When Ngoni Mugwisi was growing up in central Zimbabwe, the end of the day sometimes meant the end of his studies.

“Having consistent power cuts meant I could not study beyond the light of day, or I had to use candles for lighting,” said Mugwisi, an electrical engineering major and MasterCard Foundation Scholar at Arizona State University.

Without power, little problems turn into big problems. Ideas for solutions to problems just remain ideas.

Mugwisi is on a mission to bring power to his southern Africa home. And — armed with a newly awarded Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford next year — he is well-positioned to accomplish his goal.

The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and perhaps most prestigious international graduate scholarship program in the world. It was established in 1903 by empire builder John Cecil Rhodes.

Each year two Zimbabwean Rhodes Scholars are selected on the basis of their intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service to join 81 other Rhodes Scholars from around the world at the University of Oxford.

Read more