Matie Voices

Sisanda Thuthula Lisa

Alumna of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

“I have a lot of hope and positive dreams for South Africa, but at the forefront is a dream of a South Africa where everyone will be treated equally.”

As a diplomat at the South African High Commission in London, Sisanda Thuthula Lisa enjoys creating opportunities for young South Africans and promoting South Africa in the UK through various platforms.

Sisanda grew up in kwaLanga in Cape Town and matriculated from Hudson Park High School in East London before receiving a bursary to study at Stellenbosch University (SU). She graduated with a BA degree in international relations in 2006.

“I’ve always had a flare for international affairs and the interest to tackle international issues. But most importantly, I always knew that I wanted to serve. I wanted to be involved in civil service somehow, and I knew that studying international relations would help make this possible.

“Any degree gives one opportunities and having a degree from SU has definitely secured me work opportunities that have helped shape my career path. Studying at SU enriched my mind and broadened my horizons. One of the most valuable skills I learnt was balancing my studies, work and social life.”

Sisanda has spent the majority of her career working in the public sector, although she has some experience of working in the private sector as well.

Her responsibilities as first secretary: political bilateral relations at the South African High Commission include sharing South Africa’s national interests in the UK, promoting South Africa and identifying opportunities available for South Africa in various sectors.

She enjoys London’s cosmopolitan nature and ranks it as one of her favourite cities in the world, after Cape Town, of course. She loves to travel and has made use of this opportunity to travel in and around Europe.

“My last trip was to Dubrovnik in Croatia – an absolute gem. Every destination is different, they all count as highlights for me.”

Even though she currently lives abroad, she is extremely patriotic, always flying the South African flag wherever she goes.

“I have a lot of hope and positive dreams for South Africa, but at the forefront is a dream of a South Africa where everyone will be treated equally. A country that has zero statistics of violence against women and children. A South Africa that is corruption free and growing rapidly in its economy.”

She plans on pursuing a master’s degree in business administration after she completes her term in the UK.

“I am interested in developing myself in this discipline to ensure that I can make a meaningful contribution to South Africa’s development trajectory in the areas of social entrepreneurship and business,” she concludes.

- By Pia Nänny -