Pholla Samkezi Mbalane
PhD. candidate with specialization in Political Sciences, University of the Free State, South Africa PhD. with Specialisation in Political Sciences; Abe Bailey Travel Scholarhip Recepient; Golden Key International Honor Society Member; Junior Lecturer in Political Sciences; Senior Officer: Residence Head: Housing & Residence Affairs.
About this speaker
Mr. Mbalane is a recipient of the Abe Bailey Travel Scholarship and a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. Having served in various leadership positions, including being the President of the Golden Key International Honor Society, Chairperson of the Student Parliament, Secretary of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, Project Manager for Enactus, amongst many other student leadership roles, Mr. Mbalane has extensive experience in student leadership. During his academic journey, he also gained some international exposure and participated in critical global governance affairs. He was hosted by the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Ethiopia where he engaged African leaders in African matters. Moreover, he was also hosted by both House of Lords (UK Parliament) and the Scottish Parliament, including Oxford and Cambridge universities, during Brexit deliberations where he made significant political contributions.
Mr. Mbalane holds his first BA degree with double majors in Political Sciences and Sociology (with Cum Laude) and has recently obtained his MA in Political Sciences with a distinction. He is currently reading for his PhD in Political Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) under the title “French interests in post-independence Francophone Africa: Afrocentrism or neo-colonialism?”, where he also serves as a Junior Lecturer within the Department of Political Studies and Governance. With interest in national and regional security, Mr. Mbalane’s primary research includes examining the capabilities of the South African National Defense Force and exploring the interface between organized crime and political elites in Southern Africa. His recent presentations including “Trust Deficit in State Institutions: Trends and implications” on the 28th of September 2022 Thought Leadership Event hosted by the Independent Electoral Commission. Mr. Mbalane’s ambitions extend far beyond the academic realm since he is also in involved in student affairs within the UFS. Mr. Mbalane’s role as a Student Affairs practitioner allows him to make meaningful contribution towards creating a socially just student-life environment that is conducive to student academic success, student well-being, student experience and student development.