Mandela Rhodes Scholarship
Six outstanding young South Africans at Rhodes University have been recognized for their potential to make a difference in society with the prestigious Mandela Rhodes Scholarship. This is a record number of scholarships for the university.
Rhodes has the highest number of scholarships awarded to a University in South Africa. Mandela Rhodes Scholarships received 400 applications nationally, 60 applicants were interviewed and 40 scholarships were awarded for 2015.
Aviwe May, Ameil Harikishun, Lumumba Mthembu, Abigail Branford, Kyla Hazell and Selokwane Morake represent a range of disciplines including Law, English, Marine Biology and Biotechnology, and epitomize the best of what South African youth have to offer society.
Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela, met with the students recently and congratulated them on their achievements and asked them to share their research interests and ambitions with him.
Describing Rhodes as a leader in many of the fields represented by the six awardees, Dr Mabizela said they couldn’t be in a better place to pursue their particular research interests at a postgraduate level than Rhodes.
Aviwe May, who aspired to be a medical doctor throughout school, changed his mind after his love for Chemistry was “revitalized” during career exhibitions in his Grade 11 year at Toise High School, King William’s Town.
May is interested in the biological side of Science, and wants to pursue studies in medicinal chemistry. Currently, the Rhodes chemistry department offers research topics ranging from designing inhibitors of molecular chaperones, medicinal natural products and the use of photodynamic therapy in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The research for his BSc Honors will be determined early next year, but of all the topics offered by the department, the use of magnetic fluid (MF) to treat cancer stands out for him.
“In South Africa I have a responsibility to play with regard to rural development and reconciliation.” In the short term he plans to continue with chemistry research, and plans to pursue his dream of moving into the medical side of science in the long term.
May said; “I did not expect to make it this far due to the competitiveness of the selection process. When I was informed that I was awarded the scholarship, I began to give praise to God.