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Faculty of Arts graduate Annette Riziki is the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship for 2019

Annette Riziki

Globe and Mail: Oxford bound: Meet four of Canada’s latest Rhodes scholars

January 4, 2019 — 

As the Globe and Mail reports

The Rhodes scholarship describes itself as the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international scholarship program in the world. This year, 11 Canadians were selected for the award: two from each of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, three from the Prairies, and one each from British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador….

Annette Riziki, University of Manitoba

Annette Riziki came to Canada as a resettled refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the age of 14.

She had spent most of her life to that point in Uganda, where her mother fled to when Ms. Riziki was just two years old. She recalls both good and bad moments in Uganda. At times, she was treated as an outsider, she said. “People could always tell I wasn’t Ugandan and that had its own implications,” she said. “We would be called economic leaches and told we should back to our own country.”

Her mother told her to enjoy her childhood and focus on her studies and she would take care of the rest, Ms. Riziki said. She never knew it was possible they would end up in Canada. The family travelled as part of a large group that split in Toronto’s Pearson Airport as they went their separate ways. They had never heard of Winnipeg and arrived in May to temperatures the locals basked in but which struck Ms. Riziki as freezing.

She thought the transition at school would be easy, but it was not. She was placed in Grade 10, but forced to redo a number of Grade 9 classes to catch up to her age cohort, which she did in just one semester.

“I had to teach myself math, English, social studies,” she said. “Coming here was my redemption as a student because I was able to pursue so many opportunities.”

 

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