Ibibia Joseph-George is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor's degree in the social sciences. Ibibia has been involved in many social outreach programmes and has led interventionist programmes in his community while at UCT. Ibibia is a member of AIESEC-UCT, GENSHIKEN, the History and Current Affairs Society, the Nigerian Scholars Association and the United Nations Association of South Africa. Ibibia plans to use his degree and experiences as tools to help him transform his community and country for the better
Kudzai Chivero is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor's degree in actuarial science. Kudzai has a love for applying mathematical tools to problem-solving in the real world and positively influencing others. Back in his home country, Kudzai has been an active Joshualite (a recipient of the Joshua Nkomo Scholarship), inspiring the world and changing lives by partaking in several community engagements. As a Mastercard scholar, Kudzai intends to continue this good work by going back to Zimbabwe after his studies to help mould the country's crumbling economic system as an actuary because he believes it is his generation's responsibility to make a better future. He is grateful to the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme for the opportunity to finish his studies and be of value to society.
Brighton Tandabantu is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He attained impressive academic and honorary achievements from Mount Selinda High School. Having served as the school’s head boy, and as president and initiator of the Quiz Club at his previous school, Brighton is interactively engaged with the UCT SHAWCO team that focuses on providing informal education to high-school and junior-school scholars in townships around Cape Town. He has a burning desire to keep moulding his own leadership qualities as well as those of the people around him. With this, he hopes to serve a great deal in the communal and national upliftment of his country, Zimbabwe. Brighton plans to mitigate the dire electricity challenges currently besetting Zimbabwe using his engineering expertise as a tool. One of his myriad dreams is to build a huge power plant in Zimbabwe that will help see the economy of the country revived again.
Kundai Clayton Chatambudza is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering. His career vision is to someday contribute to the economic growth of his home country, Zimbabwe, through his knowledge. He is passionate about making people aware of the pivotal role that technological innovation and engineering can play in furthering and resuscitating struggling economies in Africa. He plans to establish a computer science institution to provide free computer studies to rural communities and townships in Zimbabwe. He believes that with access to education, everyone has a chance to succeed. During his time in high school, Kundai taught his juniors mathematics and science subjects. Furthermore, he achieved exceptional grades and awards for both academic and co-curricular activities. He was the best O-Level scholar at Founders High School for the 2013 final examinations. During the last two years of his high school career, at Mpopoma High, he held a number of leadership positions. He was the captain of the chess club, vice president of the Debate and Public Speaking Club and also events coordinator for the One-Heart Charity Club. Despite having the privilege to serve in these leadership positions, he believes that leadership is not about the position that one holds; rather, it is about ambition and influence.
Blessing Masiyakurima is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a degree in social work. She completed her O Level and A Level at Vhembe High School in Beitbridge, Zimbabwe. At her high school, Blessing was financially supported by Camfed – the Campaign for Female Education – and was a learner guide for the organisation. Camfed planted in Blessing a seed of developing the social and economic independence of young African women, which is the same principle that she wants to uphold for girls who come from a socially and economically disadvantaged communities where they were forced to give up their dreams due to the challenging situations they faced. She sees her degree as a stepping stone towards her future goal of empowering young girls to be better leaders of tomorrow's generation and independent.
Bredah Musili Nzuki is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. She is a confident, determined and hardworking young individual who has demonstrated ability and passion in her previous work and achievements. She is involved in various leadership positions, such as serving as the Green Campus Initiative portfolio representative for Tugwell Hall Residence and holds a diplomat position for the East Africa Society. In addition to creating and running a blog, she has recently launched the Everyday Show where she facilitates conversations among university scholars with the aim of voicing the daily issues they experience.
Marylouise Chambu is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social science. She grew up in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania, and had always wanted to come to UCT, one of most prestigious universities on the continent. She knew UCT would provide the strongest bridge towards her goals of being a qualified and renowned economist and a social innovator on the African continent.
Riaaz Paulse is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. He plans to apply his engineering acumen, systems acuity and leadership talents to launch projects to bring about significant change in his and many other economically disadvantaged communities. This self-driven and motivated young man has many interests in entrepreneurial and voluntary services at UCT and is part of various societies, including SHAWCO UCT, InvestSoc and Engineers Without Borders. With his positive attitude towards life and the ability to influence transformation, Riaaz aims to become one of the next great leaders.
Faith Mushilundu Lutomia is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in medical microbiology (by dissertation). Her experience as a scholar at UCT is nothing short of amazing. Her master's research involves studying the human microbiome – the collective genomes of the trillions of microorganisms that live inside or on the human body – and how they affect human health and disease through causation or association. Her research will equip her with the skills required to understand how the microbiome is related to various disease conditions and how this knowledge can be used in developing therapeutic treatment which would provide better preventive and treatment outcomes and lead to reduced health-care costs. She looks forward to using the knowledge and skills that she has to a make positive impact in her community, her country and Africa, with a focus on preventive therapy and care for microbiome-related health conditions.
Okpara Michael Obinna is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in medical biochemistry and structural biology at UCT. His research focuses on investigating the potential of nuclear transport proteins as biomarkers for cervical and oesophageal cancers. Michael was born in Lagos State, Nigeria. He attained his secondary education at Razeva College where he graduated top of his class with eight distinctions in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination. He was a recipient of the Federal Government of Nigeria Undergraduate Scholarship in 2010 and graduated with a first-class honours degree in biochemistry from the Federal University of Technology in Akure, Nigeria, where he was the valedictorian of his academic set. He was a recipient of the Stephen Oluwole Awokoya Foundation for Science Education postgraduate Scholarship in Nigeria in 2015. During his time in the National Youth Service Corps programme, he was the general secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency and he also taught mathematics and chemistry at Anglican Girls’ Grammar School in Ogun State. After his National Youth Service, he was offered the post of a graduate assistant at the Federal University of Technology.
Hilda Namakula Hilda Namakula is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a degree in sociology. Hilda holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Makerere University, Uganda. She co-founded two organisations – Youth Rescue and I Have a Future – to support marginalised young people in reaching economic empowerment through life skills and mentorship. Hilda is an alumnus of the Young Africa Leaders Initiative and a consultant for meaningful youth engagement, working to support various donors, including the Mastercard Foundation, in youth-focused project proposals.
Nondumiso Shongwe is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in biomedical forensic sciences. She is a hard-working, dedicated, conscientious young Swazi woman with a passion for improving herself, and in turn, inspiring the people around her. She has a passion for learning about science-related topics and other subjects that broaden her scope. This allows Nondumiso to build a vast network and become a good leader. Nondumiso believes that an interdisciplinary approach is necessary when it comes to solving issues, which is where the vast network comes in. She is passionate about facilitating the coming together of young, ambitious people to become a self-sustaining generation, and in turn, lead the development of African countries.
Monica Damane is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in geotechnical engineering. Monica is passionate about the development of rural communities. Her research will provide recommendations on suitable foundations and construction methods to mitigate the prevailing failure of houses in Mount Moorosi. She has been involved in numerous community services, including as an HIV/AIDS peer educator at Maseribane High School, and volunteering as a cook and tutor at an orphanage in Maseru. Monica has worked on interesting civil engineering projects, such as the construction of a 140-metre bridge between Phamong and Mount Moorosi. She has also worked for Groundwater Engineering Consultants as a rural water supply design trainee. She is currently a geotechnical engineering academic tutor for second- and third-year undergraduate students at UCT.
Monica believes in farming and her dream is to improve the economy of African countries through engineering technologies and agriculture.
Lelia Nelson is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in sustainable mineral resources development. He is driven by the desire to make a contribution to the positive transformation of the mining landscape in Africa. Lelia is passionate about education and has been actively involved in mentoring the youth from his community. He will soon launch an online mentorship platform, Careerdue, a project he has been working on with Thato Semoko who is a fellow Mastercard Scholar. Lelia believes in networking, sharing opportunities and bringing people together. As an academic representative for the Lesotho Scholars Association at UCT, he was able – together with his team – to bring together Basotho scholars studying in the Western Cape to explore ways in which they can put their skills together to address issues facing their country. Outside of academics, Lelia enjoys reading and drawing. He hikes occasionally to enjoy the beauty of nature and to reset.
Carol Masingi is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in development. In addition to her academic interests, she is currently building herself to become an activist interested in socio-economic justice in mining-affected communities, urban spatial transformation, education and empowering disadvantaged individuals. She has been part of numerous scholar-led activities including tutoring first-year and third-year students and working at UCT's HIV/AIDS, Inclusivity and Change Unit (HAICU). She is part of the Amandla! Ulutsha Editorial Collective, which writes about challenging the hierarchy of knowledge production and stimulates youth-oriented debate. Her vision for Africa is a continent that is conscious of human rights and has good governance.
Read Carol Masingi's complete profile here.
Kudzai Mhepo is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in international trade law. She wants to be remembered for using her legal qualification to give a voice to the voiceless in Africa and the rest of the world. As an undergraduate scholar at the University of Fort Hare, she participated in scholar politics as a member of SASCO and served twice in the branch executive committee and as the secretary of Indlovukazi Women Empowerment Society. Since then women, children and disabled people’s rights, as well as educational, political and economic rights have been issues close to her heart and she desires to contribute positively towards them. She has decided to pursue an LLM in international trade law so that she can contribute towards the continental integration of Africa and the African 2063 agenda, which is a united democratic Africa, free of poverty, civil wars, abuse of human rights and without trade barriers.
Charles Sikwanda is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in geotechnical engineering. He has produced two publications that are making an impact in his field. In 2018, Charles represented the UCT Geotechnical Engineering Group at the Shanghai International Conference in China where he presented one of his articles to more than 250 international researchers. His vision is to empower individuals with the willingness to learn.
Abdulmajid Aminu is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in environmental science. He is a self-driven individual. He is an alumnus of the YALI Regional Leadership Center in West Africa, a Tony Elumelu Foundation Mentor, and he has worked as an administration officer, and a monitoring and evaluation officer, among other roles. He looks for innovative ways in which he can propose solutions to the most complex environmental problems in Africa.
Read Abdulmajid Aminu's complete profile here.
Ellis Tsetse is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in medical biochemistry. Ellis co-funded scholar clubs, became an activist for children and women that are affected with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, volunteered as a mathematics tutor and in orphanages, and helped to create sustainable community projects for youth in her community. She is a member of the HIV/AIDS, Inclusivity and Change Unit (HAICU), a society on campus that assists individuals who are usually discriminated against and often marginalised in society. Ellis has been involved in a number of societies that focus on helping people of different backgrounds including SHAWCO health and education. She hopes to mentor young girls to become advocates for women's issues.