Thandwa Maphalala

UWC attended: Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa (Swaziland)
Class Year: Class of 2016

My name is Thandwa Maphalala, born and bred in the beautiful Kingdom of Swaziland. I am the last born of five extraordinary girls, born of an equally (if not more) extraordinary woman, my dearest mother. My father passed away in early December in 2011, and he was one of the main reasons that I attended Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA because of the opportunities that seemed to constantly fill the atmosphere of the school on his first visit there.

I got to Waterford in 2006 as a form 2, or Grade 9, student. In my years at Waterford, I learned that you create your experience, and from the beginning, I made it a point to make sure that I immersed myself in as much as I could. From the simplest things such as establishing long lasting friendships, to organizing school events such as UWC Day or Peace day, I can quite confidently say that almost every day was eventful. That is what I enjoyed most about my UWC experience: getting to what was as close to the fullness of life as possible. My journey at Waterford has led to even greater heights of being a Lewis and Clark Student!

The first thing that caught my attention about Lewis and Clark was, “oh my goodness, it is so beautiful here!” This immediately put it on my list. Doing more research, my interest grew by getting more of an idea of the seemingly motivated yet “chilled” student body, broad academic opportunities, and the opportunities thereafter. As I enter this community, I hope to major in psychology or sociology and anthropology, or anything in the Social Sciences! I enjoy interacting with people, especially in an intellectual capacity. I believe that many of the programs in the Social Sciences not only help in explaining why things happen, but also how they happen. With these questions half answered, the other half is the work that I would like to do; to effect change in a meaningful way.

Outside of the more intellectually intense, I enjoy the outdoors because it is really refreshing to see something new and discover something new. I also take pleasure in travelling, even though I have not gone very far and wide. My first overseas trip will be to Portland, Oregon! I also enjoy jogging, drawing, reading, and writing to unwind. I have a very keen interest in music, as I am a vocalist, find my way around a piano, and play marimbas. Music is like a universal language, and to provide such a shared experience is beyond fulfilling.  

My idea of a well rounded education is to be able to learn something and to teach something. I am very eager to learn in class and outside of class, and I am equally as eager to impart some of my own thoughts and knowledge. By doing this, I believe that travelling half way across the world would have been worthwhile!