Ten Southern African Rhodes Scholars Are Heading to Oxford University

JOHANNESBURG--()--We are delighted to announce that the prestigious, post-graduate Rhodes Scholarships, for study at Oxford University in 2024, have been awarded to ten exceptional young graduates from across the region.

The Southern African cohort will be heading to the University of Oxford in October 2024 to join more than a hundred Rhodes Scholars from around the world to undertake fully funded post-graduate studies and become part of a strong international network and supportive community of young leaders determined to make a positive difference in the world.

The Rhodes Scholarship is the world’s preeminent and oldest graduate fellowship, based at the University of Oxford since 1903. Over the last 120 years, nearly 1000 graduates from Southern Africa have been awarded Rhodes Scholarships. Ten Rhodes Scholarships are awarded annually in the constituency, comprising South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and eSwatini.

The annual Rhodes selection process seeks young people with a proven record of academic excellence who also display exceptional moral character, evidence of leadership skills, the energy to use their talents to the full, and a commitment to solving humanity’s challenges.

Selection procedures include an online application process, an iterative review of the applications submitted, before the shortlisted candidates are interviewed by first a regional selection committee and then, after a further shortlisting exercise, a national selection committee. At each level, committees comprise renowned leaders and experts (both Rhodes Scholars and non-Scholars) across diverse fields, all of whom volunteer their services to the Rhodes Scholarship.

Over the last three months, nine regional selection committees have shortlisted and interviewed eligible candidates from universities across Southern Africa. Twelve regional finalists were recommended for interviews with the South Africa-at-Large national selection committee on 10-12 November 2023.

Following a weekend of rigorous and thorough interviews, the ten Rhodes Scholars for 2024 were confirmed this week.

The 2024 Rhodes Scholarships for Southern Africa have been awarded to the following (in alphabetical order):



Rhodes Scholarship for 2024


Justine Crook-Mansour

SACS & Partner Schools 2024


Daniel Erasmus

St Andrew’s College & DSG 2024


Tessa Malan

Paul Roos Gymnasium & Partner Schools 2024


Bertha Tobias

BLMNS 2024


Humairaa Moosa

KwaZulu-Natal 2024


Sagel Kundieko

South Africa –at-Large 2024


Mothibi Mathivha

South Africa –at-Large 2024


Dr Leago Sebesho

South Africa –at-Large 2024


Dr Bradley Segal

South Africa –at-Large 2024


Dr Savannah Verhage

South Africa –at-Large 2024

The National Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarships in Southern Africa, Mr Ndumiso Luthuli, commented:

2023 is a landmark year as we celebrate 120 Years of the Rhodes Scholarship. This year, following wide-ranging outreach to universities across the region, we recorded the highest number of applications ever for the Southern African Rhodes Scholarships, with applications up by 5% on last year, the previous record. For the first time ever, we had a finalist from the University of Mpumalanga, an institution only a decade old, shortlisted for the national interview round in 2023.

Our selection committees were spoilt for choice and had exceptionally strong pools from which to shortlist for the regional interviews. The finalists interviewed by the national selection committee were all quite outstanding and some tough choices had to be made last Sunday by the South Africa-at-Large selectors.

The Scholars selected have studied diverse academic disciplines, ranging from astrophysics to applied mathematics, commerce to computer science, from law to medicine, from international relations and leadership, to neuroscience and biomedical engineering. All are academically gifted, socially committed, well-rounded and exceptional young leaders.

We are confident that the 2024 Rhodes Scholars selected all have the potential to become catalysts for good: young changemakers, who will inspire solutions to the many challenges faced by our post-pandemic society. All have the energy and ‘courage to lead’, and are committed to making a positive impact in Southern Africa and beyond. We have no doubt that they will continue to ‘fight the world’s fight’ in the 120 year-old tradition of the Rhodes Scholarship.”

The Rhodes Scholarships were first awarded in 1903 (https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk), following a significant bequest. Annually, more than 100 Rhodes Scholarships are bestowed to top achieving, young graduates from 60 countries across the world. The ten Southern African Rhodes Scholars will join a further 90 international students in Oxford, who will make up the Class of 2024.

Dr Elizabeth Kiss, CEO of the Rhodes Trust, said: We are excited to see the tremendous talents of this year’s Rhodes Scholars Elect, who come from countries all around the world. We know from 120 years of bringing exceptional people to Oxford to study and build a dynamic global community, that when unlikeminded but like-hearted people come together, we can forge brighter futures for individuals and the world.”

Kiss added that: “Students from anywhere in the world can apply for a Rhodes Scholarship and many find that taking part in the rigorous selection is a profoundly positive experience which leaves them well placed to go on to other opportunities worldwide.”

For 120 years, the global Rhodes Scholar community has been a force for good. Scholars form a lifelong community, diverse, multicultural and multidisciplinary in nature, but united by a common commitment to having a positive impact on the world.

Scholars from Southern Africa have gone on to pursue careers ranging from medical research to jurisprudence to public service; and are a distinguished cohort committed to their country, to impacting positively on the lives of their fellow South Africans, and to standing up for the world.

The Trust is committed to ensuring that the world’s diversity of background and thought is reflected at Rhodes House, which has expanded the Rhodes Scholarship to include Global Scholarships and new constituencies in recent years, including West Africa, East Africa, China, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon & Palestine and the United Arab Emirates.

The applications for the 2025 Rhodes Scholarships will open in June 2024. More information about the Scholarship application be found at: www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/apply. Images of the Scholars Elect can be found here.

Issued by:

Beverley Johnson

Regional Manager, Rhodes Scholarships for Southern Africa

E-mail: southernafrica.secretary@rhodestrust.com

Tel: +27 (0)82 441 8025/ +27 (0)74 054 4300



21 November 2023

About the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes Scholarships

The Rhodes Trust, based at the University of Oxford, is an educational charity that forges brighter futures for individuals and the world.

We do this through a family of global fellowship programmes. All these programmes find brilliant people from around the world, give them wonderful opportunities to learn and act together, and support them as they form lifelong communities. We began in 1903 with the Rhodes Scholarship. This is the world’s pre-eminent graduate fellowship, bringing exceptional young people of character to the University of Oxford to study. Over 8000 Rhodes Scholars, from more than 50 countries, have gone on to serve at the forefront of education, business, science, medicine, the arts, politics and beyond. All this is made possible by the wonderful generosity of our Second Century Founders, John McCall MacBain and the Atlantic Philanthropies, as well as over 3000 other benefactors from around the world.

A hundred years on, we helped create the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, which finds, funds, and empowers young Africans to study in South Africa. In 2016, we partnered with Atlantic Philanthropies to create the Atlantic Institute which empowers catalytic communities of emerging leaders to advance fairer, healthier, more inclusive societies. A year later, we helped launch Schmidt Science Fellows in partnership with Schmidt Futures, which believes in a vision of a world where interdisciplinary science flourishes without limit. We worked with Schmidt Futures again to create Rise, a program that supports brilliant people through their lives, starting at ages 15-17. And in 2022, we partnered with Harris Manchester College to launch Oxford Next Horizons, a rich, six-month experience designed for mid to late career participants from any field, who reflect, explore and imagine what’s next for them and the world.

We are based at Rhodes House in Oxford, which we are currently transforming into a world-class facility for gathering, learning, collaborating and sharing. Rhodes House is home to most of our staff team who offer a comprehensive programme of support and learning for our Rhodes Scholars, convene a lifelong network for our alumni, and run several of our partnership programmes.


Babette Littlemore, Director of Communications:

Release Summary

The Rhodes Scholarships, for study at Oxford University in 2024, have been awarded to ten exceptional young graduates from across Southern Africa.


Babette Littlemore, Director of Communications: