indomitable. With that upbringing, and postgraduate years spent poring through the development literature, Thuli just doesn’t buy the notion that development could be driven from the outside. Each community would have to develop from within, harnessing its own capabilities, on its own terms. Outsiders could facilitate this, but not drive the process in the way that some members of the aid elite imagined that they could. This is probably how Thuli ended up in management consulting, steering clear of the development bank/NGO/think tank constellation that absorbed most of her former classmates.

A small brown door stood ajar. Thuli pushes the door open. It’s heavy. She is reminded that this university was built for men. She peaks in. There is no-one in the entrance lobby. Outside the porter’s lodge stands a middle aged woman with all the hallmarks of Oxford dowdy chic. Her well-conditioned but slightly messy hair frames a face that has been surrendered to the work of time. A scarf is tied loosely around her neck. She wears a grey, form-fitting trench coat over loose black plants. The outfit is completed by navy-blue Ferragamo pumps. Her step is agile but her eyes are distracted. Thuli tries to catch her eye but the woman looks past her. It is just before term and the building is completely still. This was Thuli’s college. She looks around the deserted halls and feels no desire to call on the warden. She steps back into the daylight.

Thuli walks on. A new building sets her off into a mild panic. But a minute later, she finds that the Royal Oak is still intact. At the exact spot where she expects one, a homeless person sits outside St Cross College, engrossed by his book. The real change is that Thuli sees more of the town now. She sees the shop owners, the assistants, and the woman in a power suit wheeling a lawyer’s case – that other Oxford that was barely visible to her as a student. As she walks past a bank, she notices the mortgage rates. Grown-up eyes. Nostalgia kicks in. With the benefit of time, she has to admit to herself that she had a decent time here.