Alumni Newsletter 2021/05

Founder's Centenary 

Waterford School Trust Founder Martin Kenyon (centre) attending a class when he visited WK in September 2017. 

In 1962, after having been introduced by a mutual friend, Martin Kenyon and Michael Stern founded the Waterford School Trust to raise funds for the establishment of Waterford College. “I thought all I would do is introduce him to a few of the good and the great that I had collected over the years through my work with the Commonwealth, but I came to realise that I wouldn’t get rid of him that easily,” joked Kenyon in a conversation held earlier on this year. We had called Kenyon to congratulate him on his  internet fame that came after receiving his first Covid-19 vaccination in December 2020, which was followed up by his second jab in January of this year, a few days before Michael Stern’s 99th birthday. It was during this conversation that we realised that January 13, 2022 would mark our Founder’s centenary birthday.

WK's Founder Michael Stern with the first students at the school.

Michael Stern wrote, in the preamble to the WK Constitution:

“Students are selected on merit (with entry tests and personal interviews) from the widest possible range of social, racial, cultural and national backgrounds, where possible without regard to parents' ability to pay the fees, so there has always been (and as far as possible will always continue to be) a determined effort to raise funds to provide bursaries as assistance for these who qualify for admission but cannot afford the (full) fees."

When asked about the role Waterford should play in education 6 decades later, Kenyon reflected “I was raised an international, my parents had friends from all walks of life and our family life was filled with people from diverse cultures. I can’t think of anything more important than keeping a place like this open. Bringing together people from different countries and cultures, living and learning together is transformational."

Ahead of our 60th Anniversary on February 3, 2023 we begin this journey of reflection by marking the 100th birthday of Michael Stern, the founder of Waterford Kamhlaba. The provision of full bursaries and partial scholarships remains a priority for the College, and thanks to the continued support we receive from donors and supporters, we are able to offer significant financial assistance to students attending Waterford every year. Scholarships are what make the UWC experience unique because of the diversity they bring to our campuses. To sustain this legacy the College is embarking on a campaign to raise 100 Legacy Scholarships. Read more about this initiative in the “Kamhlaba Fund: The Impact of Giving” report, and find out how you can get involved.

Country Updates - Eswatini

Students during assembly at the school's amphitheatre. 

Recent developments around the unrest in Eswatini have resulted in an unstable and unpredictable environment. The country’s civil society has been leading protests seeking answers from the government. Class boycotts by public school students were followed by circulating social media posts that seemed to target private and independent schools by the protesters, hence the closure of some independent schools and government schools, and subsequently the official closure of schools by the Eswatini government. Waterford is also closed at the moment. 

Those who have been following media reports might have seen the protests happening in different towns throughout the country. The police had to occasionally order the closing of some retailers and at some point there was a scare around the shortage of fuel because the country’s biggest transport and logistics company mentioned that it was having challenges as a result of the unrest. 

However, the situation at the moment is somewhat stable and there have been talks taking place between the country’s leadership and SADC, following the government’s widely published commitment to a dialogue. 

Throughout the unrest period, Waterford campus has been safe. Our boarding students and resident staff have remained on campus. The school has been in touch with the police and different embassies, closely monitoring the situation and making assessments from time to time for purposes of ensuring safety of students and staff under the current conditions. We appreciated the support we get from members of the community, including our alumni as we navigate through this difficult moment. 

WK's Eco Estate Manager Steve McGuire (left) having a chat with EU Regional Security Officer during a visit to WK by EU Head of Delegation to Eswatini on Friday 29 October 2021.

WK Updates


Plans are underway and we are very hopeful about having face-to-face graduations. Due to COVID-19 regulations we are not able to have parents or guardians for these events, but the good news is that alumni will be able to follow proceedings because we will be livestreaming the event. Form 5 graduation takes place on Friday 19 November and will be livestreamed. Our IB2 graduation is taking place on Saturday 13 November and it will also be livestreamed.

A section of participants during the 2019 IB Graduation Ceremony at Esibayeni Lodge, Eswatini. 
Kamhlaba CookBook 

Three of our IB2 students, Georgia Walker-Keleher, Hadit Poveda and Georgia Bailey have been working on a cookbook (Kamhlaba Cookbook) with the intention to sell this book and donate the proceeds to St. Joseph’s school for the deaf in Eswatini. They will sell this book during IB2 graduation next week and those who would like to make an online order for the book can fill in this form.

CNN Call to Earth - Panel Webinar 

You are invited to a panel webinar organized by three IB1 students (Brunnet Makava, Esther Makwaza and Achieng Kuir) and featuring members of our community, including alumni, on Wednesday 10 November 2021, starting at 3pm, SAST. You are requested to register here for this virtual event. The topic for the day is:The 21st century human's normal day to day life is contributing to global warming. This event is part of the CNN Call to Earth project, an initiative dedicated to conservation, environmentalism and sustainability. Through this project everyone is encouraged to do something positive to protect the environment on November 10, 2021. We are happy that our students are taking this opportunity to open a discussion on global warming.

Speaker Series

Fezokuhle Khumalo (Eswatini, WK 06 - 12)
On Wednesday we had an exciting Alumni Speaker Series conversation with Fezokuhle Khumalo who talked about  her journey, her research and what the future holds for Medical Virology in the region.Thank you to Fezokuhle and all those who participated in the session. The Speaker series is a space for the Waterford Kamhlaba community to interact, either virtually or face-to-face. It focuses on various topics that are inline with the Kamhlaba values. The speakers are members of the Waterford Kamhlaba community especially – but not exclusively – Waterford alumni. If you have something to share with the community, or you would like to participate, please send us an email.

UWC-USA Speaker Series

Xochitl Torres Small (WK '03) and UWC-USA alumnus Doug Turner.
You are invited to a virtual conversation between UWC-USA alumnus Doug Turner and Xochitl Torres Small (Waterford '03) as they explore causes and discuss solutions to polarization. The event will take place on November 29 at 7pm Mountain Time. You can register for the session here.

Alumni Engagement Officer

Our Alumni Engagement Officer, Nosimilo Khumalo, has made a career move from an administrative role to an academic role at the college. She will be taking up the position of Geography teacher at WK in January 2022. Nosimilo has been doing a great job in engaging with a number of our alumni and we are happy that she is not leaving but assuming a new role at the school. Please join us in thanking Nosimilo and as she starts her teaching career in January 2022. 

While we are sad to see Nosimilo leave the Advancement Office and we wish her every success in her new role; we are equally excited to announce that we are seeking our next Alumni Engagement Officer. The role of the Engagement Officer in the Advancement Office is important and we believe that it is best filled by someone who has experienced Kamhlaba. Are you our next Alumni Engagement Officer? To learn more about the position and how to apply, please visit the college website.

Students going through their work at the school's Academic Square.

Alumni Profiles

                      Mopani Mkandawire (WK '05) 

“Waterford taught me life skills and a leadership mentality like no other school I had come across such as managing your own pocket money, living without parents and travelling alone.” Read more.
        Dr Nowbath (WK '76) and Dr Seape (WK '77) 

Congratulations to Dr Sebolelo Seape (South AfrWK 74 - 77) on her appointment as the President of the South African Society of Psychiatrists. She is the first black woman in this position.

New Executive Director for UWC IO

Chair of the UWC International Board, Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, recently announced an incoming Executive Director of UWC International, Faith Abiodun. Faith will join UWC International as its new Executive Director based in London, starting 1 December. Originally from Nigeria, he is an education and social enterprise leader, international affairs analyst, writer and speaker. His career includes almost a decade of experience in an executive role at the African Leadership Academy.

“I am incredibly delighted to join UWC International at such an exciting time in our history,” said Faith Abiodun at the time of his announcement. “For nearly 60 years, this movement has consistently placed education at the forefront of the cause of developing a peaceful and sustainable future. As the world experiences seismic shifts politically, economically and socially, that mission is even more relevant today. I am eagerly looking forward to working with the UWC International Board and Council, the UWC national committees, the UWC schools and colleges, the students, alumni and volunteers and of course the staff at the UWC International Office, as well as many other exceptional individuals and partners across the world whose passion and energy will continue to sustain this movement as we strive daily in pursuit of our powerful mission,” he continued.

Alumni Opportunities

The Waterford Kamhlaba Foundation of South Africa (WKFSA) is inviting recent IB graduates based in South Africa to assist the foundation as an administrator to support the Chairman and trustees with quarterly meeting planning, minutes write-up, annual strategy planning, patron's foundation updates and donor engagement. 

The role provides good exposure to corporate operations, strategic planning, stakeholder and donor management; which are valuable skills to build and also grow your corporate network portfolio for future employment.

The Waterford Kamhlaba Foundation of South Africa (WKFSA) was established in 1962, through a trust and registered as a public benefit organisation (PBO: 930040101). The patron of the Foundation is Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu.

The objectives of the Foundation are to:

1. Assist scholars who have been admitted to the Waterford Kamhlaba (WK) School;
2. Contribute to the reward, encouragement and training of teachers as well as others involved in providing an education at the Waterford Kamhlaba (WK) School;
3. Contribute to the maintenance, support and extension of educational facilities at the Waterford Kamhlaba (WK) School.

For further information you can contact the WKFSA Chairman by email
Claims Assessor
MSO Eswatini has a vacancy for a Claims Assessor located at the company’s offices in Mbabane, Eswatini. MSO is a progressive forward thinking enterprise requiring a higher-than-normal energy level from team members. Read more.
A student getting screened  for Covid at the school entrance in the morning. 

Get in Touch with us

The WK Advancement Office team is always ready to help alumni with anything they need; please stay in touch with us through sending email to:

  • Elizabeth Mhangami (Advancement Director) for fundraising and strategic issues pertaining to the office or the school.
  • Banele Nkambule (Donor Relations Manager) for fundraising and scholarship matters.
  • Nosimilo Khumalo (Alumni Engagement Officer) for alumni engagement matters, including events.
  • Nonkululeko Msweli (Fundrasing & Database Assistance) for data related matters, including alumni information updates.
  • Mancoba Mabuza (Communications & Public Relations Officer) for communications and public relations matters, including merchandise.

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