Meet a few of the leading South African women of the future

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Since 2008, Oxford University Press Southern Africa’s unique shareholding partnership with the Mandela Rhodes Foundation has enabled a large number of young Africans to complete their postgraduate degrees while participating in customised leadership development programmes.

Talented young Africans who show academic prowess and broader leadership potential are elected after a rigorous application and selection process. Scholars are provided with the tools to be leaders in South Africa and across the African continent through various leadership development and training programmes, mirroring the example that Madiba set for the nation.

Take a look at a few of the strong, talented South African women elected to Mandela Rhodes Scholarships in 2016. This may be the first time you’ll hear of them, but it certainly won’t be the last.

MRF women

L-R: Nompumelelo Manzini, Lethabo Motswaledi, Sebenzile Nkambule, Candice Thikeson


Nompumelelo Manzini
was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 19 December 1993.  She completed an Honours degree in Philosophy and Politics from the University of Witwatersrand in 2015.  She is currently reading for a Masters degree in Philosophy at the University of Witwatersrand as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar.

Nompumelelo was an Allan Gray Orbis fellow between 2013 and 2015.  In 2013, she was selected as one of South Africa’s Brightest Young Minds.  She served as the Editor in Chief of the Golden Key International Honour Society (University of Johannesburg Chapter) in 2014.  Nompumelelo is a debater and reached the finals of the Debating Nationals Tournament for Universities in 2012.  She has written and acted in plays and was the recipient of a Trinity International London Drama Award.

 

Lethabo Motswaledi was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on 6 September 1993.  She completed a Bachelors degree in Geomatics at the University of Cape Town in 2015 and is now reading for a Masters degree in Geomatics at the University of Cape Town (UCT) as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar.

Lethabo was an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation fellow as an undergraduate.  She has been on the Dean’s Merit List, is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, and received the Class Medal for highest achievement in her third year.  She is a member of the UCT Entrepreneurs Society and is the founder of E-Quo, an anonymous social networking site that provides support to students facing difficulties at university. Lethabo enjoys amateur athletics and is an avid hockey player.

 

Sebenzile Nkambule was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 22 May 1989.  She completed an Honours degree in Gender Studies at the University of Pretoria in 2014 and is reading for a Masters Degree in Gender Studies at the University of Pretoria (UP) in 2016 as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar.

Sebenzile is the founder of “She Relates”, an intergenerational Women Empowerment mentorship project.  She has held leadership positions in the Black Management Forum (UP chapter) and the Forum for the Empowerment of Women.  Sebenzile has a strong history in journalism and was the first black News Editor of Perdeby, UP’s student newspaper.  She has worked for Infinity Media Networks, Talk Radio 702 and Primedia, and was a fellow at McKinsey and Company between 2011 and 2013.  Sebenzile is a talented cricketer who was captain of her high school team.

 

Candice Thikeson was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 18 May 1992.  She completed an Honours degree in Art History and Visual Culture Studies at the University of the Free State in 2014 and is currently reading for a Masters degree in Art History and Image Studies at the University of the Free State as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar.

Candice is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.  She has been the recipient of the Jan Teurlinckx Prize for Art History, the Richard Miles Prize for Philosophy and the Dean’s Meritious Student Prize at the University of the Free State.  Candice plays a strong leadership role in religious communities and is involved in various outreach projects.

 

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