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Faculty of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

University Of Pretoria Announces Mandela Rhodes Scholarship Recipients

By Phindiwe Nkosi & Kotie Odendaal

Posted on 27 January 2009

FUTURISTIC MAN: Mandela Rhodes Scholarship recipient Xolile Osmond Mlonyeni
FUTURISTIC MAN: Mandela Rhodes Scholarship recipient Xolile Osmond Mlonyeni

Two students of the University of Pretoria are among the 28 Mandela Rhodes Scholarship recipients selected from eight African countries namely: Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The two students, Xolile Osmond Mlonyeni, of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, and Marius Redelinghuys, of the Faculty of Humanities, were awarded the much- coveted scholarship by the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

“Meeting the legendary former President Nelson Mandela was an incredible experience that I will never forget. He has an aura that puts one at ease. Knowing that I will someday be an alumnus of such a prestigious scholarship is a privilege. It is also a huge responsibility,” says Mlonyeni, an MSc (Genetics) student working in FABI.

According to Mlonyeni, academic life is not easy. It requires hard work, inner honesty and determination. What is of comfort though is that he asserts that it is not an insurmountable task.

Mlonyeni extends his gratitude to his mother (Kholiswa), friends, colleagues and his supervisors Dr. Bernard Slippers, Prof Mike Wingfield and Prof Brenda Wingfield of the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), located at the University of Pretoria.

“It is an amazing experience to be one of the 28 young people selected. When one views the calibre and quality of the young people on the African continent; one gains a sense of hope. Africa has a bright future indeed,” says Redelinghuys, a BA (Hons) Political Sciences student.

Redelinghuys, who was recently in the USA as a Youth Ambassador, says "I am so glad to have been picked”, and asserts that meeting the “man who gave me my voice” was an incredible, yet humbling experience. What stood out for him was the realization that former President Mandela took time off to speak to the youth and in some way impart his essence into the lives of the youth.

GOING FOR GOLD: Mandela Rhodes Scholarship recipient Marius Redelinghuys



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