Isatou Bokum, First Ever Gambian To Win Rhodes Scholarship To Oxford University


By: Aja Musu Bah-Daffeh

A 24-year-old Gambian, Isatou Bokum, out of 15 finalists won the 2022 Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. She is among the two (2) winners from West Africa and the first ever Gambian to win such an honourable and prestigious scholarship since its inception in 1903.

Isatou is from Jabang in West Coast Region (WCR) and now currently in South Africa completing her honour’s degree in communications and media studies at the University of Cape Town. Ms. Bokum is a woman and girls’ right activist and the founder of Girls Talk which fights for injustice in various communities in the country.

 The Rhodes scholarship is the oldest international scholarship program in the world, established in 1903. Successful candidates are offered a fully funded scholarship to the

University of Oxford in UK which is one of the world’s most leading universities.

To be selected, one most have an outstanding intellect on character and be committed to the serve others. The program is aimed at creating principled leaders for the world’s future.

In an interview with Arise News sharing her aims, Isatou Bokum said when she gets to Oxford, she will study women, gender and sexuality which she added, has been her area of focus for the past 10 years, and thus, will want to ensure there is eradication of inequality that women face in various part of Africa.

Talking on the progress of her organization in connection to her studies, Bokum highlighted that she has the sole objective to extend ‘Girls Talk’ outside the nook and cranny of Gambia, hence, she will set the seal on other women and girls in ensuring they also gain from the feminism theories that she will learn.

The prepossessing black beauty Bokum assured that after her Oxford education, she will come back to the Gambia an implement her plans, ideas and knowledge gained, and equally work towards reaching more people that will help expand the organization in order for it to reach other countries in West Africa and beyond.