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The Scholarship
The Scholars

Elim Shanko

Ethiopia & University of Pretoria, 2022

Elim has spent her life championing for just and equitable communities where all people have room to be their authentic selves and can be safe doing so. Her primary interest is in drafting innovative policy change that sets Africa as the trailblazer of Human Rights across multiple ethnic groups and creeds. During her time in residence she will be pursuing a master’s degree in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa at the University of Pretoria.

She received the CEO award at a leading Fortune 500 company for founding the organisation’s first and only Anti-Racism program while she was the most Junior ranking contributor in the organization. She spearheaded the program and led over 2000 employees in the initiative. Elim also founded Wabii, a non-profit organization aiming to unite the African and African-Diaspora communities across the world to come together to catalyze the flourishing of the global African community. Elim is currently writing her first book, a creative non-fiction about everyday change makers, in partnership with New Degree Press, with an anticipated publishing date of September 2022.

When she was living in Peru, Elim served as a student researcher and legal aid assessing the effectiveness of the nation’s newest domestic violence prevention laws for vulnerable women and children. Her research has been published in multiple publications and her findings were presented at the 2019 International Conference of Gender and Women Studies.

DecorationElim Shanko

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 2023, 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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