Message from the Head student

This residence was formerly known as Hilltop House #1 of Hilltop Hall which opened in 2011. After a residence voting process, it was newly named as Ellen Kuzwayo House of Desmond Tutu Hall on 7 March 2012. To celebrate and commemorate our chosen residence figure, residents aim to embody her lifelong endeavours of determination, strength and integrity... and most of all, shine.

Based on the top of Rhodes’ resident campus, Ellen Kuzwayo House is nestled amongst its sister residences of Desmond Tutu Hall, Amina Cachalia and Margaret Smith, and its brother residence, Calata House. It provides a quieter and scenic option for student living.

Though the residence is young in comparison to its other Rhodes houses, its traditions and friendly atmosphere have been established with its dynamic house committees and resident body. The facilities have been security based and ecologically built, including a finger-print access system, motion-censored lighting, along with a cosy community of 88 student rooms. 

The house has made its name in its early years as an academically accomplished residence, achieving some of the highest exam results within Desmond Tutu Hall and the Rhodes body.



“We as a house have selected to name our residence after Nnoseng Ellen Kate Kuzwayo, and as a residence, we pledge ourselves to the following:

  •  by vowing to never give into defeat, whether in pursuing academic endeavours or any forms of personal obstacle;


  •  to maintain the qualities of Ellen Kuzwayo by remaining steadfast and determined  to our cause as individuals, members of this house and women of society;


  • to showcase all merits of strength in all facets of our lives;


  • and to always uphold and treasure our integrity.


We dedicate ourselves as a house to honour and embrace the above qualities of Ellen Kuzwayo and intend to fulfil them on a daily basis. We shall strive to become active individuals, focused on establishing a better residence and society as a whole”.


By Natalie Austin, Senior Student 2012,

on behalf of the students of the house

 at the Ellen Kuzwayo House Naming Ceremony

Wednesday, 7th March 2012.

Last Modified: Tue, 16 May 2017 14:50:06 SAST