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Characteristics sought in a Mandela Rhodes Scholar

Young African,

Aspire to be a Mandela Rhodes Scholar if you dream of being a leader; a leader in whose blend of character and intellect Africa will take pride.

Aspire to this if you believe you have within you the moral force of character and instinct to lead; and understand that leadership is more than personal ambition, it is also service, requiring the will and capacity to inspire and develop fellow human beings to their own excellence;

Aspire to this if you believe that the advancement of individual and social fulfillment, human rights, dignity, the achievement of fundamental freedoms, is among the highest of callings;

Aspire to this if you believe that hard work is essential, and you esteem the performance of public duties to be among the noblest of aims.

Aspire to be a Mandela Rhodes Scholar if you understand education to be both a gift and a tool for the advancement of human development, to the benefit of all.

Aspire to this if you value and pursue scholastic attainment, but understand that intellectual excellence is not to be seen in isolation from other qualities of character; that leaders require a roundedness of personality;

Aspire to this if you believe that in receiving an exceptional education, an individual embraces a responsibility to foster such opportunities for others;

Aspire to this if you believe that your own success might also make a difference to others.

Aspire to be a Mandela Rhodes Scholar if you believe in an entrepreneurial spirit to allow Africa to take with dignity its rightful place as an equal and competitive presence in the global world.

Aspire to this if you have the vigour to pursue this aim with integrity; and the energy to use your talents to the full, as exemplified by a fondness for and success in team pursuits beyond the confines of your professional career;

Aspire to this if you believe that individual human effort, innovation and  creativity will lead to the betterment of society and an effective contribution to the world;

Aspire to this if you love Africa and all of its peoples.

Aspire to be a Mandela Rhodes Scholar if you believe in reconciliation, freedom, peace and prosperity among all human beings, who should share equal citizenship and opportunities in this world.

Aspire to this if you believe in being part of creating a humane world in which all individuals and cultures enjoy equal respect; a world whose emergence will say a new order is born in which we are all each other’s keepers;

Aspire to this if you value truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship;

Aspire to be a Mandela Rhodes Scholar if you believe that the past, in all its imperfection, should be harnessed to benefit the present and the future.


The Trustees of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation
Cape Town, South Africa, 2005