Ms. Patience Zonge

Independent Consultant


The KSAL fellowship allowed me to commence my studies for a Masters of Public Management and Development at Wits University in 2006. KSAL supported my academic programme--fees, books, research costs, computer equipment—and provided a monthly living stipend. Through the stipend, I was also able to support family members’ schooling. I also attended the leadership workshops and was able to attend an international conference in India on human development and capabilities. I found the academic part of my experience highly enlightening and exciting as my mind was exposed to “new theories in development and management” and to the world of critical questioning. The KSAL leadership workshops were also very enlightening for me as they bridged the gap between academia and practical realities, challenges and opportunities that we in Africa face at personal, family, community, regional and continental levels. I successfully completed my studies and secured employment at a regional democracy organisation based in South Africa where I coordinated a leadership programme targeted at political parties in Africa. My academic experience, exposure to the leadership programme and my new career role made me find my voice and gave me the confidence to start engaging in political processes in the region. I developed a training and capacity-building programme for political parties in recognition of the critical role they play democratizing the continent. I have supported political parties through training in Malawi thus far. I have become consciously aware of my need to give back and personally adopted the stance that I should be the change that I want to see. I joined the Rotary Club in Pretoria where I am an active member. Through Rotary, I am working on a project for youth in the township area of Mamelodi, Pretoria to develop leadership skills and a service orientation through championing the formation of an Interact Club at one of the area’s high schools. This is a first in the history of Rotary in South Africa. My civic duties have also extended to my church where I am part of a community that promotes peace on the continent and also runs a soup kitchen for the homeless in Sunnyside Pretoria. My quest for knowledge has been further ignited. Beyond the Master’s degree that I earned as a result of the KSAL programme, I have earned a postgraduate diploma in HIV/AIDS management from the University of Stellenbosch and am in the process of completing a Master’s degree in Monitoring and Evaluation from the same university.