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The Scholarship
The Scholars

Abigail McDougall

South Africa & Stellenbosch University, 2013

Abigail is a Mandela Rhodes Scholar in the Class of 2013. In her year in residence she studied at the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch, and lived in the Listen Live and Learn community at the university. In 2014 she worked full time as a coordinator for Listen Live and Learn, and served as the Secretary of the board of the Mandela Rhodes Community. This period taught her how to facilitate, lead, and participate in diverse groups and teams, experiences which she has drawn on in many contexts since then.

Abigail completed her MA in Creative and Media Enterprise at Warwick University in the United Kingdom in 2016, on the Chevening Scholarship. She holds a BA in Journalism and Media Studies and an Honours in Politics and International Studies from Rhodes University, and a BPhil in Sustainable Development from Stellenbosch University.

Abigail was the online editor of Marie Claire South Africa in 2017 and 2018. In this role she developed the skills of content strategy, social media management, and digital marketing (including paid media and SEO strategy). Abigail is also a writer who has published work in the Daily Maverick and GroundUp, as well as in Marie Claire.

Abigail joined the Mandela Rhodes Foundation in January 2019. She is an experienced multi-platform storyteller, and is committed to finding innovative and sustainable ways to tell African and South African stories to the highest standards.

In her free time she enjoys growing indoor plants, playing football, and spending time with her family.

DecorationAbigail McDougall

Could you be a Mandela Rhodes Scholar?

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Could you be a Scholar?


We look for young Africans who have demonstrated the potential to embody our founding principles of reconciliation, education, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

On 1 January 2024, I will be between the age of 19 and 29

I am a citizen of an African country

I have an undergraduate degree with above-average academic results (70% + or Upper Second Class Honours)


We look for young leaders who aspire to the principles below and who have demonstrated the potential to live them out.


Do you aspire to be a visionary leader who has moral authority? Do you see leadership as more than just personal ambition - as a way to pursue the advancement of equality and freedom, human rights and human dignity? And do you want to guide and inspire others to reach their full potential?


Do you admire Nelson Mandela’s ability to bridge historic divides through our common humanity? Do you believe that reconciliation and reparation are the key to transforming our societies so that everyone can have equal opportunity to thrive? And are you prepared to begin by grappling with your own internal divides and difficulties first?


Do you have excellent academic results, but believe that your education should not only benefit you but make a difference to others? And do you understand that intellectual excellence must be accompanied by character and a rounded personality?


Do you want to see Africa take its rightful place as an equal and competitive presence in the global world? Have you demonstrated individual effort, innovation and creativity to this end?


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