Rhodes University Notable Alumni

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Rhodes University Notable Alumni

Rhodes University Notable Alumni

Notable alumni: general

  • Beth Diane Armstrong – Sculptor
  • Diane Awerbuck – Writer
  • Norman Bailey – Opera singer
  • Nick Binedell – Founding director of the Gordon Institute of Business Science of the University of Pretoria
  • Troy Blacklaws – Novelist
  • Alex Boraine – Politician; academic; co-founder of IDASA (Institute for Democracy in South Africa) and the International Center for Transitional Justice
  • Sir Rupert Bromley, 10th Bt. – Business executive
  • Guy Butler – Poet
  • Efemia Chela – writer
  • Tafadzwa Chitokwindo – Zimbabwe Sevens rugby player
  • Nan Cross – Anti-conscription and anti-apartheid activist
  • Achmat Dangor – Writer
  • Embeth Davidtz – Actress
  • Rob Davies – Minister of trade and industry of South Africa
  • Mick Davis – Businessman, chief executive of Xstrata
  • Geoffrey de Jager – Philanthropist and industrialist; founder of Rand Merchant Bank
  • K. Sello Duiker – Novelist and screenwriter
  • Sir Michael Edwardes – Business executive
  • Allan Gray – Investor and philanthropist
  • Mluleki George – ANC MP and former prisoner on Robben Island
  • Chris Hani – Former leader of the South African Communist Party and chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe
  • Errol Harris – Philosopher
  • Trevor Hastie – Statistician
  • Peter Hinchliff – Anglican priest and academic
  • Humphry Knipe – Adult film writer/director
  • Herbert Kretzmer – Fleet Street journalist and lyricist of inter alia the musical Les Misérables
  • Alice Krige – Actress
  • Margaret Legum – Economist and anti-apartheid activist
  • Kai Lossgott – Interdisciplinary artist
  • Mbuyiseli Madlanga – South African Constitutional Court judge
  • Mandla Mandela – Chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council and grandson of Nelson Mandela
  • The Hon Justice Lex Mpati – Judge President of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa and current chancellor of Rhodes University
  • Patrick Mynhardt – Actor
  • Marguerite Poland – Writer
  • Ian Roberts – Actor
  • Michael Roberts – Historian
  • Kathleen Satchwell – Judge
  • Sir Basil Schonland – Scientist
  • Barry Smith – Musician
  • Ian Smith – Former Prime Minister of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
  • Wilbur Smith – Novelist
  • William Smith – Television science and mathematics personality
  • Robert V. Taylor – Former dean of St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle
  • Phumzile van Damme – MP and Shadow Communications Minister
  • Max Theiler – Virologist, Nobel prize winner (1951)
  • Micheen Thornycroft – Zimbabwe Olympic rower
  • Kit Vaughan – Emeritus professor of biomedical engineering at UCT
  • David Webster – Social anthropologist and anti-apartheid activist
  • Mark Winkler – Author
  • Timothy Woods – Former head of Gresham’s School, England
  • Dana Wynter – Actress
  • Kaneez Surka – Comedienne
  • Simphiwe Tshabalala- Standard Bank CEO

Notable alumni: journalists, media celebrities in South Africa

One of the most well known departments on the Rhodes campus is the university’s school of Journalism and Media Studies, through which many of South Africa’s most notable media celebrities have passed. There are also an especially high number of radio celebrities who graduated at Rhodes – many of them having spent time with the university’s campus radio station Rhodes Music Radio.

  • Matthew Buckland – Media-owner and entrepreneur
  • Anand Naidoo – Anchor and correspondent for Al Jazeera English based in Washington DC; previously with CNN
  • Jeremy Mansfield – Radio host, television presenter, comedian
  • Haru Mutasa – Correspondent for Al Jazeera International
  • Zaa Nkweta – Former Carte Blanche presenter
  • Verashni Pillay – Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief
  • Toby Shapshak – Journalist and African technology thought leader
  • Barry Streek – Political journalist and anti-apartheid activist
  • Rob Vember – 5FM DJ

Notable staff

  • Prof Thomas Alty FRSE – physicist; Principal and Vice Chancellor of the university
  • Margaret Ballinger – Political activist; taught in the history department
  • André Brink – Writer
  • Andrew Buckland – Performer and playwright
  • Julian Cobbing – Professor of African history; wrote an influential and controversial theory on the nature of the Mfecane
  • Ward Jones – Professor of philosophy
  • Don Maclennan – Professor of English and notable poet
  • Catriona Ida Macleod, head of the psychology department
  • Obie Oberholzer – Photographer
  • D. C. S. Oosthuizen – Philosopher, Christian, critic of apartheid
  • Selmar Schonland – Botanist
  • J.L.B. Smith – Ichthyologist; first to identify a taxidermied fish as a coelacanth, a fish previously thought to be extinct
  • H.W. van der Merwe – Founder of the Centre for Intergroup Studies, University of Cape Town
  • Etienne van Heerden – Writer
  • Arthur Matthews (mathematician), founding professor at the university

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