Johannesburg – The Zimbabwe Rhodes Scholarship selection committee has announced Nyasha Mukonoweshuro, and Brendon Mahere as the winners of the 2024 Scholarships.
Nyasha is a first-class graduate in History and Politics from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, and Brendon is a final-year student in Engineering and Management Science at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco.
They will be heading to the University of Oxford in October 2024 to join a cohort of more than 100 Scholars hailing from around the world to undertake postgraduate studies on full scholarship.
The Rhodes Scholarship is the world’s preeminent and oldest graduate fellowship, based at Oxford University since 1903.
For 120 years, over 8 000 Rhodes Scholars from around the world have gone on to serve at the forefront of education, research, business, the arts, development, government, and other sectors.
The Rhodes selection process aims to choose young people with proven academic excellence who also show exceptional character, leadership, the energy to use their talents to the full, and a commitment to solving humanity’s challenges.
The selection process includes a meticulous review process before the finalists are interviewed by a selection committee composed of renowned experts and leaders in diverse fields.
Members of the selection committee include past Rhodes Scholars and prominent Zimbabweans across various sectors, namely: Dr. Solomon Guramatunhu, Professor Arthur Mutambara, Karin Alexander, Rutendo Chigora, Dr. Moreangels Mbizah, and Dirk Holshausen.
Dalumuzi Mhlanga the Zimbabwe National Secretary of the Rhodes Trust said: “When the selection committee meets every year to award two Rhodes Scholarships, we are increasingly convinced that there is no shortage of bright, driven, and capable young people in Zimbabwe.
“While only two scholarships can be awarded, the breadth and depth shown by the candidates assure us that many of them will continue to contribute the best that they can for the benefit of our country”.
Reacting to winning the scholarship, Nyasha who is an alumnus of Dominican Convent High School Harare, said: “Being awarded the Rhodes Scholarship has been nothing short of surreal, and has been a truly life-changing experience.
“Spending time with both the selection committee and all the other remarkable finalists over the last few days has been incredibly inspiring and I feel the utmost gratitude for this opportunity to make a tangible difference for the good of my own community and for others.
“I am especially looking forward to the opportunity to grow as a leader, to learn from the other Rhodes Scholars across the world, and to make use of the tools I gain through this two-year Zimbabwe programme to address some of the most pressing issues in our nation.
“At Oxford, I hope to continue my research in peace-building and conflict resolution as well as pursue my formal legal education in developing ideas towards frameworks of sustainable justice in the African context”.
Brendon, an alumnus of St. Ignatius College and St. George’s College shared similar said: “Winning the Rhodes Scholarship is an immense honor and strongly affirms my commitment to leadership, and service.
“I aspire to leverage the incomparable education and diverse network provided by the Rhodes and Oxford communities to address existential global issues in sustainability and renewable energy.
“With this opportunity, I aim to cultivate innovative business solutions and engage in research that will contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world, while continually working towards the values of the Rhodes Scholarship”.
Each year, the Zimbabwe selection committee selects two candidates, and in recent years Zimbabwe Rhodes Scholars of all backgrounds – across gender, race and academic discipline – have been selected from both local and international Universities.
These young people continue to fly the Zimbabwean flag high as they seek to drive progressive change in their fields of study and in the communities and spaces where they find themselves.
The next application cycle opens on 1st June 2024.
About the Rhodes Scholarships:
The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford, and providing transformative opportunities for exceptional individuals.
The scholarship provides all academic expenses and a stipend for two or three years at the University of Oxford in England – often ranked as the #1 University in the world by some global rankings.
The Rhodes Trust provides the Rhodes Scholarships in partnership with Second Century Founder, John McCall MacBain and other generous benefactors.
The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international graduate scholarship program in the world.
A class of typically 100 Scholars is selected each year from: Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, the Middle East (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine), New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.