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The Scholars

Neema Meremo Samwel

Tanzania & University of Cape Town, 2021

Neema Meremo Samwel works with Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) as Gender-based Violence Program Manager. She is also the founder of Girls Rising Tanzania, an organisation that reaches and mentors girls in rural Tanzania with technology and mapping skills to enable them to access opportunities and improve their educational performance.

With her passion for the rights of women and girls, Neema has been championing programs to end GBV in Tanzania for the past five years. Prior to her current position, she worked with several organisations in Tanzania to eradicate female genital mutilation and child marriage which is prevalent in the Northern part of Tanzania. Neema successfully led a mapping to end FGM campaign that led to over 3000 girls being saved from the cut.

Neema has been named by the Ashoka Africa and Robert Bosch Foundation as one of the top 20 young people leading change in gender justice in East Africa. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community and Bosch Alumni Network.

DecorationNeema Meremo Samwel

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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