Change the world


BA Law (Politics and Psychology) graduate, Sibusiso Bokveldt’s triumph over early adversity is a success story that has just began, with promise in and beyond the academic spectrum of Nelson Mandela University.


Sibusiso’s graduation on 16 April promises to be a preamble to future excellence in academia, as he is currently enrolled for a LLB degree and plans to pursue a master’s degree in international relations thereafter.

Among Sibusiso’s many successful endeavours were being selected as one of Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans and listed as News24’s Top 100 Young Mandela’s of the Future, both in 2023.

His most recent accomplishment is forming part of the University of Oxford’s PhD study on young people, who have done exceptionally well in the development of civic engagement in Africa.

His journey to lengthy accolades and international recognition however began on a disparaging note after having to deregister at a previous university, because of financial and academic struggles, forcing him to make means with temporary jobs.

Enrolling at Mandela University would soon spark his passion for activism and opened engagement opportunities.

“I was involved with the Legal Integration Programme, which exposed me to a number of areas in the legal field and social activism, and my first vacation job and inter-African fellowship with NARACHI were the result thereof” says Sibusiso.

He then registered as a member of the ENACTUS (Entrepreneurial Action Us), an international organisation, which uses entrepreneurial action as a catalyst for progress.

“I became an executive member and project manager where I was part of the establishment of projects, such as E-Space, which mentors upcoming entrepreneurs” says Sibusiso.

Sibusiso was part of the cohort, which competed at the ENACTUS national competition after having won the regional championship and he presented on both occasions. They won a Ford-C3 award on building sustainable communities in the same year, culminating in Sibusiso being honoured with a service award by the University in 2022.

“In that same year, I started finding myself within the leadership space after progressing from being in the ActionSA Nelson Mandela University Student Chapter executive team, to being in the Provincial Youth Forum executive” says Sibusiso.

He was then selected as one of five young leaders to form part of the Global Citizen x BeyGoOD Fellowship cohort, philanthropism which was started by famous singer, Beyonce, in 2018.

“In 2022, I was also selected for the study of the United States Institute’s Program for Student Leaders, which gave me the opportunity to travel to the United States to attain valuable experience and learnings on Civic Engagement and Policy Development”, says Sibusiso.

In addition to this, Sibusiso was also part of Africa’s Top 100 Brightest Young Minds and made the Futurelect 2023 cohort.

Upon his return from the United States, in 2023, he then founded an NGO called the iSbusiso Sports Foundation, which donates sports equipment and initiates sporting programmes in underprivileged schools and areas.

He was then part of the Havard University Aspire Leadership Institute, the South African Institute of International Affairs Youth Policy Co-ordinator team and is also a Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Public Management and Governance participant.

His involvement in civil society extended to leadership spaces, where he has been nominated as a candidate in ActionSA’s Provincial Legislature for the 2024 general elections.

“Being at Nelson Mandela University has grown me, it helped me navigate myself, my potential, and my passions, and it also gave me a platform to achieve all that I have. I will forever be grateful to the University” says Sibusiso, whose name translates to ‘gift.’

His dream job is to work for an organisation like the United Nations or the African Union, which he believes would provide him with an opportunity to contribute to creating a more peaceful, prosperous, and equitable world for future generations.

For all your graduation content across your social media platforms, please use #MandelaUniGrad24. We would love to collate, share and celebrate this amazing achievement with you on official University platforms.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160