Student wins esteemed travel award

Siph’esihle Ndaba and Dr Sizwe Mabizela
Siph’esihle Ndaba and Dr Sizwe Mabizela

Rhodes University Honours student Siph’esihle Ndaba has been granted an Abe Bailey Travel Bursary and will be travelling to Ethiopia and the United Kingdom this November.

The Abe Bailey Travel Bursary gives selected South African university students a chance to broaden their views, while encouraging leadership and promoting African unity.

Ndaba will spend a three-week educational tour of England and Scotland with a stop-over in Addis Ababa to visit the African Union.

“I'm really excited about being awarded this bursary, as it provides not only an academic learning experience but it also allows me to interact with people from different backgrounds, lifestyles and experiences,” said Ndaba.

The Travel Bursary ties in to her degree path. She completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology, Economics and Dramatic Arts in 2018, and is currently completing her Honours in Dramatic Arts. “The Abe Bailey Travel Bursary objectives are centered on open debate, expression of viewpoints on social issues and South African history, which is basically what applied theatre does using an artistic form,” she stated.

Applied theatre, Ndaba explained, is the practice of theatre and drama in non-traditional settings and/or with marginalised communities. “It encompasses theatre practices that tackle areas of social and cultural policy such as public health, education, housing, social welfare, and juvenile and criminal justice.”

She looks forward to being in a foreign country “especially one that has had such great influence on South African history”.

Themes that will be explored with bursars include: the development of the British political system; understanding British history and culture; personal leadership and career development; understanding the British educational system; and a new perspective of South Africa’s place in the world.

“I am a storyteller and, as such, would also love to bring back stories of my experiences of the people, environments, and cultures I encounter while abroad. I hope to use these stories to help educate those that may not be as fortunate as I have been to experience these different spaces,” Ndaba said.

All Abe Bailey bursars become members of the Abe Bailey Fellowship, which comprises of past Travel Bursars since the Tour's inception in 1951.