Introducing the Harvard South Africa Fellows of Academic Year 2020-2021

December 8, 2020

The Center is excited to share the Harvard South Africa Fellows of Academic Year 2020-2021.  You can learn more here.

Former Harvard University President Derek Bok established the Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program (HSAFP) in 1979 to address the needs of South Africans who were denied access to advanced education by the apartheid system. This program was established, and is still intended, for mid-career professionals educationally disadvantaged by past laws and resource allocations in South Africa. Individuals who have shown considerable skill in their chosen fields stand to benefit from advanced training. In return, they can use that advanced training to further South African political, social, and economic progress. Fellowships are for up to one year of study in one of Harvard’s Professional Schools or Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.


Janade du Plessis (Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School)
Janade Profile Photo
Janade is an entrepreneur, investment banker, venture capitalist and human behavioral researcher with 18 years’ investment bank, general management, and development finance experience. He has held various positions in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, development finance, marketing, and strategy consulting and has worked in Johannesburg, Lagos, Abidjan, Tunis, London, New York, and Paris. As a Chief Investment Officer at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Janade gained extensive experience having led numerous investments and project finance transactions in Africa. To date, Janade has travelled to 50 of the 54 African countries.


Vukosi Marivate (Program for Leadership Development, Harvard Business School)
Vukosi Marivate Photo
Dr. Vukosi Marivate is the ABSA UP Chair of Data Science at the University of Pretoria. Vukosi works on developing machine learning and artificial intelligence methods to extract insights from data. A large part of his work over the last few years has been in the intersection of machine learning and natural language processing. Vukosi's work in this area focuses on techniques to improve tools for and availability of data for local languages or low resource languages. He currently serves as a chief investigator on the Masakhane NLP project ( and on the steering committee of the Lacuna Fund ( As part of his vision for data science, Vukosi is interested in Data Science for Social Impact (, using local challenges as a springboard for research. In this area, Vukosi has worked on projects in science, energy, public safety, and utilities. Vukosi is a co-founder of the Deep Learning Indaba, the largest machine learning and artificial intelligence workshop on the African continent, aiming to strengthen African machine learning.


Zakhona Mvelase (Master in Public Administration, Harvard Kennedy School)
Zakhona Profile Photo
Zakhona is a mid-career Master in Public Administration candidate at Harvard Kennedy School. She is an internationally Certified Fraud Examiner with over a decade of experience working in both private and public sectors in the field of governance and forensics. She holds the role of Director for Forensic Audit Services at the National Treasury, and is responsible for conducting forensic investigations in all spheres of government, public entities, and constitutional institutions in South Africa. She has successfully led a number of high profile and complex investigations within various spheres of public service in South Africa. She serves as a regional board member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner (South African Chapter), holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting Sciences, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Forensic Auditing with various certificates in the field. She has a special interest in researching the interface of gender and corruption, and will spend her time at HKS solidifying her expertise in this field.


Lungile Tom (General Management Program, Harvard Business School)
Lungile Profile Photo
Lungile is currently a Senior Investment Officer at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), specifically focused in Project Finance (infrastructure projects across various sectors). She is a chartered accountant (CA (SA)) and a 2020/2021 Harvard South Africa Fellow with almost 15 years of professional experience. Her educational background also includes Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Development Finance from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. She is an experienced finance and investment professional, and has also spent a number of years in deal-making at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). After IDC, she moved on to become Financial Executive and Director at KDI Mining Solutions, where she also served on various boards of the company’s investee companies. Earlier in her career, Lungile also gained valuable experience while at Deloitte in the Financial Services Team, where she was involved in external audit and financial services advisory of various blue-chip companies.