Higherlife Foundation Alumni receive prestigious Rhodes Scholarship- Zimbabwe 2019

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Higherlife Foundation is delighted to have two of its Joshua Nkomo Scholarship alumni- Itai Muzhingi and Shantel Marekera as recipients of the 2019 Zimbabwe Rhodes Scholarship.

The Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate award for exceptional students to study at the University of Oxford. Founded in 1902 by English businessman and politician Cecil John Rhodes, the scholarship is not just a financial bursary but a life-changing opportunity for exceptional young people to make a difference and provide transformative solutions to the world’s problems.

Prominent recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship include former president of Pakistan Wasim Sajjad, former Australian prime ministers Tony Abbott, Bob Hawke and Malcolm Turnbull, and former US president Bill Clinton. Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their distinctive character, commitment to their communities, and outstanding leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead. Competition is very stiff between applicants as more than 100 applications are received each year, so we are proud of our two Joshualites for making it onto the outstanding list.

Itai Muzhingi who is a 2011 Joshua Nkomo scholarship recipient graduated from Amherst College (ranked #1 liberal arts college in the US), with a degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics. At Oxford, Itai plans to enrol in the PhD program in Molecular and Cellular Medicine. Since his graduation, he has been working at an MIT/Harvard Lab that is developing an HIV vaccine and is globally recognized as the lab which is foremost in this pursuit.

Fellow Rhodes Scholar Shantel Marekera is also a 2012 Joshua Nkomo scholarship recipient and a graduate from Arizona State University with a degree in Law and Jurisprudence. At Oxford, Shantel plans to continue her studies in Law, and she has been recognized as a “Global Peace Ambassador” for Zimbabwe.

From Zimbabwe, three scholars were selected namely Itai, Shantel and Tatenda Magetsi – a graduate from Bindura University who plans to continue his interdisciplinary studies at Oxford in Sociology and Legal systems.

Following this year’s selection of scholars, there are now a total of seven Joshua Nkomo Scholarship alumni who have been awarded the Zimbabwe Rhodes Scholarship, in a space of 5 years! Higherlife Foundation is thrilled to be part of this journey and we look forward to sending even more of our scholars to Oxford in the years to come.


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