Rhodes University held their Old Rhodian Awards this weekend to Old Rhodians who through their individual actions and achievements have enhanced the reputation of the University. The Award is specifically intended to acknowledge Old Rhodians as role models and in essence is the greater family of Rhodes rewarding one of their own.
Among the list of distinguished guests who received awards is the CEO of the South African National Space Agency, Dr. Sandile Malinga. He received the Old Rhodian Award at a function in Grahamstown on 24 August 2013.
Dr Malinga, holds a PhD in Physics from Rhodes University and is passionate about ontributing towards making the young Space agency a successful contributor to developing the knowledge economy of South Africa. As the first head of the Agency he is determined to leave a legacy for the youth of this country and has always been committed to encouraging the uptake of science and mathematics among learners and students through his mentorship of young scientists.
Dr Malinga encompasses everything that we should be striving for in role models from our graduates in this country. He has contributed to the South African Academic sector, the National Facility sector, the communities of all the towns in which he has lived, and to the nation through his current position.
Dr Malinga completed his honours degree, MSc and PhD degrees in Physics at Rhodes University and was the first black PhD candidate in Space Physics in South Africa. As well as being a graduate of Physics, Dr Malinga was first a sub warden and then a residence warden at Rhodes for a number of years. During that time he mentored many young students, and was seen as a role model for what it is possible to achieve.