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The Scholarship
The Scholars

Samantha Akinyi Osanjo

Kenya & University of Cape Town, 2022

Akinyi Samantha Osanjo describes both her life and work to embody compassion and humanity in the pursuit of building power within herself and her community. As a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Global Challenges graduate, she recognises the necessity of education to contribute to the end of the culture of silence surrounding LGBTQ+ refugees.

Akinyi aims to become a powerhouse in human rights activism using social media as a tool in campaigning for the legality, mobility and belonging of LGBTQ+ refugees in Kenya and South Africa. Through her platform, The Asylum Project, she combines education and advocacy to increase visibility and reimagination of mobility.

Her interest areas include LGBTQ+ rights, refugee law, migration policy, diplomacy, a feminist internet and decolonising digital rights. In her vocation to human rights, she served as a; 2021 YOUNGA Delegate, YouthxPolicyMakers Ambassador, 2020- '23 Women Deliver Young Leader, AWID Co-facilitator for the 2021 Feminist Festival - Reimagining Queer Futures session.

Through pursuing her master’s degree, she seeks to deepen her understanding of refugee law and human rights, hence working within the intersections of academia and international development. The overall mission is to build multimedia research and digital archival work to increase scholarly evidence around LGBTQ+ refugees in Africa.

DecorationSamantha Akinyi Osanjo

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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