British Council Country Director for South Africa Mr Colm McGivern recently hosted South Africa’s first welcome home reception for returning Commonwealth alumni on Wednesday 26th October in Johannesburg.

In addition to 30 Commonwealth alumni were on-award South African scholars studying via distance learning programmes and Commonwealth Scholarship Endowment Fund scholars studying at South African universities.  Representatives from the British High Commission also attended as did senior alumni engagement officer for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK Mr James Phillips.

A number of on-award scholars and alumni spoke at the event including Mr Oluwanifemi Paul Ajayi, Ms Sonti Ndileka and Mr Jethro Abel who urged everyone to stay in touch and start collaborating to help ensure the sustainable development and growth of South Africa.

868 South Africans have received a Commonwealth Scholarship since the scheme began in 1960 and there are currently 79 South Africans currently on-award funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK. It is hoped with the help of South African alumni we will soon launch a Commonwealth Scholarship alumni association in-country which will enable us to develop more alumni events and activities across South Africa.

If you are a Commonwealth alumnus from or working in South Africa and did not receive an invitation to either the Johannesburg or Cape Town alumni event, please do get in touch to check we have your up to date email address so we can ensure you receive future invitations–

Photos of the event can be found online at –