Wilton Mkwayi, a founding member of the CELD’s Board of Directors, was one of the top 10 or 12 anti-apartheid leaders in South Africa in the 1950s and early 1960s. He was the most wanted man in South Africa when he was arrested in October 1964. He was sentenced to life in prison on Robben Island, along with Nelson Mandela and the other leaders of the movement. He was released in October 1989. After his release he served time in the national parliament and the Eastern Cape provincial parliament. After leaving government Wilton committed his life to improving the lives of the disenfranchised and marginalized. That is an admirable goal that is too often over looked in today’s world. He died in July 2004.
When Wilton entered prison on Robben Island he had a 6th grade education. During his time in prison he took correspondence classes and ended up graduating from high school. He used to say that an education was important because it prepares you for your future and it is something no one can take away from you. After his passing, the Board of Directors of CELD created the Wilton Mkwayi International Fellows Program to bring learners from rural areas of South Africa to the U.S. to study.
To learn some more about the Mkwayi Fellows please follow the links below:
CELD supports the Mkwayi Fellows by paying for their housing during their two years at Garrett College. This has been an exceptionally successful program for the South African and other learners, their fellow students at the College and for the greater Garrett County community.
CELD also awarded one semester Mkwayi Fellowships to a graduate student at Ohio University from South Sudan, and two graduate students at Howard University. CELD is currently in discussions with Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa to create two scholarships, one in the name of Wilton Mkwayi and on in the name of Flip Potgieter an Afrikaner who joined the African National Congress in the 1980s. Flip served as city councilman in Port Elizabeth from a district that include whites and poor blacks from a township. He worked with CELD on local projects in Walmer, Port Elizabeth. Flip also taught mathematics at Nelson Mandela University.