Arthur Adinda is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelors degree in electrical and computer engineering. As an only boy and the only one in his community to proceed to tertiary education, Arthur has a lot of expectations – from his family and his community – placed on his back. This motivated him, and five of his friends, to start Mshauri Trust, a mentorship organisation focused on youth peer mentorship in Nairobi. The goal of Mshauri Trust is to help high school children overcome their struggles, both academically and socially, so as to avoid a scenario where a whole society looks up to one person. He rather wants to foster a society of people that look to one another. When Arthur achieves this, he believes his community will have a reason for looking up to him, and he will have delivered. The mentees of Mshauri Trust will also have given their families a reason to smile. Arthur believes that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
Jaspher Chifagume is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering. Jaspher has won several awards, including four academic awards for the best scholar in maths and biology and a competency certificate for the best scholar in a quiz at the provincial level. At Mount Selinda, Jaspher was the president of the Interact Club, vice-president of the Quiz Club, school vice-head boy, chairman of the Entertainment Committee, a Debate Club member and also a Worship Committee member. In sports, Jaspher was a judo (martial arts) scholar and enjoyed playing handball. Currently, at UCT, Jaspher has a vision of one day becoming a tech pioneer in Africa. With interests in renewable energy, telecommunications, real estate and investment banking, Jaspher spends his free time reading books about entrepreneurship and public speaking. His main goal is to develop African solutions for Africa by contributing to the continent's self-sufficiency in the technology sector through innovation.
Cassandra Dacha is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering. She is fascinated by sports and leadership, and as such, she is the UCT East African Society sports representative and participates actively in the residence's running team. She has been involved in many social outreach programmes and does her best to give back to the community, which has led to her work on a project that involves collecting bottles in her residence to accumulate funds with intentions of feeding the homeless in Cape Town.
Nozipho Sibanda is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. She has a strong sense of ethics and integrity, values which have seen her occupy some of the highest leadership positions available during her schooling. She has served the city of Bulawayo as one of the honourable members of its highly esteemed Bulawayo Junior Council, a position she used to uplift the less privileged and campaign against teenage drug abuse. In that same year, she also assumed the presidency of the Interact Club, which was pivotal in the improvement of the lives of local orphans and the empowerment of girls. Working with people for the entirety of her high school years taught Nozipho the art of putting others before oneself. This is evident in her university activities: she is part of the SHAWCO team at UCT that aims to educate scholars at lower grades. Looking into the future, she hopes to graduate in 2021 and go back to her community to spread wisdom as a well-groomed leader. Her life goal is to debunk the girl child myth by making opportunities available for young girls to become engineers, a profession dominated by male counterparts. Above all, she hopes to work for the greater good through the application of her skills to find and develop sustainable, efficient and clean energy solutions to save what matters the most, Mother Earth.>
Tamia Jansen is an undergraduate scholar studying towards a bachelor's degree in social sciences. She is passionate about travelling and exploring new cultures. She is a play counselling representative for Operation Smile South Africa and a volunteer at Red Cross Children’s Memorial Hospital. She is always striving to help the less fortunate and she does this by hosting fundraising initiatives throughout the year. Tamia is also an editor, as reading and writing are among her favourite things to do. She wants to advocate for the importance of reading to the youth by initiating book drives that will motivate learners to learn and develop the capacity to think critically.
Sadiyah Rawat is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a Bachelor of Science majoring in marine biology, and oceanography and atmosphere science. She is an avid swimmer, an advocate for women’s rights and an active speaker for mental health. As of April 2017, Sadiyah was elected as the vice-president of Eunoia, a non-profit organisation in Mauritius. She is a member of the Habitat for Humanity Club, a society dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty in South Africa through participating in development of infrastructure. She is also a member of the Biological Sciences Club, Zoobots, a society revelling in the exploration of nature in the hope of furthering our understanding of it, enabling ever-better conservation efforts. Sadiyah is eager to learn and acquire knowledge. She is a creative thinker with an eye for detail and a devotion to logic that serves her well both in the sciences and outside them. Her goal is to make a contribution to secure a sustainable future for Africa by devoting her professional life to scientific research in marine fields.
Silaji Andrea is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. He is a self-motivated and highly committed individual determined to give back to his local communities. Back in Tanzania, Silaji volunteered as a tutor at Pacha's learning centre teaching mathematics, physics and chemistry to both secondary and high school scholars from disadvantaged families. Capitalising on his skills as a chemical engineer, he is currently working on a project related to cashew nut production in the Mtwara region of Tanzania. The project aims to teach farmers how to use hybrid seeds and proper weed control. Furthermore, this project will open doors for farmers to engage, explore and experience modern and advanced methods used for controlling pests and diseases that hinder the flourishing of cashew nut trees.
Lwazi Simelane is an undergraduate scholar pursuing a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He enjoys mathematics, physics, design and technology. With these abilities, Lwazi wants to help his country achieve King Mswati III’s vision of seeing the Kingdom of eSwatini gain and maintain a first-world status by 2022 through the development of infrastructure and improved economic growth. Moreover, Lwazi is a forex trader with two years’ experience and a good track record specialising in charts. At UCT, he is an active member of the South African Students’ Congress (SASCO), which champions the interests of scholars and seeks to ensure access and success in every institution by fighting for better accommodation, more computer labs, better-equipped libraries and lower costs of education. He is also an active member of the Swazi Students' Society.
Mudzuri Takudzwanashe is a postgraduate scholar pursuing an honours degree. He is motivated to be the best version of himself and considers any circumstance to be an opportunity
Brindley Fortuin is a postgraduate scholar pursuing an honours degree in sociology with an emphasis on race politics and identity formation in post-colonialism. He is a member of the Mastercard Scholars Council and interns for the Global Citizenship Programme which engages in teaching and other areas. He recently graduated with a bachelors degree in social science (majoring in politics, religion and sociology). He is an aspiring academic with Mellon Mays and Mastercard credentials. He sees the world through the eyes of a researcher and an activist. It is his activism work, which started in high school, that has nudged him in the direction of a career in social justice and social responsiveness.
Mixo Ngwenya is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in structural engineering. She was elected as the speaker of the Polokwane Junior City Council, and she will always be grateful for the honour to serve as school captain and debating president at her high school. Mixo's passion for scholar governance led her to apply to be part of the UCT Forest Hill Residence scholar tribunal. She was part of the tribunal for a year, and in subsequent years, she became the External Development Committee team leader and the Residence Subwarden. Mixo volunteered at the UCT Disability Centre and she was also a peer mentor for the Mastercard Scholars Foundation Programme and the Civil Engineering Department at UCT. These roles prepared her to be the fourth-year class representative, a position she held during the final year of her undergraduate studies.
Fadlah Gassiep is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in development studies. Her great passion is for transformation, particularly exploring the ways in which research and collaborative work can be used to transform the lives of those who have been historically marginalised and continue to experience the unjust consequences of marginalisation in their everyday lives.
Emmanuel Ampomah is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in international relations. He undertook his undergraduate studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, where he majored in philosophy and political science. During this period, he served as vice president of the International Central Gospel Church, Campus Ministry (University of Professional Studies, Chapter) where he was later appointed president. He also served as the chairman of the Constitutional Draft Committee of the Professional Christian Union in 2017. Emmanuel has published two books: Step Up to the Front and Unlocking Your Success. He wrote his first book while in high school. Emmanuel’s inordinate passion for leadership drives him to mentor young people and speak at seminars. He believes Africa’s quest for development can be achieved if young Africans come to appreciate and embrace ethical leadership. His current research for his master’s thesis is focused on peace and security in West Africa.
Daniel Adeleke is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering. He is a public speaker and strategic motivator. Daniel provides useful insight and highly coveted motivation to friends across disciplines. He has served in this capacity for four years. During his undergraduate studies, Daniel deployed his competencies to provide primary oversight in the development of plans and human resources for the Christ Apostolic Church Youth Fellowship (CACYOF). Designing innovative, sustainable interpersonal development and career progress keeps Daniel up at night and gets him up in the morning. Highlights in Daniel's work experience includes design, construction and maintenance of construction projects, industrial research and imparting knowledge to undergraduates in Nigeria and South Africa.
Danielle Sympathie Goho is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in chemical engineering. She is currently involved in the SLSJ (Social Law, Social Justice) mentoring programme which provides mentorship to grade 11 female scholars from Usasazo High School in Khayelitsha. The aim of the programme is to empower young women to reach their full potential. Since 2014, Danielle has volunteered at the City Church where she holds different positions, such as kids leader and youth leader.
Desire Mwanza is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's in development studies. "Things do not happen, things are made to happen," describes the essence of who Desire is. She strives to live in a world where individuals who belong to minority groups are able to make things happen – given the opportunity. Desire believes that for individuals belonging to minority groups, hard work is not sufficient to overcome life's glitches. Rather, elevating the social and economic standing of those individuals should be a precursor for hard work so that they have an equal chance to pursue opportunities alongside their colleagues. It is in this spirit, as a teacher by profession and development studies scholar, that Desire is passionate about contributing to girls’ excellence in education, entrepreneurship and leadership in Malawi. Desire is currently working on a network of graduates in Malawi that volunteer their time to mentor and tutor girls in high school in their current locations.
Charity Nkomo is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in commercial law. She believes that “life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rains.” Charity was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She graduated from the University of Zimbabwe in 2014 with a Bachelor of Law honours degree. She believes that her postgraduate study, together with the help of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program – which is not only providing her with full financial support but also skills training, mentorship, leadership development and other life skills – will doubtlessly empower her to make a statement in her community. She is greatly inspired by the works of Strive Masiyiwa, who is her mentor, and his exemplary service helping underprivileged youth, including herself, to build a brighter future by funding their academic studies, and as such, she has an urge to give back to society.
Kuodi Paul is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree. Kuodi has always had a passion for humanitarian service and dreamed of serving his country as a health professional. He pursued a Bachelor of Science in nursing at Makerere University and started working in marginalised communities in Kampala. His passion for health humanitarian service has allowed him to step up to offer leadership in projects whenever opportunities arose. Collaborative approaches to finding innovative solutions to health problems seem to drive him. He aspires to hone his leadership skills and make meaningful leadership contributions on the African continent.
Kudzai Ngwara is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in social development. Kudzai is a young, energetic, goal-oriented, organised, highly professional, vibrant and hard-working individual who is eager to learn, interact and assist. Kudzai graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from UCT and was top of the Dean’s Merit List for four consecutive years. As a qualified social worker, she currently volunteers her services at City Mission in Salt River, Cape Town. She is also a professional supervisor in the Department of Social Development in the Humanities Faculty. Kudzai is passionate about helping the vulnerable and marginalised in society, particularly refugees in South Africa. Her research is based on how refugees can be integrated well into South African society. She eventually hopes to contribute her knowledge and lifelong enthusiasm to the social, political, economic and management development of her homeland, Zimbabwe, and the African continent.
Asisipho Mnyanzeli was born and bred in the rural villages of the Eastern Cape. She is a UCT graduate holding a Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in media and writing, sociology and gender studies. Asisipho is currently doing her honours in media studies specialising in political communication at UCT. She is a wannabes@ucthumanities alumnus. This year, she was awarded a scholarship by the UCT Mastercard Scholars Program. Asisipho is a self-taught photographer. She is passionate about human rights and equity. Asisipho has been involved in school development programmes such as SHAWCO, wannabes@uct and 100up. Her long-term goal is to build a library in her village. She aspires to be a crisis communicator.
Thapelo Hlongwane is pursuing an honours degree in drama, specialising in directing. He is a spoken-word artist, theatre maker, community builder and co-founder of WordnSound Cape Town, a literature platform that brings together older practitioners of literature with young people to encourage, inspire and give them a sense of the trajectory for a literary career. His poetry was recently published in the Sol Plaatje international poetry anthology. Thapelo is a stern believer in education and the notion that future leaders need to be nurtured and groomed from an early age to lead the Africa we all envision. His interests lie in early childhood development and his research looks at how Early Years performing art experiences can be tailored to the developmental capabilities of toddlers through to teenagers.
Fezeka Lephaila is a postgraduate scholar from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls. She holds a BCom in economics and finance from UCT and is currently completing her honours in economics at UCT. Fezeka has a long history of community involvement ranging from volunteering at an old age home, Help the Rural Child Charity Shop and SHAWCO Education as well as mentoring first-year students at UCT. She is part of scholar leadership, sitting as treasurer for the UCT Postgraduate Commerce Scholars Council 2018. Fezeka has experience as a researcher and works as a research assistant at the UCT Centre for Social Science Research. She also interned at the Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion. Her main areas of interest are finance, economics, development and policy. Her ambition is to combine those interests and work with governments, the private sector and communities to achieve social and economic inclusion of all in both South Africa and the global community. Due to her interest in African development, she was a delegate at the African Youth Network Summit 2018, organised by the Graca Machel Trust, and she attended the Baobab Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, courtesy of the Mastercard Foundation.
Zimingonaphakade Sigenu is a postgraduate scholar pursuing an honours degree in sociology. She volunteers as a mentor for the Faculty of Humanities and she is part of the Resilience Network Initiative. In addition to mentorship, Zimingonaphakade has been involved in various outreach programmes, such as SHAWCO Education, the 100Up programme, the HIV/AIDS, Inclusivity and Change Unit (HAICU) and Ubunye. She holds a position as programme assistant in the humanities faculty. Zimingonaphakade hopes to pursue a career in academia with a focus on a human-centred approach to research privileging the lived experience of young people. She is passionate about writing, research and social justice, and hopes to make a meaningful contribution to social change.
Keagetswe Alex Kgotlaetsile is a postgraduate scholar pursuing an honours degree in social policy and management. He served as a resident assistant, a peer counsellor and a mentor at the University of Botswana and as president of its Social Work Society. He is an enthusiastic, energetic and social individual who is always eager to learn, develop and make a difference in people’s lives. He believes that minority and marginalised groups need access to opportunities that will elicit their potential for self-upliftment. He volunteers at SHAWCO and is working with his friends on a newly established sports club in Botswana (Visionary Sports and Recreation.
Sonwabile Ngcukuva is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a honours degree in social policy and management. Prior to attending UCT, Sonwabile took part in the UCT LEAD Programme and the GIBS-TSIBA Spirit of the Youth Programme. He describes himself as an intersectional feminist, who has a passion for justice, both transitional and restorative. He believes in the education system’s massive potential to deliver justice to the previously marginalised.
Choongo Chibawe is a postgraduate scholar pursuing an honours degree in mathematics. He is currently a sub-warden for his residence and uses this position to inspire and guide the scholars under his care. He has a passion for seeing people grow in their understanding of who they are and what they can be.
Read Choongo Chibawe's complete profile here.
Adonyo Emmanuel is a postgraduate scholar pursuing an honours degree in bioinformatics. His research focuses on observing the inference of host adaptive mutation on protein-coding sequences of the HIV viral genome. Adonyo is the health and safety representative at South Point scholar residence. He is the alumnus of the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, Nairobi. In addition to his engagement with the YALI community activities, his social energy is devoted to helping people in his community access secondary education and he is able to achieve this through a charity organisation called Lango Development Forum. In 2012, he volunteered for six months with War Child Holland in Uganda as an information and communications technology (ICT) trainer where he delivered comprehensive ICT training among the Lord's Resistance Army war victims on how to effectively use information and communications technology to maximise productivity in their livelihood ventures. He has worked for USAID health system strengthening project in Uganda. He was also actively involved in mobilising communities, especially men in northern Uganda, for the voluntary medical male circumcision programme.
Read Choongo Chibawe's complete profile here.
Sandra Zaroufis is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in landscape architecture. She believes that one does not seek leadership but is called by an internal compulsion to get involved, speak out and assist where there is a need. This belief has inspired her to become a member of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation; she graduated from its Youth Leadership Programme in 2012. She has served UCT as the Bikelink chairperson of the Green Campus Initiative in 2017 and has worked as a residence dining hall monitor, residence mentor and tutor. Her mixed heritage and involvement in anti-racism and anti-sexism, as well as the Fees Must Fall movement, have shaped her into a socially conscious woman who considers the complexities of human–environmental systems. She is proudly a South African, and she hails from Soweto. She envisions a better world, achieved through sustainable design and management of diverse landscapes and communities.
Jeff Watitwa is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in electrical engineering. Jeff believes that Africa’s access to sustainable energy will improve the living standards of her populations. That is why he focuses his research on the optimisation of smart grids that will deliver clean power. He desires to gain the requisite experience and qualifications to be a valuable resource to the energy sector. In his spare time, Jeff is involved in school sporting activities and is a member of the Obz Square billiards team. He is also an avid hiker with the Mountain and Ski Club.
Ezekannagha Ezinwanne is a postgraduate scholar currently pursuing a master’s degree in environmental and geographical science specialising in environment, society and sustainability. Ezekannagha served as the director of social for the Faculty of Science's scholar council. She organised science fairs, seminars and scholar outreach. She is also an active member of the district 9140 Rotary Club Anambra State, which carries out community development projects. Ezekannagha is passionate about research and environmental issues, and she believes that an interdisciplinary approach will solve problems easily and quickly, which is why she switched from computer science to environmental science. Her love for education and community development led to her involvement in the formation of St Mary Nursery/Primary School in Amaokpala, a local school established to make education accessible to children in the community. She envisions using the knowledge and skill she gains from her studies to make a positive impact towards environmental and agricultural sustainability, food security and biodiversity.
John Chisembele is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in education specialising in policy leadership and change. He has experience in the scholars union movement having been elected as treasurer first at the faculty level and later at the university level. During his tenure, he contributed to the infrastructure of the university and the welfare of its students through funds raised from various ventures.John has a great interest in livestock agriculture having owned and successfully run a poultry house prior to his enrolment to UCT. He has a great interest in state politics, public policy and higher education. He aspires to lead his country, Zambia, someday.
Shamiso Malekano is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master's degree in risk management of financial markets. She is motivated to contribute to the socio-economic development of Malawi. Subsequent to her university education, she joined the Reserve Bank of Malawi as a bank examiner where she has worked for more than five years. Shamiso developed leadership skills from a tender age: she volunteered in leadership roles for a childhood play. Today, Shamiso has received numerous acknowledgements for her role as a leader in curricular, extra-curricular and professional activities. Her vision is to enhance her career in the regulation and supervision of the financial sector in Malawi to ensure that it continues to be the country’s catalyst for social and economic development.
Samantha Moyo is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a Master of Philosophy specialising in development studies. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Fort Hare where she majored in development studies and public administration. In addition to obtaining a degree, Samantha has been part of several organisations: Restless Development as a peer educator, Enactus South Africa (ENtrepreneurial Action By Us South Africa), Junior Chamber International SA, Activate Leadership South Africa and The Unleashed Woman, all of which required articulation of community engagement activities that address problems of socio-economic development in marginalised communities. Samantha's aim is to be an empowered young lady who displays her intellectual capacity at all times given the appropriate developmental platforms despite her background and the societal stereotypes held against women.
Theresa Ayerigah is a postgraduate scholar pursuing a master’s degree in international relations. Theresa showed an interest in scholar leadership and gender-related issues during her undergraduate studies when she served as the women’s commissioner of the Historical Society of KNUST – the scholars union of the Department of History and Political Studies at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. She also served as the secretary of the Scholar Chaplaincy Council in the transport department.