Students 2017/18

Noxolo Ntaka

She holds a bachelor of Social Sciences degree in Economics and Politics, and a Bachelor of Social Sciences honours degree in political studies from the University of Cape Town. Prior to coming to Oxford Noxolo worked as an intern at the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her dissertation will focus on, "The politics of epistemic location at the University of Cape Town: writing and teaching African studies from the south".

Mbalenhle Matandela

Mbalenhle received her Bachelor of Social Sciences honours degree in Gender and Transformation from the University of Cape Town as a Mellon Mays Social Science Research Fellow.  Her MSc research focuses on social media as a tool for expressing academic freedom and feminist activism in Uganda. Her other research interests include race and resistance, gender and media, feminist education, gender-based violence and militarism which she will continue to pursue in the MSc in International and Comparative Education in Oxford. Mbalenhle has previously worked in civil society as the Project Coordinator of the Right to Protest Project at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at the University of the Witwatersrand. 

Esther May Brown


From 2014-2017 I was a student at the New College of the Humanities, University of London, where I studied for a BSc in Political Science. My research for the African Studies MSc very much builds on this training and my primary research focus is an exploration into the inapplicability of traditional theories of democratisation to African states. My dissertation looks at this more specifically in the case of Botswana and whether 50 years after independence it is the model African democracy that it is hailed to be. In the future I plan to continue this research into a DPhil and continue working on democracy in Southern Africa.

Sofiane Kadmiri


I hold a BA majoring in International Studies and a minor in African Studies from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (Morocco). I am particularly interested in relations between Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa, and more precisely in the perception of Morocco's outreach with its southern counterparts. In my dissertation, I will look at Morocco's state authority in Sahara and how it is perceived by Sub-Saharan State, with a focus on Nigeria.

Nelly Ky


I hold a BA in International Relations and Political Science from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. My research interests lie at the intersection between state capacity and institutional reform in transitional democracies and the region-security crisis nexus that implicates regional organizations such as ECOWAS and the African Union. I am hoping to investigate the changing security paradigmes of regions and assess the effective responses to security crises by regional organizations.

Asa Mudzimu


I hold a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in History from the University of Zimbabwe and an MPhil in African History from Rhodes University, South Africa. My research focuses on the epidemiological history of colonial Zimbabwe using Gokwe district a case study. Currently I am working on the history of the Zharare clinic which operated in Gokwe Nembudziya from 1962 to 1981. The research seeks to broaden our intellectual scope on African innovativeness and adaptation in environments which were perceived as 'diseased'.

Joshua Alexander Nott


I am a South African Rhodes Scholar (South Africa-at-Large & St Antony's, 2017) in my first year of studies at the University of Oxford. Between 2012 and 2016 I studied at the University of Cape Town and hold a Bachelor of Social Science in Political Studies and Law (distinction in Political Studies) and a Bachelor of Laws (cum laude).  My research interests concern the interrelationship between politics and the law during the South African transition to democracy. My dissertation will consider the exclusion of socioeconomic class from section 9 of the South African Constitution and the consequent implications of such an exclusion for the broader democratic sociopolitical dispensation.

Hendrik Oye


I hold a BA in International Studies with a regional specialisation in Sub-Saharan Africa from Leiden University (the Netherlands). I have interned with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Germany and Togo prior to starting with the MSc in African Studies. I am interested in Africa-China relations and my dissertation will explore the African perspective of German and Chinese technical cooperation in the agricultural sector in West Africa. 

Ernest Plange Kwofie


I graduated with a bachelors degree in Political Studies from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). My research interests lie in African politics, political parties, political behaviour and elections. In my dissertation, I will examine political behaviour at the micro-level in Ghana.

Nick Queffurus


I read for an LLB at Bristol University, in the course of which I did an Erasmus year at the Université de Bordeaux, taking French law courses. My research interests include comparative constitutionalism, human rights and law’s interaction with neighbouring disciplines. My dissertation will consider the use of big data in recent African elections, informed particularly by the literature on comparative privacy law, democratic theory and the law of democracy.

Seraphim M. De-Souza

I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in African Studies from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. My interest is in the loss of African indigenous languages, and I’m currently working on indigenous languages and language use in Ghana. I am particular about indigenous minority languages and would be exploring, in my dissertation, their ambivalence vis-à-vis major indigenous Ghanaian languages but more specifically, Western languages, in 21st century Ghana. I will be focusing on how growing interest in English usage is shaping social status, respectability and to a large extent elitism.

Princess Hamman-Obels

I hold an MA in International Political Economy and Development from International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University, The Hague. I'm interested in African Politics and Democratization, particularly the dynamics of politics and governance in divided and multiethnic societies. For my dissertation, I will discuss the problematics of frameworks for understanding “successful” elections from Nigeria’s 2011-2015 Electoral Cycle.’ I will examine the importance of leadership, partnerships and stakeholders’ behaviour.

Arkady Silverman

I have a Master of Arts (Honours) in International Relations from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. I am fascinated by the intersection of theory and practice in African states, particularly in the application of Peter Ekeh’s theory of the two publics to the overlap of ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ elements of African societies. For my dissertation, I am studying healthcare options in Cameroon—therapeutic trajectories within biomedicine and traditional medicine—under a two-publics lens. 

Noé Michalon

My works focuses on the postcolonial African state, and more particularly in rentier situations. After having worked for different French media outlets, I plan to work in journalism, still focusing on Africa and international affairs.

Michael Mutyaba

Prior to the MSc African Studies at Oxford, I completed a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences (Political Science and Public Administration) from Makerere University Kampala, Uganda. My research interests include democratization, state-building, protest politics and civil society. My MSc dissertation at Oxford focuses on the use of protest as a strategy by opposition political parties in semi-authoritarian regimes.

Trevor Kibet Langat

I hold a BA in Social Sciences and International Relations from SciencesPo Paris. My dissertation examines the link between policy and the promotion of indigenous or national languages on the African continent. I will focus on the Republic of Mali as a case study. 

Abigail Branford

I hold a BA from Rhodes University in history, politics and linguistics, an Honours degree in post-conflict justice from University of Cape Town and an MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development from Cambridge University. My research interests are history education in post-conflict societies and theories of socio-political change through education. For this MSc in African Studies I am writing a dissertation on how South African history teachers perceive the aims of history education.

Yolanda Kisenyi

I hold a BA in International Relations from the University of Birmingham. My research interests are focused on Europe's colonial hangover and the experiences of the African diaspora within this context. My dissertation unpacks Germany's marginalisation of its colonial history and the impact this had on the formation of Afro-German identity. 

David Loa Eperit Lomuria

David is an award-winning playwright and journalist. Prior to starting his MSc. African Studies at Oxford, he worked as a Journalist for Feature Story News (FSN) in South Sudan. He has produced and reported news and feature stories for CGTN, TRT World, SABC, Rudaw and Thompson Reuters. He holds a B.A Journalism and M.A Communication Studies from the University of Nairobi. His research focuses on civil war and public memory. He is writing a thesis on the dilemma of South Sudanese students in diaspora

Danielle Del Vicario

I hold a BA Honours from Durham University in English Literature and History, where my undergraduate research explored discursive formations of ‘southernness’ in Sudan’s first civil war through the mobilization and demobilization of Anyanya rebels. My wider research concerns the history and narration of southern Sudanese rebels’ changing interactions with the international community. In my dissertation this year, I am building on research begun as a graduate attaché at the British Institute in Eastern Africa in Kenya between 2016 and 2017, looking at the gatekeeping role of the SPLA’s humanitarian wing during Sudan’s second civil war and the potential productivity of uncertainty for rebel diplomacy.

Nikiwe Bikitsha

Nikiwe Bikitsha is one of South Africa’s leading broadcasters, A multi-award winning journalist, Nikiwe’s experience as one of the most trusted news and current affairs broadcast journalists spans twenty years. She has worked for media houses such as Primedia, SABC, and Nikiwe holds an MA degree in Journalism and Media studies from the University of the Witwatersrand (with distinction) and is currently reading an MSc African Studies at the University of Oxford. In 2012, Nikiwe was awarded the Fulbright Hubert Humphrey fellowship to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in the U.S.A. She currently serves as the youngest trustee of the board of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Nikiwe is passionate about Africa’s economic development and believes that women should be at the forefront of these efforts. She is the co-founder of Amargi Media, a content company which aims to tell African stories in a compelling way. eNCA

Pierpaolo Crivellaro

I hold a BA in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin. My research interests are, among others, Lusophone Africa, state failure and neocolonialismo by Western firms. My dissertation focuses on the presence of Italian interests in Mozambique, with a specific focus on the oil and gas sector and CSR practices.

Edward Asomani 

My current research probes the driving factors of  Ghana’s democratic success. I focus on the Electoral Management  Body which is widely revered as one of the foremost electoral institutions in Africa. I am particularly interested in the leadership of Dr Afari Gyan in managing the wider set of activities that created and maintained the broad institutional framework in which voting and electoral competition took place. I hold two Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and Politics from the University of Ghana and Sheffield Hallam respectively. I also hold a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the  University of Manchester. 

Aube Tollu

I hold a BA from King's College London in European Studies during which I specialized in War Studies and a certificate from Sciences Po Paris. My research interests include violent militant groups, non-conventional warfare, human rights violations in wartime and gender. My current research is situated in between criminology, social psychology and war studies: In my dissertation, I focus on ethnic-Somalis discrimination in Kenya to explore the link between grievances and non-participation in violent activism.

Keyan Jardine

I obtained my Batchelor of Arts Degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, majoring in History and Philosophy, before completing an Honours degree in History. Broadly, I am interested in theoretical understandings of violence and crime throughout history. More specifically, my research focuses on the mythology of South Africa’s prison gangs.

Vonique Osei-Antwi

I hold a BA (Hons) Degree in Politics with International Relations from the University of York where my research centred the changing nature of French “neo-colonialism” in West Africa with a particular focus on Mali and the Malian Crisis in 2012-2013 Building on my interest in West African politics but looking more at domestic issues, my masters research interests lie in the role of women and war in the integration of the Asante into Ghana in the immediate post-independence period 1956-1966.