"I'm Nokuzola Jenness, a proud graduate of Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa, class of 2005. I spent 7 extraordinary years on “the hill”- a formative experience for which I feel both profoundly grateful and privileged. Grateful, because I left feeling empowered to be an agent for positive change. Privileged, because I know too few deserving students have access to a quality and transformative education. These sentiments led me to a career in economic development, focussed on partnering with businesses to create financial and social value for all stakeholders: employees, suppliers, customers, and shareholders. In addition to volunteering for the South African National Committee, where we are doggedly committed to ensuring that the best and brightest in our nation can attend a United World College, regardless of economic background. Through both my career and volunteerism, I hope, in my own small way, to contribute to a more just and equitable world."
Nokuzola Jenness (Chairwoman)
"I’m Elroy Bell, I graduated from the United World College of the Adriatic, Italy in 2008. I have been involved in the UWC South African National Committee for 10 years. My experience attending UWC Adriatic during my formative ages of 16 – 18, shaped who I am today. It gave me the freedom and security to explore my opinions and challenge my preconceptions of the world. It instilled a strong sense of responsibility to improve not only my national and global communities but left me grateful for the opportunities afforded through such a special educational experience. While studying at the University of Cape Town, I co-founded Bridgetown Theatre Company, a development theatre company. My education at UWC drove my career decisions in ways that I consistently asked how I better my community and develop the arts industry in South Africa in whatever way I could. I have had a varied career working as a theatre producer, arts administrator in SA and the US and currently work as an rights management agent for visual artists, playwrights and author’s in South Africa while teaching emerging creatives about their rights and lobbying parliament for better protection of SA’s creatives."
Elroy Bell (Head of Outreach, Selections Lead for GP, LP, MP, NW provinces)
"I have been active in the UWC movement for twelve years. Two years as a student at UWC Atlantic College (AC) and ten years as a member of the South African UWC National Committee. The notion of serving others and bringing positive changes to my community has been central in my life. This concept can be traced back to my childhood experience growing up in rural South Africa during apartheid. Arriving in Wales, the UWC experience further cemented this belief, and widened my exposure to global issues, and reinforced my understanding of commonality among people regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. After AC I was afforded the opportunity to study at Wesleyan University in the United States and later at IE Business School in Spain. My academic environments allowed me to develop skills to take upon myself the responsibility to solve challenges in my surroundings and to speak for those who can’t. I believe my education has given me great privilege, making me resolved to use it to unlock opportunities for many others in South Africa. Consequently, my professional goals have evolved to reflect my personal goals – to improve the quality of life of those around me. I currently work at Letsema Holdings, where our investment philosophy is to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of society. Every day I get to do this by facilitating institutional success using our intellect, capital and hard work since we see business as a catalyst for social change.
Mpumi Nkosi (Alumni Relations)
Born and bred in Cape Town, I attended the UWC in Costa Rica between 2008 and 2010. I completed my undergraduate degree in International Politics and Economics in the US, followed by a master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Cape Town. UWC instilled in me a strong sense of internationalism and a sincere appreciation of diversity. The experience infinitely broadened my horizons and truly opened my eyes to the world. I currently work for a risk management consultancy as a business intelligence analyst, focused on African markets."
Chad Sonn (Selections Lead for WC, NC, EC provinces)
"My name is Thobile Nzimande and I attended Red Cross Nordic United World College (RCNUWC) between from 2009 until 2011. UWC was more than a school, it was a home away from home and has given me more than education. It has given me lifelong friends and skills that I continue to use in my young adult life. One thing from UWC that I use almost every day is cultural sensitivity i.e. being aware that other people’s culture is different from mine and that will affect how they perceive and process things. Therefore, I should always strive to understand them before making any judgement. Understanding culture has also helped me in my professional pursuits in the Data Analytics field as data tells a story of people and people are shaped by their culture."
Thobile Nzimande (Communications)
"I am Pumla Maswanganyi, a Tsonga girl from Katlehong, and an alum of UWC Maastricht (the Netherlands), from the pioneering class of 2012. Saying that UWC changed my life would be an understatement, as the experience did a lot more for me than I can quantify in words. The best thing about being in the first class at Maastricht, was that from the first day, we were tasked with creating the UWC experience that others would inherit the following years. This made me realise that UWC is not the physical space that you live in, but the formative 3 AM discussions that make you reflect on the present, while pressing forward with faith about the future. As a 15 year old walking into it, not only did UWC open my world (literally), but I also discovered more of myself, as I was surrounded by 50 people that mirrored my passion for the world. When I reflect on my time at UWC, I realise that my experience still continues to shape me in more ways than expected. It served as the foundation for my current role as a development consultant working on equitable trade between Africa and the States, with a focus on holistic short and long term strategies to increase the life chances of youth and women."
Pumla Maswanganyi (Communications)
"My name is Noor Mutsaerts, I studied at the United World College in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 2006-2008. In Mostar, I experienced the importance and challenges of reconciliation and post-conflict education first-hand. By sharing my life with classmates from different conflict areas (e.g. Bosnia, Iraq, Rwanda, Palestine), I learned how friendships can form despite differences in personal beliefs, that we all share a common humanity, but also that certain differences will remain. Working in a refugee camp further taught me to bring my ideals into action. UWC inspired me to strive for equal opportunities for all. Trained as a medical doctor, I became passionate about creating fair opportunities to live a healthy life, independent of where you are born. I am currently doing my PhD in vaccine-preventable diseases in South Africa. My research focuses on improving immunisation schedules while ensuring vaccine safety and immunogenicity. As a result, I hope to make a small contribution to reducing childhood morbidity and mortality."
Noor Mutsaerts (Student Liason)
"My name is Asemahle Mgayi, I attended the Mahindra United World College of India (Muwci) from 2016 and recently graduated in May 2018. Attending Muwci enhanced the way I see community and the value which it has on the lives of individuals. While inspiring me to invest more in the communities I am part of. It challenged every ounce of my beliefs and ignited an ability to be more critical of the world I inhabit and mindful of the ways I contribute to it. Throughout the two years, this journey set before me a series of transformative hurdles which facilitated so much growth and grounded me in gratitude for the amazing opportunity I had received. Most significantly, it enhanced my pride for my country, continent and my culture. It assisted me to relearn the essence of who I am and the soils I come from. Currently, I am taking a gap year in South Africa. Which has allowed me to assist my National Committee with various projects, has given me ample time along with my team members to carve Elea Africa into a UWC short course, while exploring different avenues to acquire Law internships. Participating in Law internships will give me a jump-start to my International and Human rights Law degree which I intend to start in September 2019."
Asemahle Mgayi (Recent Graduate)
Kantha Naicker attended Lester B.Pearson United World College in Canada from 1990 to 1992. In addition to serving as the Managing Director at Evolve Accounting, Kantha currently serves as Vice-Chair of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA). She is a previous director of the Association of BEE Professionals. As a mother to a UWC graduate herself, she also serves as the unofficial parent liaison for current South African students enrolled at UWCs.
Kantha Naicker (Trust Treasurer, Selections Lead for KZN, FS provinces)
Born and raised in Argentina, Eduardo Rodriguez attended United World College of the Atlantic in Wales from 2003 to 2005. After leaving UWC, Eduardo studied at Washingon and Lee University in the USA. He currently works for Accenture and in Johannesburg having previously worked for IBM and Accenture in Buenes Aires.
Eduardo Rodriguez (Fundraising Lead)
Originally from Germany, Nora attended Lester B. Pearson United World College in Canada from 2003 – 2005. She currently works for South Africa’s Higher Education and Training Department. She is the former national chairperson of the South African Young Water Professionals. She holds two Masters degrees, one from Stellenbosch University and another from the University of Dundee in the UK.
Nora Hanke - Louw