Elizabeth Nosizwe Vale

Elizabeth Nosizwe Vale’s career has been characterised by a combination of academic excellence and a strong sense of social justice. After matriculating with distinction in 2006 she proceeded to Rhodes University, where she became president of the Student HIV/Aids Resistance Campaign, co-founded the Gender Action Campaign, the Students in Solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo campaign and the My Body, My Choice campaign. She received her BA Hons with distinction and went on to do a master’s degree in Sociology in 2012, when she was awarded a Mandela-Rhodes Scholarship. Today the 24-year-old is researching the ethnography of medication-taking practices among HIV-positive teenagers in the Eastern Cape as part of a PhD in Evidence-based Social Intervention at Oxford University. She credits her activist parents with her sense of history, her fierce commitment to this country and a sensitivity to the complexity of its challenges. — Rudi Benadé