The Secretariat, Rhodes Scholarships in Southern Africa is pleased to announce the election of the 2016 Rhodes Scholars-elect for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland to study at the University of Oxford from October 2016.

The Rhodes Scholars-elect for the year 2016 are:  

South Africa-at-Large:

Qhayiya Magaqa (23) grew up in Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape. She attended Stutterheim High School where she became head prefect in 2010. She was also a silver medallist for the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists Nationals in 2009, the Schools’ Christian Association Co-Chairperson in 2010 and a silver medallist in the De Beers National English Olympiad also in 2010. She earned a BSc in Physiotherapy at the University of Cape Town with distinction. During her degree, she held the UCT Health Sciences Entrance Scholarship in 2011 and the UCT Health Sciences Faculty Academic Merit Scholarship from 2012 to 2014. She was awarded the Class Medal for the Best Student in Clinical Physiotherapy in 2014. Qhayiya is currently on a community service placement at Zithulele Mission Hospital in the Eastern Cape. She has applied her physiotherapy skills at the Cape Argus Cycle Tour and the Two Oceans marathon and was a member of UCT SHAWCO Physiotherapy. Qhayiya is actively involved in church activities and was children’s leader at Jubilee Community Church between 2012 and 2014. Her interests include playing the guitar, singing and song-writing. At Oxford, Qhayiya hopes to read for an MSc in Global Health Science.

 

Ofentse Makgae (23) was born in the North West province and attended Manamakgotha High School. He was a silver medallist for the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists Nationals in 2009. A holder of the 2015 James Moir Medal of the South African Chemical Institute, Ofentse is currently enrolled for an MSc in Chemistry (Materials Science) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Ofentse is the recipient of the 2015 South Africa Chemical Institute Young Chemist award and the 2015 Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials prize. He also held a position as an in-service trainee at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Ofentse holds a Bachelor of Technology in Chemistry (cum laude) from the Tshwane University of Technology. Ofentse has been awarded the Mendeleev Chemistry Excellence award several times at the Tshwane University of Technology. He was a recipient of the Merit Bursary between 2010 and 2012. Ofentse was public relations officer for the Independent Student Movement at Tshwane University of Technology and a senior mentor to first year students. He serves on the Wits Chemistry Society committee and is a member of South African Chemical Institute, International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE), and Applied Centre for Climate and Earth System Sciences (ACCESS). Ofentse’s interests outside science include philosophy, international law and social justice. At Oxford, he hopes to read for a DPhil in Materials.

Romina Olivia Mariano (26) was born in Johannesburg and attended St Teresa’s Mercy School, where she was elected Head Girl in 2006. In 2004, Romina won the De Beers English Olympiad and the National Eskom Science Expo. She attended the International Science Expo of 2005 in Santiago, Chile as a member of the South African team. Romina is currently a community service medical officer at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. She holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (with distinction) from the University of the Witwatersrand. She also completed an advanced neurology clerkship (with distinction) in 2011 at Harvard University. Romina received the Kurt Gillis Award for Psychiatry in 2012, presented to the most distinguished final year student in psychiatry. Since graduating Romina has held various leadership positions during her internship and community service years, has participated in clinical trials and has been actively involved in the mentorship of medical students at her alma mater. Romina’s interests include photography, ballroom dancing and swimming. At Oxford, Romina hopes to read for an MSc in Neuroscience.

Sakhe Mkosi (22) was born in Fort Beaufort. He attended Pretoria Boys’ High, where he matriculated with distinction and earned the headmaster’s and housemaster’s awards in 2010. Sakhe was the school chess champion in 2009 and 2010. He enrolled for a Bachelor of Commerce (Financial Accounting, CA Stream) at the University of Cape Town, which he obtained with distinction. This was followed by a Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting, also earned with distinction. Sakhe turned his attention to the social sciences and in 2015 enrolled for an MPhil in Public Policy and Administration. A three-time USSA National Chess Champion with UCT’s 1st chess team, Sakhe has served as chairperson of the chess club, treasurer of the Students Sport Union and also treasurer of the Smuts Hall Residence House Committee.  Sakhe is a mentor in the UCT College of Accounting EDU/Thuthuka Support Programme. He has also guided high school learners participating in the Township Debating League. At Oxford, he hopes to read for an MPhil in Development Studies.

Kgaugelo Sebidi (23) was born in Benoni. He attended Kweledi Secondary School in Burgersfort in Limpopo where he was President of the Learners Representative Council in 2010. After matriculating in 2010, he worked for a year, then enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Johannesburg. Kgaugelo was one of the University of Johannesburg’s First Year Top Achievers in 2012. A two time UJ Humanities Faculty Deans List candidate, in 2014, he was also a member of the invitation-only Ujenius club for top achievers. He earned his undergraduate degree with distinction and is currently studying towards a BA Honours in Development Studies at the University of Cape Town, where he is a Harry Crossley Fellow. He served as a peer buddy at Centre for Psychological Services and Career Development at the University of Johannesburg and as a tutor at UCT’s Education Development Unit and Students Health and Welfare Centres Organisation. At Oxford, he hopes to read for an MPhil in Development Studies.

Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland:

 Mary Jiyani (22) was born in Blantyre, Malawi and completed her A-levels at the Kamuzu Academy. In 2011, Mary attained the silver and bronze standard of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International award for her community service. A Mandela Rhodes scholar, Mary is enrolled in an undergraduate Bachelor of Laws at the University of Cape Town. From 2012 to 2014, Mary has been placed on the Dean’s Merit List. She is the senior editor of Altum Sonatur (the law school’s magazine). Mary has held the Ionann Scholarship for Criminal Justice (2015) and the International Bar Association Bursary (2014). The most outstanding student in Woolsack Residence in 2014, Mary was also recognised for attaining the top position at Tugwell Hall Residence in 2012 and 2013. Mary has served as a volunteer for the Legal Welfare Community Organisation and for the UCT’s Refugee Rights Unit. On the sports field, Mary was captain of the Kamuzu Academy Netball team and has excelled in running, discus and high jump. At Oxford, Mary hopes to read for a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL).

 Schools’ Scholars-Elect

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

 Diederick (Dee) Ferrandi (22) was born in Somerset West and attended Diocesan College (Bishops). He matriculated with eight distinctions in 2011 and was the 9th best student in the Western Cape. At the University of Cape Town he earned a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics, Statistics and Philosophy, with distinction) and Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in Economics. In all his undergraduate years he was the top economics student at UCT, and he graduated top of the BCom class of 2014. He was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award in 2012, Commerce Faculty Scholarships in 2013 and 2014, and a National Research Foundation Scholarship in 2015. Dee has been a Head Tutor in the School of Economics since January 2014, teaching economics and managing the tutorial systems of large undergraduate economics courses. In 2013 and 2014, Dee was a consultant at Siyaya, a student-run organization that assists unemployed South Africans in starting their own businesses. Dee is passionate about research and teaching, and his personal interests include running, reading, golf and travel. Dee hopes to read for an MPhil in Economics at Oxford.

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

 Kirsten Zoliswa Rowe (25) was born in Cape Town and attended Rustenburg Girls’ High School. She matriculated with 7 distinctions and was placed in the top 3 in the Western Cape for Latin and Music. She studied medicine (MB ChB) at Stellenbosch University where she was awarded academic colours for four consecutive years of distinctions. As a medical student, she helped establish environmental committees on campus. She participated in the 2012 World Choir Games in the USA with the Stellenbosch University Choir who were placed 1st. She is completing her internship at the East London Hospital Complex. Kirsten has volunteered with various projects including Beautiful Gate and the Common Good Foundation in Cape Town, Jabulani Rural Health Foundation in the Eastern Cape, Semonkong Hospital Project in Lesotho and at Msinga in KwaZulu Natal. She has published in national and international peer-reviewed journals and presented at the 2013 PHASA/AFPHA Conference. Kirsten is actively involved in her church and enjoys training at gym, playing the piano and singing. She hopes to read for an MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine at Oxford.

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

Jonas Bovijn (26) was born in Belgium and immigrated to South Africa when he was seven years old. He attended Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch and matriculated as the second best student in the Western Cape Province in 2007. In 2013, Jonas earned his MBChB degree (cum laude) at Stellenbosch University. He finished top of his class for every year of study, and earned the 2013 Chancellor’s Medal for the best overall graduating student (out of ± 8 000 graduating students) at Stellenbosch University, becoming only the fourth MBChB graduate to ever receive this honour. He is currently completing his internship at Tygerberg Academic Hospital in Cape Town. As a student, Jonas played hockey for the medical campus, was named a NEJM Scholar, and led a number of campus initiatives, including the establishment of his alma mater’s first organisation for supporting undergraduate researchers. He continues to serve on several committees at his faculty, and is currently co-leading an initiative which aims to support junior medical researchers throughout South Africa. Jonas is passionate about cardiology, has presented research in the field at an international congress and plans to pursue a career as a clinician-researcher. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing guitar, and is a keen cook. He hopes to read for a DPhil in Medical Sciences.

 St Andrew’s College and Diocesan School for Girls

 William Cahill (22) was born in Johannesburg. He attended Saint Andrew’s College, where he matriculated with distinction. A final round participant in the Harmony Mathematics Olympiad between 2007 and 2010, William was also awarded the gold level in the Eskom Science Expo in 2008 and was an accomplished debater throughout high school. William is enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. He has been placed on the Dean’s Merit List from 2012 to 2014. William was the men’s captain for the UCT Rowing Club and an executive member of University Sport South Africa, chairing the transformation committee. William has represented South Africa for rowing at the World University Games in Russia in 2013. William has been involved in a number of community outreach projects, of which his fondest has been coaching rowing and tutoring at the Nemato change a life foundation in Port Alfred. William’s interests include music, dance and surfing. At Oxford, William hopes to read for a BA (Hon) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

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:

  • four Scholarships every year for applicants from South Africa-at-Large,
  • one for applicants from KwaZulu-Natal,
  • one for applicants from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland, and
  • one each for applicants of or from
    • Diocesan College, Rondebosch (Bishops) and its partner schools, St Cyprian’s School, St George’s Grammar School, Herschel Girls School, and LEAP 1 School;
    • South African College School, Newlands (SACS) and its partner schools, Sans Souci Girls’ High School and Rustenburg High School for Girls;
    • Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch and its partner schools, Rhenish Girls’ High School and Bloemhof Girls’ High School; and
    • 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, courageous South Africans who have not only distinguished themselves in the classroom but have sought out opportunities to contribute to the public good. We are inspired by their achievements and commitment to service, and wish them all the best at Oxford and beyond.’

For further information please contact Annette Gibson at rhotrust@pixie.co.za or Trudi Makhaya at trudimakhaya@gmail.com.

Image: University of Oxford website.

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