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First Mastercard Foundation Scholar Earns Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Trust recently announced that Ngoni Mugwisi, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar and electrical engineering student at Arizona State University (ASU) has earned a Rhodes Scholarship. He is the first Mastercard Foundation Scholar to become a Rhodes Scholar.

“I would like to join the team of young people who are really passionate about developing Zimbabwe,” Ngoni shares in a recent interview for the ASU website. “The challenge in Zimbabwe right now is there aren’t many opportunities where people can develop their skills. I do think as things change in the long-term, economically and politically, we’ll see a lot more young people go back to Zimbabwe. I see that happening for myself in the near future.”

Ngoni is a remarkable young leader from Gweru in central Zimbabwe. He has been recognized for his work on a number of initiatives, including “Stair Gardens,” a tiered gardening initiative for communities who struggle with access to land and food security in Zimbabwe. Last year, Stair Gardens won the 2015 Social Venture Challenge, held in conjunction with the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI-U), which described the project as “an exemplary way of tackling critical issues.” Ngoni transformed Stair Gardens into a venture called Solar Water Solutions, which recently was awarded another grant from W.P Carey’s Pakis Social Enterprise Challenge.

Ngoni has become a leader on the ASU campus. He is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers where he is working to get African-Americans interested in STEM through community service opportunities. He also has co-founded and led Africa Rises, a platform for sharing culture, and encouraging inclusion on campus. For his involvement in these initiatives, Ngoni won an award for excellence.

Ngoni’s hard work and dedication to social innovation has informed his leadership journey. We are immensely proud of his work and all of the achievements of our Mastercard Foundation Scholars. We wish them continued success and hope that all of their dreams are realized.