Stellenbosch University
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Maties among SA’s young trailblazers
Author: Corporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]
Published: 02/07/2019

​Three current and five former Maties are among the 200 notable South Africans under the age of 35 featuring in the Mail & Guardian's annual edition of '200 Young South Africans' who have made their mark in areas such education, health, arts and entertainment, justice and law, and politics and sport. The 2019 edition was published in the Mail & Guardian on Friday (28 June 2019). This year Stellenbosch University (SU) is represented in the following categories by the eight Maties:


Zipho Tyoda (32) is the deputy director of earth observations at the Department of Science and Technology, where he oversees the South African National Space Agency and coordinates South Africa's earth observations landscape through the Geneva-based organisation, South Africa-Group on Earth Observations (SA-GEO). He also monitors elements such as the water level of dams to help stakeholders (such as government) make policy decisions. Observations of SA-GEO were used to make important decisions during the recent drought experienced in the Western Cape.


Dr Xanthe Hunt (27) is a researcher at the Institute for Life Course Health Research in SU's Department of Global Health. She is also affiliated with California University and Harvard University. Her work focuses on improving maternal and child health, especially services for young children affected by HIV and their caregivers in Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. She also does research on sexual and reproductive health among people with disabilities and is working on a book about these people's experiences of accessing sexual and reproductive health services.


Nondumiso Phenyane (28) is one of the youngest Black lecturers at SU's Faculty of Law where she teaches the Law of Evidence and Mercantile Law. Before Nondumiso joined SU, she excelled as a legal researcher at the Supreme Court of Appeal and worked on high-profile cases such as the Director of Prosecutions, Gauteng vs Oscar Pistorius, and Van Breda vs Media24 Limited. She plans to complete a master's degree and a PhD in the next few years focusing on research about access to justice in urban townships.

Having recently obtained her doctorate at SU, Dr Lieketseng Ned (30) is the youngest lecturer at the Centre for Rehabilitation Studies in SU's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Here she convenes the postgraduate diploma programme. Lieketseng is also a board member for the South African Christian Leadership Association and serves as the deputy chair for the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre. She is passionate about the promotion of indigenous knowledge in disabilities and rehabilitation studies.


Renaldo Schwarp (27) is Radio Host & Head of Digital at Jacaranda FM. Before joining Jacaranda FM, he worked at MFM, VIA TV as well as CapeTalk. Renaldo also produced an Afrikaans documentary called Skeef which is about the reality of being gay in South Africa and the issues the LGBTI+ community face.


Omphile Ramela (31) is a professional cricketer who currently plays for the Bizhub Highveld Lions. He also represented Maties, the Cape Cobras and South Africa A. Omphile is now the president of the South African Cricket Association and the executive director of Thuto Trust. He sees sports as a powerful force that change the lives of many young people.


Wandile Sihlobo (28) is the chief economist at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) of South Africa and also the commissioner at the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa. Last year he was a member of an advisory panel on land reform appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Wandile writes regularly for Business Day, Fin24 and Farmer's Weekly.


Aakanksha Malik-Nair (35) is Acting Director of Tourism in the Western Cape's Department of Economic Development and Tourism where she sees to that this industry creates work and help boost the country's economy. She is passionate about the empowerment of minorities and works towards the elimination of inequality and injustice.

​As the nominations for the '200 Young South Africans' were not submitted by Corporate Communication, there may be other current and former Maties on the list that we do not know about. The bio of each nominee is a slight adaptation of the one appearing on the list of the Mail & Guardian

  • Click here for a complete list of the 2019 Young South Africans.