Alumni Newsletter 2022/02

We are Kamhlaba!

Students during UWC Day 2022 on Saturday 2 April.
There have been exciting activities at the school this past term which ended on Thursday 14 April; we thank alumni who have been able to engage or connect with us in one way or another. With the easing of Covid lockdown regulations in Eswatini and South Africa, the campus has started to open up a bit and, in addition to the academic lessons in the classroom resuming, we have had a number of activities and student-led events taking place on the WK campus. Among these were the Stern Centenary Lecture by Dr. Gambe, the WK Education Symposium -“Changing Course, Transforming Education, sporting activities including inter-school, UWC Day, the Sharon Neves (WK ‘98) Memorial and a visit by the Minister for Education and Training in the Kingdom of Eswatini. We even managed to resume CAS activities and our students visited local schools, communities, such as the Mpaka Refugee Camp,  and hospitals in Eswatini.
In true WK style, our students demonstrated energy and creativity as they put together these activities. A big thank you to alumni who have supported school initiatives this term, be it through attending an event, linking us with fellow alumni as we update our database or any other capacity. We look back at the term with satisfaction and we are pleased to see the school bounce back to life after over two years of lockdown. We hope that with the ease in Covid-19 regulations we shall be able to welcome all members of the Kamhlaba community, especially alumni, in the next term’s events.  In the second term, we will have a couple of events, as we build-up to the school’s 60th anniversary in 2023.  Here is a glimpse of what has been taking place at WK this term. 
A collection of WK activities during the First Term of 2022

 Unleashing the Power of Collaboration

After two years of limited engagement, last month the Advancement Office was able to organize 4 in-person alumni engagement events in South Africa and the US. Bringing together WK Alumni from all over the world to meet in 4 major cities, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Washington D.C. was a reminder of how wonderfully diverse our community is. The events in the US, including a virtual event, were organized in collaboration with the American Friends of Waterford, a US registered foundation established on behalf of the College in the early 80s. Led by Andy Foose (WK ‘81), Makhosonke Nsibanze (WK ’08), Fernando Soto (WK ‘08) with support from Ines Kavamura (WK ‘84), we brought alumni together to discuss what connects us - Kamhlaba.
WK alumni in the US with the school's Advancement Director Elizabeth Mhangami during the event.
From these reunions, some exciting initiatives and  opportunities came from the discussions centered on building a stronger Kamhlaba community in the US, where so many of our young alumni end up after leaving WK. We put our heads together and came up with eight ways through which you can join with other alumni in fun, impactful work, including:
  • Being part of a network of “open homes” that is available to young alumni studying in North America and who may need a place to stay during holidays, breaks or for internships; 
  • Participating in a “wisdom” network in which we mentor, share insights and provide connections to help fellow alumni of all ages advance their dreams;
  • Helping the American Friends of WK become a useful, community-building organization that supports alumni and the school; and
  • Lending a hand with events to celebrate Waterford Kamhlaba’s 60th anniversary (coming up next year!).
As we approach the 60th anniversary we look forward to using this milestone as an opportunity to reconnect with our alumni community; we invite you to join us as we reflect, celebrate and contemplate on what the next 60 years will bring to Kamhlaba.

Celebrating Our Alumni!

It was heartwarming and encouraging to see our alumnae living up to the aspirations of Women’s History Month, in March, and doing exceptionally well in their various fields of work. Alumna Linda Zwane (WK ‘99) delivered the keynote address during the school’s inaugural Annual Education Symposium. The event brought together the government and many education stakeholders in Eswatini to discuss the future of education under the UNESCO International Day of Education's 2022 theme: “Changing Course, Transforming Education.”
Linda speaking to the media during the WK Education Symposium last month.
Linda, who currently works for Standard Bank Eswatini as Head of Data and Analytics, delivered an erudite speech that unpacked the theme, emphasizing the importance of paying attention to the needs of educators who are the people that deliver education to young people. She highlighted the importance of a dynamic curriculum, pointing out the need to look into the quality of education. It was a proud moment for the school to have an alum deliver this inaugural keynote. Linda expressed her pleasure at being invited to speak, saying: “It was a great moment and it feels good to be back to a school that played a huge role in shaping me,” she said. 

Another two alumni were recognized on the African continent. Gigi Arlene Reid (WK, ‘81) was recognized by Courtroom Mail 100 making it onto the list of 100 Africa’s Influential Women in the Legal Profession in 2022. Among other things, Gigi was recognized for her work in philanthropy, social justice and as a female Senior Attorney and founder of Gigi Reid Miles Attorneys in 2006. Nolwazi Hlophe (WK ‘05) was recognized by African Shapers as one of the top 60 African women in fintech. She is counted among Fintech experts who are helping to build a professional identity for women in the field. 

Congratulations to these alumni for doing so well in their different areas of work and impacting our communities in a positive way. We couldn’t be prouder than we are to see our alumnae being recognized for their contributions. 
Gigi Reid (WK '81)                                                      Nolwazi Hlophe (WK '05)

Kamhlaba Challenge

We are grateful to you for your contributions to the school through the Kamhlaba Challenge. Currently, we have three challenges:
  • The 2022 Internet Connectivity project by the Waterford Kamhlaba Foundation of South Africa (WKFSA) aims to improve, rationalize and stabilize internet connectivity services to the school with a contract for an initial 5 years at a significant discount. The deal would provide a dedicated fibre connection allowing 500 Mps connectivity. 
  • The Soulful Seventies (Connectivity) challenge which calls on all those who completed their WK studies in the seventies or before that, to contribute to the 2022 Internet Connectivity Challenge. 
  • Then there is the Luxembourg to Mpaka Challenge which aims to fund one full scholarship for a student from the Mpaka Refugee Camp to attend the two-year WK IB programme. This would unlock 4-years at university from the Davis UWC Scholars Program
The Kamhlaba Challenge is an initiative of the WKFSA. It is a fund-raising facilitator designed to inspire alumni to set up their own ‘Kamhlaba Challenges’ to assist the school’s scholarship programme, to help maintain and develop the physical fabric of the school, and to support the school’s amazing community engagement partnerships. If you are interested in starting your own challenge, please contact us.
WK alumni in Johannesburg during their event last month.

Keep Kamhlaba Connected:
Help us get in touch with fellow alums

As the school’s Advancement Office, we make it our priority to keep in touch with our alumni through a  variety of programs and alumni activities such as alumni speaker series and the like. We also ensure you feel connected to the school through updates on fundraising activities and student life.

Please continue to send us updates about your latest career endeavors, such as educational progress or current job, as well as your current location. We would also appreciate it if you can encourage those who have not been in touch with the school to kindly visit our website to catch up on the latest news and developments of the college. 

Please help us to get back in touch with fellow alumni who have not been receiving newsletters and other communications. You can send an email to or click here

New Beginnings

Outgoing Donor Relations Manager, Banele Nkambule (WK '07)

Almost a decade ago Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA marked a major milestone, celebrating half a century of legacy. It is remarkable to reflect on what used to be deemed an experiment by some, thriving still after 59 years. The school has stood the test of time and I also enjoyed the opportunity to study my International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in 2007, and then returned to volunteer at the end of this remarkable milestone of half a century.

We are now looking to the new beginnings as the 60th Anniversary is upon us. As the new beginning approaches, I take this opportunity to thank each and everyone who has had faith in the concept of a school driven by the spirit of Kamhlaba, and supported it in any shape and form. It is with bittersweet sentiments that I announce that my time to serve you all as a staff member at the college comes to an end this April 2022. Bitter because I have enjoyed serving in this wonderful community whom I will miss dearly but sweet because I am taking the values I have learnt from Michael Stern and the college to continue on my path to ensure access to quality education for all. My path now takes me to Amala Education where I will be the Fundraising  Coordinator creating access to education for refugees and displaced students around the world.

It is with utmost gratitude that I write to you all; thank you for supporting me in my capacity as a volunteer, Alumni Coordinator, Database Manager and Donor Relations Manager over a period of 8 and half years. Whether you were once in Coolidge, Henderson, Guedes or my house, Stern, (who are current champions), I thank you. I had the privilege to meet a lot of you since 2013 at various events, at the college and in your cities. Your hospitality, joyous engagement and constructive feedback have helped me grow as a person and my ability to bring possible improvement to the college that you have recommended. I would like to thank the Advancement Office for entrusting me with these various positions and the staff and management of the college for the opportunity to serve you all.  I have loved working with the team as well as the UWC  International Office team in Berlin and London. Ngiyabonga kakhulu. Salani Kahle.

Welcome Celiwe!

Celiwe Dlamini has replaced Banele in the position of Donor Relations Manager.
Please help us in welcoming Ms.Celiwe Dlamini who has just joined the school’s Advancement Office, taking over from Banele as the new Donor Relations Manager. Celiwe is a former parent at WK and has worked in versatile environments such as NGOs, an insurance market leader, an institution of learning and private consultancy. She has occupied roles such as Head of Marketing, Marketing Communications Lead and Business consultancy. She possesses a Bachelor of Commerce and a postgraduate degree in Business Administration. If you would like to contact Celiwe you can reach her through email.

Guess who paid us a visit this week?

Former President of Botswana and WK alumnus (WK, '70) having a look at the room he used to occupy at WK. This was during his visit to the school on Wednesday 27 April 2022.

Stay 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 by sending an email to:

  • Elizabeth Mhangami (Advancement Director) for fundraising and strategic issues pertaining to the office or the school.
  • Celiwe Dlamini (Donor Relations Manager) for fundraising and scholarship matters.
  • Joan Ezeogu (Alumni Engagement Officer) for alumni engagement matters, including events.
  • Nonkululeko Msweli (Fundraising & 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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