Khanyisile Melanie Mboya

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of former student and outstanding student leader, Khanyisile Melanie Mboya, who passed away on Sunday, 13 October 2019.

Her funeral will take place this Saturday, 19 October in Nqancule village in Ngqamakhwe.

Khanyisile completed an Honours Degree in Industrial and Economic Social Development in 2016. She joined Rhodes University in 2013, to pursue a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Industrial and Economic Sociology and Political and International Studies. 

She inspired many students and staff with her energy, intelligence, and her orientation towards social justice. This was particularly visible in her extensive engagement in student politics and community engagement. From 2013 – 2016, she was part of the Rhodes University International Office’s International Week task team, responsible for organising projects and events on diversity and internationalisation. In 2015, she was elected into the Student Representative Council as the Sports and Societies Councillor. She was an active volunteer in the Community Engagement Division as part of the Rotaract Club. In 2015, she represented Africa as the Next Generation Service Exchange ambassador in Switzerland, to build national and regional fellowship for Rotary International. She was an active member of the Black Student Movement (BSM) in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, she was selected as the student representative in a team that facilitated negotiations between students and university stakeholders. It is based on her involvement in BSM that she was later invited to make a contribution to the Jacana published book, “We are no longer at ease”.

In 2016, Khanyisile served as the Project and Events Coordinator of the International Office, heading projects and events on diversity, transformation, education and entertainment. 

After graduating from Rhodes University, Khanyisile worked as a consultant in the diversity and transformation of institutions, with clients such as the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, the Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics, the Standard Bank Thuthuka foundation, and various private schools in the area, such as the Diocesan School for Girls. She also served as the Regional Analyst for the think tank Political Economy in Southern Africa (PESA).  In 2018, she joined the Access Music Project in Makhanda as project coordinator. She then joined the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg as the Anzaisha Prize Coordinator. In April 2019, she joined IBIS Consulting Environmental Services as an environmental sustainability consultant in Johannesburg.

She maintained that "my passion for people, innovation and service have propelled me in different directions but ultimately all of them make me the social scientist that I am."

Khanyisile is survived by her mother, Nomakhwezi Valentia Mboya; and her older brother, Siviwe Mgwali. 

Sally Matthews

Associate Professor and Head of Department

Political and International Studies

Last Modified: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:06:24 SAST