Change the world

08/11/2019

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Mandela University final year Law student, Gamuchirai Mudehwe, and Master’s in Philosophy and Linguistics student, Luan Staphorst have been selected as part of the 54 exceptional young African leaders to join The Mandela Rhodes Scholarship class of 2020.

More than 5 000 applications were received for 2020. The Mandela Rhodes Scholars in this cohort hail from 14 African countries and will complete their postgraduate studies in South Africa, in disciplines from Astrophysics to Graphic Design, while completing the MRF’s Leadership Development Programme.

Gamuchirai, a Residence Student Assistant from Sol Plaatje Residence, has been actively involved in student governance and development, serving on the Student Representative Council in 2018 as the Faculty of Law student representative. He founded and chaired the Law Students Council and also worked with the Law Students Society, the Black Lawyers Society and the International Law Students Society. He is a co-founder of the Toastmasters Society and has served as its Deputy President. In April this year, he was awarded the “Leadership and Service Award” by the Law Faculty Dean for his outstanding leadership work.

He describes himself as “the future President of the United States of Africa”, stemming from his strong belief in creating a United Africa and that Africa will only reach its fullest potential when we come together as one. He hopes that with the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship he will be exposed to like-minded future leaders, and grow each other in leadership as they embark on the journey to achieve a better Africa and a better world.

Gamuchirai will continue his studies in the Master of Laws (Taxation) during his Scholarship year.

Luan Staphorst is currently pursuing two master’s degrees – one in Philosophy from the University of the Western Cape which is almost complete and one in Linguistics from Nelson Mandela University which he will focus on in his Scholarship year. He has three qualifications from Mandela University - all conferred Cum Laude - and has published and presented papers within these fields, as well as in literature and cultural studies across the world.

He was first appointed as a student assistant in his third year of study and has since lectured and been a postgraduate research supervisor in the School of Language, Media and Communication.  He is currently a research assistant at Mandela University’s Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriShet).  Luan was this year's recipient of the Rupert Family Trust Award for the Best Honours Graduate in Social Sciences and Humanities and will represent Mandela University as an Abe Bailey Fellow in Ethiopia and Great Britain in November and December.

Beyond his academic pursuits, he has a passion for poetry. Besides publishing widely, he is the founding editor and lead translator of Amazwi – Mandela University’s first trilingual poetry journal. His poetry has been exhibited as part of the National Arts Festival. He has also been a member of the Nelson Mandela University Choir for six years - leading the choir as Executive Chairman for the past four years. 

The Mandela Rhodes Scholarships programme is a combination of financial support for postgraduate studies and a high quality Leadership Development Programme, with the intention of building exceptional leadership capacity in Africa.

Contact information
Mrs Beverley Erickson
Digital Communication Consultant
Tel: 041 504 3357
erickson@mandela.ac.za