Press release: Henley Africa Sol Plaatje scholarship applications open for 2023

HENLEY Business School Africa is urging journalists and other media practitioners to consider applying for the 2023 edition of the Sol Plaatje Scholarship

8th February 2023, Johannesburg, South Africa. HENLEY Business School Africa is urging journalists and other media practitioners to consider applying for the 2023 edition of the Sol Plaatje Scholarship. The scholarship recognises two scholars each year, paying all the costs involved in them either enrolling in the Post Graduate Diploma in Management Practice or Henley’s highly acclaimed international Master of Business Administration programme, depending on the level of their previous academic qualifications.

“When we established this scholarship, we did so with two aims in mind,” explains Henley Africa dean and director, Professor Jon Foster-Pedley. “Firstly, we wanted to honour an icon of South African journalism, the trailblazing journalist, editor and all-round polymath Solomon Tshekiso Plaatje.

“Our second aim was to make the best contribution we could to the development and sustainability of the South African media, which had played a critical role in the uncovering of the state capture saga. The work of a handful of determined and courageous journalists, supported by their editors and publishers set in progress a chain of events that continues to reverberate today, bolstered by even more revelations of both the roots of this catastrophe and the ever-increasing extent of its toxic bloom.”

Media, said Foster-Pedley, was a vital ingredient for any healthy and progressive society.

“It was the great US playwright Arthur Miller who famously said a good newspaper is a nation talking to itself. This has become even more crucial in a world increasingly polarised by populism, muzzling a diversity of voices through a pandemic of propaganda, cancel culture and fake news.”

The best way to address this, he said, was to help develop a flourishing, diverse and economically viable media ecosystem able to withstand external pressures. The reality though was that the media space, in South Africa especially, was one of plummeting revenues, audience disengagement and massive disruption.

“Plaatje experienced exactly this in his lifetime. He was a pioneer, opening newspapers and then having to see them close because they were not financially viable in the markets in which he was trying to operate. He never gave up though and we are much the richer today for his efforts, more than 90 years after his death.

“The scholarships are an opportunity for media professionals and leaders to take some time out of their hectic lives and open their minds to the possibilities of what might be. They will meet with a wide range of other students most in fields that are totally foreign to journalists, but all these students will be there for one overarching reason: to learn the tools to become the builders of businesses that will build Africa, or in their case, media businesses,” said Foster-Pedley.

“A sustainable media is one that is economically viable; one that is able to resist the brain drain of talent, invest in new media platforms and keep the nation talking to itself. This is the entire purpose of this scholarship.”

The inaugural winners of the scholarship are Daily Maverick investigative journalist Pauli van Wyk and the deputy editor of the Sowetan Thabiso Thakali, who are both busy with their MBA degrees. Thakali is a double winner, having first completed his PG Dip before making history by winning the scholarship a second time to allow him to pursue his MBA.

Other Plaatje scholars include freelance digital media journalist Adam Oxford; Carte Blanche journalist Macfarlane Moleli; SABC head of digital content Nontobeko Magala and freelance journalist Andries Sibanyoni.

  • If you are a leading contributor in the media’s voice for truth and would like to apply to be considered for the Henley Africa Sol Plaatje scholarship, please contact our admissions team on before 28 February 2023.
  • Henley Business School Africa is a leading global business school with campuses in Europe, Asia and Africa and the only business school in Africa to hold quadruple international accreditation. It is part of the University of Reading UK, originally an extension college of Oxford University, renowned for its leadership in climate science, finance, property management and executive education, and one of the most international universities in Britain. Henley has been ranked as having the number 1 business school alumni network in the world for potential to network (Economist 2017); and is the number 1 African-accredited and -campused business school in the world for executive education (FT 2018, 2020,2022), as well as the number 1 MBA business school in South Africa as rated by corporate SA for the last five years (PMR 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022). Henley is committed to transformation and holds a Level 2 B-BBEE ranking. If you would like to find out how you could unlock your future with Henley Africa, go to


Issued by Henley Africa:-


Jean Robertson

PR Manager

082 994 7744

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