Ruth First Scholar 2002-03
Nceba Lucky Mzanywa is from Alice, in the Eastern Cape province of the Republic of South Africa (near East London). He graduated from Fort Hare University in May 2001 with a BSc Honours degree in Chemistry. During his studies he took part in a number of university and community projects:
- Fort Hare Chemistry Society and Debating Society
- Publicity Officer for the Postgraduate Forum
- Fort Hare Orientation Programme
- Construction work with Southern African Student Volunteers
- Democracy for All games and voter education in rural high schools
- Research project on pollution of drinking water in local villages
At Durham, Lucky took an MSc by Research in Chemistry under the supervision of Dr Ezat Khosravi, working on the synthesis and polymerisation of monomers. This is what he said soon after he arrived in Durham:
I’ve learnt a lot during the induction period in the Chemistry
Department. I’m very certain that by the time I leave here, I’ll have a lot to plough back into my home town university, the University of Fort Hare, where I spend my university life. The University of Fort Hare is one of the oldest and best-known universities in Africa and it is also one of the first historically black universities. Several outstanding leaders of Africa graduated from the University. Among the distinguished alumni are such figures as former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the late President Seretse Khama of Botswana and Yusuf Lule of Uganda. There is a lot of restructuring and development that is currently being implemented and I hope I’ll have a positive input from my experience in Durham.
Lucky’s MSc was awarded in June 2004. After returning to South Africa, he gained a place and funding to study for a PhD in polymer chemistry at the University of Port Elizabeth.