Nine students from Kenya are among 100 talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Africa picked for the inaugural Nelson Mandela Centennial Scholarship.
The students were picked from a total of 756 applicants who applied for the scholarships. They are Leah Ngari, Gloria Wafula, Joy Wamunyu, Diana Imali, Sharleen Nyakundi, Stacy Kioko, Caroline Kuria, Eric Wamugu and Daisy Mukasa.
The announcement of the Scholars was one of the highlights of the centenary celebrations of Mandela’s birthday in South Africa, which was also graced by former US President Barack Obama.
Admitted scholars will study at the African Leadership University in Kigali, Rwanda, where they are set to benefit from a full scholarship and opportunities for leadership development.
Each Scholar will receive an $8,000 (Approximately Ksh 800,000) grant annually, to cover tuition, airfare and living expenses for the duration of their degree programme.
The scholarship is a partnership between the Grac?a Machel Trust (GMT), the Nelson Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS), and African Leadership University.
President Mandela, the first Black South African President, firmly believed in the transformative power of education and its ability to bring dignity, self-actualization, and prosperity to Africans.
Throughout his presidency and thereafter, he dedicated time and effort to ensuring that children from all walks of life had equal access to education, regardless of their economic background.
Commenting on the scholarships, Mr Fred Swaniker, the founder of the Africa Leadership University (ALU) said: “ALU Rwanda provides a great setting to inspire a young mind, as it is located in one of the countries in Africa that is a great example of leadership and economic development in Africa. It truly showcases an Africa that works,”
“Our mission at ALU is to develop and groom the next generation of ethical African leaders. Mandela’s Centennial birthday, therefore, presented a meaningful way to demonstrate our values as a university that emphasizes leadership development, by awarding 100 scholarships in the name of Nelson Mandela, to young talented Africans from across the continent,” he said.
Ms. Graça Machel -ALU Chancellor, Chair of GMT and Board of Trustee at MINDS said: “ALU is a groundbreaking pan-African institution that combines knowledge, skills, leadership and workplace experience. The Mandela Centennial Scholarship with ALU is to honour the 100th birthday of Madiba. The best way to celebrate him is to plant seeds of ethical, vigorous and committed leadership into our nations, to our continent, to the world.”
One of the most famous quotes of the revered Nelson is about education.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” reflects Mandela’s unequivocal conviction that Education is the single most equalizer of conditions of people in a society.