Both of This Year’s Rhodes Scholars From Zimbabwe Have Ties to U.S. Universities

Earlier this month, a JBHE post reported that there were seven African Americans among this year’s 32 Rhodes Scholars from the United States. It appears that this is the highest number of African American Rhodes Scholars in any one year since the scholarships were first introduced in 1902.

But at least two other Black students who have attended American universities are also part of this year’s class of 95 Rhodes Scholars from around the world.

Ngoni Mugwisi is a senior at Arizona State University who is a native of Gweru, Zimbabwe. He is majoring in electrical engineering. After graduating in May 2017, Mugwisi will travel to Oxford University as one of two Rhodes Scholars from Zimbabwe. He will study for a master’s degree in engineering science. He hopes to one day work for a renewable energy firm in Europe or the United States and then return to his native Zimbabwe to use what he has learned to benefit the Zimbabwe people.

Lillian Dube is the other Rhodes Scholar from Zimbabwe this year. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Chicago. She will pursue two master’s degrees at Oxford — one in education and the other in English. At the University of Chicago, Dube studied English literature, winning the Elsie F. Filippi Memorial Prize in Poetry for her thesis on violence and gender in the work of the Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta. She is currently teaching high school in Hong Kong. Dube would eventually like to pursue doctoral studies in education, enabling her to one day teach literature, education and writing at the university level.


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