Two UKZN students bag Mandela Rhodes scholarship

2015-12-16 09:20
Pilela Majokweni was awarded a Mandela Rhodes scholarship.

Pilela Majokweni was awarded a Mandela Rhodes scholarship. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Two students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal have been selected among 50 new Mandela Rhodes scholars, who will make up the Class of 2016.

Pilela Majokweni (22) is a Masters student in agricultural economics at the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus and is from the Eastern Cape.

“When I got the news that I had received the scholarship, I was over-whelmed. Being awarded this scholarship was not only an honour but also a bestowal of responsibility to my continent,” said Majokweni.

Majokweni’s dream is to develop the women and children of South Africa through agriculture.

“It has always be a passion of mine and I really hope that this scholarship will equip me with the right skills in order to achieve my goals,” she said.

Majokweni says she is looking forward to bring out something positive from this opportunity despite the negative political baggage that comes along with colonialist Cecil Rhodes whom the fund is named after.

“I do worry but I am willing to take the chance and bring out something positive from all of this,” she said.

The second recipient is Mfundo Mdletshe (21) from Greytown.

“When I got the call I was at the library. I could not believe it. The process was long and in each stage I was really scared. The only thing that kept me going was believing in myself,” said Mdletshe.

Mdletshe is a Masters student in development studies at the UKZN Howard College campus.

“This opportunity has given me new hope. I was under the National Student Financial Aid Scheme [NSFAS]. At one point it was taken away from me and that got me worried because without the scholarship, I would have become part of the statistics of regrettably financially excluded students,” he said.

Mdletshe says he does not carry his dreams alone but also his family’s.

“This scholarship will help contribute to not only me but my family as well. I think I will be the fourth person in the family to graduate and for that I am really grateful,” he said.

Mdletshe said he is “excited about being associated with a scholarship that bears the names of seemingly two distinct men”.

“I certainly look forward to grappling with the legacies of both Nelson Mandela and Cecil Rhodes with my new classmates,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  students  |  ukzn

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