Vuyo Lingwati is currently a student at the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute studying African International Trade and Development Policy. In the fall, she starts her Post- Conflict Reconstruction, Development and Human Rights program with the same institution. She holds a Honours degree in Political and International Studies from Rhodes University (RU) majoring in Politics of Space, Mind of the Oppressed and South African States and Societies. While she pursued her postgraduate studies at RU she worked as an assistant to the Politics and International Studies Department and the Head of Department, and was involved in community outreach under the Student Volunteer Program, counselling teenagers in an all-boys shelter in Grahamstown. She also holds a bachelors of political science in International Studies degree from the University of Pretoria. During her university career she was actively involved in campaigns and belonged to the executive committees of various student societies, which include Amnesty international, Sociology Society and International Celebration Day. One of her achievements was an Amnesty International weeklong awareness campaign on Xenophobia which was incorporated into the student workshop session of the International Education Association of South Africa (IESA) conference.
Vuyo has a strong passion for international affairs and interest of various cultures of the world, particularly Africa and Asia, so between 2011 and 2013 she took a break from pursuing her academic aspirations by traveling to Asia, living and working in South Korea as an English instructor. Upon her time working for the provincial Chungnum-do Office of Education, two of her students were rated in the age group as the best English speakers in the province two years running and her school was awarded with the ‘Best Practical Speaking Abilities’ in the province. She was also invited to speak at the district workshop for Korean teachers and delivered a paper on causes of conflict between Korean and Foreign instructors and recommendations on how to improve relations, communication and classroom management. Apart from her basic understanding of Korean and French, she is currently studying Chinese to add to the list of languages she can use in the future as a specialist in African and Asian relations.
Vuyo is interested in empowering oppressed minds, understanding the social impact of economic inequalities which lead to violent social collective mobilization, grassroots movements, bottom-up policy engagements, women development and migration. She hopes to pursue her Masters in Conflict Resolution and Development, with a concentration on human development security.