Global citizens and leaders: supporting African students in Oxford
Africa Oxford Initiative is working in partnership with Standard Bank Chairman’s Scholarship and Oppenheimer Fund to support the award of six graduate scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year. This includes the inaugural AfOx Graduate Scholarship, launched to further strengthen opportunities available to African graduate applicants.
The first recipient of the AfOx Graduate Scholarship is Olugbenga Adeoba, who will study MSc Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the University of Oxford during the 2020-2021 academic year.
The scholarships aim to provide outstanding African graduates the opportunity to undertake a fully funded Masters degree at the University of Oxford. Going beyond providing course fees and living costs to the scholars, the scholarships will deliver tailor-made training programmes, networking opportunities and support students before, during and following their time at Oxford.
The 6 scholars were selected following a rigorous, multi-stage review and interview process. In addition to academic merit, the 6 chosen scholars demonstrated strong convictions in global citizenship, leadership capacity and commitment to Africa’s development. The University of Oxford, as a leading global academic training ground, will provide the knowledge, training, and support to translate their experiences and passion into practical ways of addressing some of the most pressing challenges in Africa.
Olugbenga Adeoba, Nigeria I MSc Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, College I AfOx Graduate Scholar
Olugbenga Adeoba recently graduated from the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing programme at the University of Iowa. Olugbenga is an award-winning poet, who’s poems address topics such as migration, slavery, war and natural disasters. During his two-year course at the University of Iowa, Olugbenga hosted several poetry workshops for refugees and asylum seekers to help them express their experience through creative writing. He adopted a participatory-observatory approach to study the experience of asylum seekers and resettled refugees in the Iowa City area. At Oxford, Olugbega intends to examine the impact of displacement on young people in North-eastern Nigeria and the barriers it creates to reach Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4)– ensuring inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
You can read a sample of Olugbenga’s poetry Here is Water here: https://kreativediadem.com/here-is-water-gbenga-adeoba/
Zimpande Kawanu, South Africa I MSt World Literatures in English, University College I Oppenheimer Scholar
In 2020 Zimpande Kawanu graduated with a Master of Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. For two years, Zimpande worked as a Research Assistant to the President of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association and contributed to labour reform recommendations for Zambia’s informal economy. During his course at Oxford, Zimpande plans to study the experiences of undocumented migrant labourers working in construction in South Africa. He will explore the ways in which historical forces, such as the transition period from apartheid to democracy and the deregulation of strict border controls shaped the unskilled labour market.
Nina Braude, South Africa I Bachelor of Civil Law, Wadham College I SBAC Scholar
As a litigation attorney based in Johannesburg, Nina Braude has advised international banks on issues around human rights, environmental law, corruption and bribery. Prior to pursuing a career in law, Nina worked as a History and English teacher at secondary schools in Cape Town. In addition to her teaching duties, Nina supported students in developing democratic governance and decision-making processes in their school. A further move from teaching to working on educational policies, impressed upon Nina the importance of legal tools in converting ideas of justice and democracy into systems which enable those ideas to be made tangible. At Oxford, Nina aims to deepen her knowledge of law and reflect on her work so far through the theoretical lens offered by the BCL.
Daniel Kandie, Kenya I MSc Social Data Science, Wadham College I SBAC Scholar
A passion for economics and technology combined with a curiosity about the power of big data led Daniel to apply for the Master of Social Data Science at Oxford. He recently completed an undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia and aims to use his time in Oxford to strengthen his knowledge of theories and concepts in social data science. Upon completion, Daniel plans to work in the Kenyan public sector to develop data driven public policies to improve economic growth in the country. Ultimately, he hopes to apply his research to the question- how can data be used to solve the most challenging problems in Kenya, East Africa and Africa as a whole?
Samson Itodo, Nigeria I Masters in Public Policy, Wadham College I SBAC Scholar
Samson Itodo is a lawyer and Founder of Yiaga Africa, an NGO whose mission is to promote democracy in Africa. For the last 12 years, Samson has worked to facilitate the inclusion of young people in politics and promote electoral integrity. One of his biggest achievements has been the successful #NotTooYoungToRun campaign to reduce the age at which you can run for elective office in Nigeria. The NotTooYoungToRun campaign has been adopted by the United Nations, African Union and Economic Community for the West Africa States. Samson is interested in the impact of social movements on public policy and their role in qualifying or refining public policy. He aspires to become Chairperson of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission.
Nkechi Eze, Nigeria, Masters Business Administration, Wadham College, SBAC Scholar
Nkechi is the Founder and CEO of AsoEbiBella– Nigeria’s most followed fashion media company. Her interest in media and its ability to connect people led Nkechi to start her own company promoting female led SMEs in Nigeria. In addition to running her business, Nkechi has led several campaigns to empower Nigerian based designers and collect clothing donations for indigent communities. Through the MBA programme at the Said Business School, Nkechi intends to strengthen her financial skills and business acumen in order to expand her business into manufacturing African fabrics for the local and global market.