Rhodes Alumni South Africa
Welcome

Our mission is to provide a community for Rhodes Scholars in Southern Africa. The Association comprises Senior Scholars from the constituency, as well as resident Scholars in Oxford, and Scholars from other parts of the world who are currently living in South Africa.

Annual SAARS Alumni Get-Together – Virtual Event held on 1 June 2022

Over 100 African-elected Rhodes Scholars, from across the world, gathered virtually on 1 June 2022 to enjoy a diverse programme of speakers; and to catch up with their peers in virtual breakaway sessions. The post-event report is available here.

RS2022 Takhona Hlatshwako

Ten exceptional young leaders from Southern Africa have been announced as the Rhodes Scholars-Elect for 2022, including a graduate from eSwatini (thought to be the first BLMNS Scholar from that country), and two Scholars hailing from the same hamlet, Matatiele, situated at the junction of KZN, the Eastern Cape and Lesotho. Our 2022 Rhodes Scholars-Elect are diverse in backgrounds and disciplines and we are thrilled to introduce them to you. Please click here.

Edwin Cameron 3

Congratulations to Justice Edwin Cameron (SA-at-Large & Keble 1976) on being awarded the Order of the Baobab (Gold), one of the highest orders accorded to South Africans who have contributed to the community. The award ceremony will be held on 18 November and Edwin will be recognised for "prolific justice" and his contribution to the judicial system, as well as his “tireless campaigning against the stigma of HIV and AIDS, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities”. Edwin is a retired Judge of the Constitutional Court and is currently the Inspecting Judge of Correctional Services. Read more about Justice Edwin Cameron and the other recipients of the National Order. 

Text reads 'archive of kindness' with a visual of two elbows bumping. The background is multicoloured translucent stripes.

Launched on 15 September 2021Archive of Kindness by Jess Auerbach (South Africa-at-Large & St Antony's 2009) is an uplifting collection of stories sourced during the Covid-19 pandemic. In March 2020 when lockdown was announced, Jess observed an outpouring of support between ordinary residents in South Africa. She began to document these ‘micro-kindnesses’ and created a website to record them, which received significant international and local attention. She later expanded this archive with her students at North-West University, ultimately recording approximately 1500 stories of remarkable kindness and care. Click here to view a short video about the book.

Organising Committee

Lisa Klein headshot
President

Dr Lisa Klein

South Africa-at-Large & St Antony's 1994

Charne Lavery, 2019
Events Committee

Dr Charne Lavery

South Africa-at-Large & Balliol 2008

News archive

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More than 120 Rhodes Scholars, elected from constituencies across Africa, registered for Bon Voyage on September 14th. Based in countries across the globe and representing seven decades of Scholars, the community gathered virtually to meet the Scholars-Elect of 2021, to wish them well as they go up to Oxford University, and to connect with fellow alumni. Read the full report on the event here

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Congratulations to Kuseni Dlamini (South Africa-at-Large & St Peter's 1994) on his appointment as the Chair of Council at the University of Pretoria (UP) on 28 April 2021. We look forward to his leadership of this institution of academic excellence and to growing the number of Rhodes Scholars from UP in the years ahead. Kuseni’s appointment brings to three, the number of South African Rhodes Scholars who have taken on significant leadership roles at institutions of higher education in South Africa; and highlights the character, service and leadership for which our Scholars are renowned. Well done to Kuseni as he joins the “troika” with Edwin Cameron (Chancellor, Stellenbosch University) and Isaac Shongwe (Chair of Council, University of the Witwatersrand). Read more: Business mogul Kuseni Dlamini to take University of Pretoria to new heights - Sunday World

 

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Dr Vuyane Mhlomi (South Africa-at-Large & St Edmund Hall 2014) has, with the Quro Team, secured $1.1 million in seed funding to scale Quro Medical's operations across South Africa and eventually the entire continent. Quro Medical is based in Johannesburg and leverages technology to make healthcare more accessible and affordable. Read more about Quro Medical.

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On what would have been his 61st birthday, a very moving Memorial Service was held for Shaun Johnson (South Africa-at-Large & St Catherine's, 1982) on 30 November 2020 at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town. Originally scheduled to be take place in March this year, the service was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This wonderful celebration of Shaun’s exceptional life was attended by Shaun’s family and close friends; and live streamed. You can watch the whole service: Service for Shaun Johnson.

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates has included three South African doctors Prof Salim Abdool Karim and his wife Quarraisha, and Dr Kopano Mabaso (SA-at-Large & Magdalen 2010) on his heroes list. Kopano is the  founder of the Grow Great Campaign, an initiative aimed to mobilise South Africa towards a national commitment to zero stunting by 2030, and was interviewed earlier this year on Radio 702 about her work:

Profile Interview - Dr. Kopano Matlwa Mabaso

Bill Gates hails three South African doctors as heroes

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Jacko Maree honoured with a prestigious Lifetime Achiever Award

Congratulations to Jacko Maree (St Andrew’s College & Pembroke 1978), deputy chairperson of the Standard Bank Group, who was celebrated with the Lifetime Achiever Award at the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies annual awards on 12 November 2020. The award is decided by a high-profile independent panel and recognises an individual who has consistently contributed to the South African economy. Watch Jacko feature in this video (from 28 minutes 40 seconds to 38 minutes 15 seconds).

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Rhodes Scholars from across the world and across the decades joined staff and Friends of the Rhodes Trust for the first ever virtual Bon Voyage on 17 September 2020. Read the full Bon Voyage Report

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We are so proud of the nation-building work being done by Trudi Makhaya (SA-at-Large & St Anthony’s 2002), in her role as economic adviser to the South African president. Read more about Trudi's work

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Congratulations to Joshua Nott (South Africa-at-Large & St Antony's, 2017) who ran a solo-marathon in Oxford on Sunday, 14 June 2020. He completed 42,24 kms in a time of 3:43;51 and raised over R58k in support of the South African Solidarity Fund.

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GO1, an online training start-up founded at Oxford by Rhodes Scholars, Andrew Barnes (Queensland & Exeter 2014) and Melvyn Lubega (SA at Large & Lincoln 2013), has received a $62m investment boost to expand the business in Australia and South Africa. The company is based in Brisbane and Melvyn heads up the South African division. Posting on Facebook, Melvyn wriote: “Five years ago to the week, rushing between classes at Oxford, Andrew and I recorded a video and asked our Facebook friends to vote for us in a competition to win GBP 5,000 (R105,000) to bring to life an idea we had for a platform to improve how people learn….”

Read more about GO1 and the Investment

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It is deeply saddening to announce that the memorial service planned for MRF Founding Executive Director Shaun Athol Johnson on Tuesday 17 March 2020 has been postponed. The announcements by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday 15 March and the growing need to work together to curb the spread of COVID-19 necessitate this decision as a precautionary measure. We had intended to make a significant announcement at the memorial service on Tuesday, which we will share with stakeholders here.

Read More

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Congratulations to Dr Kopano Matlwa-Mabaso (SA-at-Large & Magdalen 2010), who was featured by Bill Gates in his Hero in the Field series, for her work at the Executive Director of Grow Great SA (https://www.growgreat.co.za/). Kopano leads the Grow Great campaign to fight malnutrition and stunting in South African children. Watch Bill Gates's Heroes in the Field: Dr. Kopano Matlwa Mabaso

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Justice Edwin Cameron (South Africa-at-Large & Keble, 1976)  served as a judge in South Africa for a quarter of a century and as a Constitutional Court Judge from 2008.  Hailed as an “exceptional legal scholar”, Cameron is well known for his stand on HIV/Aids; his activism for gay rights; and the “protection of the dignity and rights of the most vulnerable” in South Africa under his watch. Cameron stepped down from the judiciary in 2019 and was honoured at a special sitting of the Constitutional Court on 20 August 2019. President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Cameron as the inspecting judge of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) for a three-year term with effect from 1 January 2020.

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Congratulations to Dr Francois Bonnici (South Africa-at-Large & Brasenose 1999) on his appointment in late 2019 as the Director and Head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, sister organization of the World Economic Forum.

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August 31st marks the end of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. It heralds the start of a new season, new growth, and new beginnings for a new cohort of Rhodes Scholars, eager to start their journey at Oxford University.

Read the full article here

If you have any news about yourself or another Scholar that you would like to be featured on this website, please send the details to: beverley.johnson@rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk

Do you know young people who might want to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship?

Related Groups in the Rhodes community

Learn more about the work of the Rhodes Scholar Africa Forum - one of the groups in Oxford run by current Rhodes Scholars. It is dedicated to increasing awareness of social, political and economic issues, supporting small-scale community development projects, and addressing and engaging with the historical relationship between the Rhodes Scholarship and the African continent.