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My story of MRF impact: Luqman Abdukadir and Ismail Dumutu

Published 30 March 2023

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Luqman reflects: A transformative experience

The MRF scholarship has been a transformative experience for me, both personally and professionally. Through the scholarship, I have participated in various academic and extracurricular activities that have enriched my knowledge and skills in my field of study. These experiences have enhanced my academic performance and helped me develop a deeper understanding of Africa's challenges and opportunities.

One of the most significant benefits of the scholarship is the community it provides. Being part of a network of young African leaders who share my desire to create positive change in Africa has been an inspiring and empowering experience. It has allowed me to collaborate on impactful projects, work with other talented and motivated individuals, and gain access to new opportunities.

In addition to the intellectual and social benefits of the scholarship, the opportunity to live and study in Cape Town was a genuinely enriching experience. The city's unique blend of cultures and breathtaking natural beauty created an unforgettable environment that challenged my perspectives and broadened my worldview.

In conclusion, I highly recommend the MRF scholarship to other young African leaders who are passionate about creating positive change in their communities. I am grateful for the opportunities and support provided by the program and look forward to seeing how it will continue to impact the lives of young African leaders for years to come.

Ismail reflects: walking in Madiba's footsteps

I am a Mandela Rhodes Scholar from South Sudan. I am a chemical engineer by training and am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Programme Evaluation at the University of Cape Town. I was selected for the Mandela Rhodes Foundation scholarship in 2022 while working as a Water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) Engineer for a local non-profit organization at the time. My interest in Programme evaluation began during the implementation of one of the projects. I decided to become an evaluator to help organisations invest in long-term solutions to deep-seated social problems rather than providing quick fixes.

Being a Mandela Rhodes Scholar is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The leadership programme was designed in a way that allows scholars to walk in the footsteps of Madiba, a man whose humility and self-sacrifice speak for themselves. Visiting Mandela's house in Cape Town was surreal for me, walking in the same yard he had walked, sitting in the same chair he sat in, and visiting the same prison cell where he had spent more than 18 years of his youth.

During the leadership workshops, we also interacted regularly with exceptional entrepreneurs and leaders who are doing things differently on the African continent. The visit by Sibusiso Vilane, the first black man to summit Mount Everest, was the highlight of the workshops for me. His resilience taught me that I could overcome any obstacle with the discipline of a mountain climber. In addition, as Aristotle once said, "knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom," the foundation's emphasis on knowing oneself sets the programme apart. It enabled me to be my authentic self and develop my own leadership style.

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