Nellie C. Chiphwanya
Environmentalist, intrepid explorer and youth mentor
Malawi
Rhodes University
2009
Environment
  • Nellie faced her greatest challenge at a young age when she lost both of her parents.
  • Overcoming great odds, she pursued a path through higher education and was awarded a Canon Collins Graca Machel Scholarship to study for a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education.
  • While studying, Nellie had a once in a life-time opportunity to join the renown environmental leader and polar explorer, Robert Swan OBE, on an expedition to the Antarctica, becoming one of the very few black Africans ever to go to Antarctica.
  • Upon graduation, Nellie received the ‘Golden Key Certificate of Honour’ for making the top 15% of academic achievers.
  • After her studies, Nellie returned to Malawi and started working as an Education Manager for Lilongwe Wildlife Centre.
  • Currently, Nellie works for Vale Mining Company as an Environmental Technician and is based in Blantyre, Malawi.
  • She is the country coordinator for the Graca Machel Scholars in Malawi and has been involved in mentoring young girls to encourage them to continue with their education
Greatest achievement: 

Working for the world’s second largest mining company on one of the biggest projects in Africa, the Nacala Corridor Project.

Professional interests: 

Environmental education and sustainability.

Current occupation: 
Environmental Technician