Find out more about applying for the Rhodes Scholarship

Find out more about applying for the Rhodes Scholarship


The Mandela Rhodes Foundation

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, a leadership development programme for Africa, was established in 2003 by agreement between Mr Nelson Mandela and the Rhodes Trust. Its principal activity is to offer Mandela Rhodes Scholarships to African students undertaking postgraduate study in South African universities, alongside further leadership development opportunities for Mandela Rhodes Scholars.
An image of Nelson Mandela sitting opposite a Rhodes Scholar. They are sitting in armchairs, both smiling and in the middle of a conversation. In the background is a banner that says
Nelson Mandela with Mandela Rhodes Scholars

Nelson Mandela on The Mandela Rhodes Foundation


“We are sometimes still asked by people how we could agree to have our name joined to that of Cecil John Rhodes in this Mandela Rhodes initiative. To us, the answer is easy, and we have explained the logic of our decision on a number of occasions. We have referred to our constitution’s injunction for us to come together across the historical divides, to build our country together with a future equally shared by all.

“…The event of this morning gives a further concrete answer to that question. The erstwhile company of Cecil John Rhodes, in which members of the Oppenheimer family were and remain such illustrious and great South Africans, has today once more demonstrated its commitment to transformation – and, in fact, reparation…

“…We see The Mandela Rhodes Foundation as a significant initiative within that broader framework of South Africans taking responsibility for the transformation of their society, so grievously skewed by a history of colonialism and apartheid. We shall once more take hands across historical divides that others may deem unbridgeable.”

Nelson Mandela And Scholars

In helping to form The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, the Rhodes Trust desired to mark the centenary of its foundation by a significant gesture of investment in South Africa, which had been the original source of its own endowment. The Trust wished also to mark the transformation of South Africa by honouring the principal architect of that transformation, Nelson Mandela. In this way, the Rhodes Trust signaled its own sense of the evolution of its mission over time.

Nelson Mandela, 2016. 90 X 90 Cm. Oil On Canvas. Rhodes House

The objectives of the Foundation are: 'The central purpose of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is to build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa through its programmes. The Mandela Rhodes programmes will develop individual human skills across African society, to help the continent achieve success and prosperity, and full participation in the global world. The Mandela Rhodes programmes will be unique, measurable, sustainable and economically efficient.'

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation contributes to leadership development in Africa through supporting African students undertaking tertiary study in South Africa.

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees

  • Professor Njabulo Ndebele (Chairman)
  • Dr Osmond Mlonyeni
  • Mrs Janet Kabiru
  • Dr Elizabeth Kiss
  • Mr John McCall MacBain
  • The Hon Mrs Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
  • Justice Yvonne Mokgoro
  • Justice Catherine O'Regan

The CEO of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation is Ms Judy Sikuz

Ms Judy Sikuza
CEO, The Mandela Rhodes Foundation
The Mandela Rhodes Building
150 St George's Mall
Cape Town 8001
PO Box 15897
Vlaeberg 8018
South Africa
T: +27 21 424 3346