Zainab Olaitan

Nigeria & University of Cape Town, 2018

Zainab Olaitan is a graduate of the University of Lagos, Nigeria where she obtained her Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Political Science with Distinction. In 2018, she completed her second degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE Hons) from the University of Cape Town with upper second class.

During her studies at the University of Lagos, she engaged in lots of extracurricular activities  ranging from politics to debating. In 2014, she won the University of Lagos debate competition which she went on to represent her institution at many local and international debate tournaments. As someone that studies the art and science of politics, she believes it is important to participate in politics which prompted her contest for various elective positions during her undergraduate degree. In 2015, she was elected as the Vice-President of her faculty student council, a position she used to make some monumental changes in the faculty. The same

year she was appointed to represent her hall of residence in the University of Lagos Students’ Union Parliament, of which she was re-appointed the following year. In 2016, she was elected as the president of the largest hall of residence in the University of Lagos due to her impeccable leadership record. In 2016, She was invited by the Lagos chapter of the Forum of African Women Educationalist (FAWEN) to speak on Women’s participation and Student Leadership in tertiary institutions.

In 2018, her first academic paper titled ‘Enlightenment ideas and Colonialism’ was selected for presentation at the 42nd world congress of the International Institute of sociology held at University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. In the same year, she was selected by the Students’ Affairs division to participate in the Student Leadership Programme organized by the University of Cape Town. In 2018, She did a 3-month internship as a Data processing and quality control officer at Aerobotics, a Cape Town-based tech company that uses drones image to get stats on farms. After her year in residence as a Mandela Rhodes scholar, she was awarded the MasterCard Scholarship to study Masters in Political Science at the University of Pretoria in 2019. She is keenly interested in contributing to research in Political thought, decolonization, conflict studies and peacebuilding for the political and economic advancement of Africa.

Zainab loves to dance, watch movies and enjoy the Lagos nightlife with friends.


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