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The Scholars

Mpanangombe Wrixon

Malawi & University of Cape Town, 2023

Wrixon Mpanang’ombe is completing a Master of City and Regional Planning from the University of Cape Town. His first Master’s dissertation explored the issue of car dependency in Cape Town, which is relevant for understanding pathways for enabling climate justice, transport justice and spatial justice in one of the world’s most unequal cities.

Wrixon aspires to make a difference in addressing issues of spatial marginalisation in African cities through better design of streets and public spaces that support informal livelihoods. These are spaces in which the existence of informal traders and dwellers is threatened by road expansion projects and exclusionary campaigns purported to beautify the so-called “chaotic” African cities.

As a 2023 Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Wrixon will pursue a Master of Urban Design to advance his understanding of place-making processes and acquire critical spatial design skills pertinent to his Doctoral research interests.

Previously, Wrixon worked in corporate environmental management in the railway industry; in environmental impact assessment consultancy; and on a research project focusing on the sanitation circular economy in Kenya and Malawi. His recent achievements include receiving the Western Cape Government Prize for the Best Local Area Planning Project and UCT’s 2022 JW Jagger Centenary Gift Scholarship. Wrixon is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, 2019 World Bank Blog4Dev Winner, 2020 UN SDSN Local Pathways Fellow, and a Yenching Global Symposium alumnus.

Wrixon enjoys cooking, reading, podcasts and photography. He is a fan of reality competition series especially Big Brother, Idols and Masterchef.

DecorationMpanangombe Wrixon

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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)

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

Leadership:

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?

Reconciliation:

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?

Education:

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?

Entrepreneurship:

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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