Poet from Mitchell’s Plain awa

Poet from Mitchell’s Plain awarded Oxford University distinction

It’s a 20-year dream come true.

Poet from Mitchell’s Plain awa

Athol Williams, an award-winning poet from South Africa, received a distinction for his thesis at Oxford University.

He is the first person to earn Masters degrees from five of the top universities in the world – Harvard, The London School of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of the Witwatersrand, and now Oxford.

Williams, who is from Westridge in Mitchell’s Plain, has dreamt of studying at Oxford for 20 years, so it’s no wonder his autobiography is called Pushing Boulders.

Last Wednesday, his wife, Taryn Lock, let the world know via Facebook, how proud she was of her husband’s latest achievement.

She said: “My amazing and inspirational husband has done it yet again. Athol passed and even got a distinction for his thesis at Oxford! Congrats, am so proud :)”

Williams, who was based between the UK and Cape Town during his political philosophy studies, “still managed to publish his autobiography, win the Sol Plaatje Poetry Prize twice, publish two more Oaky books… WITS, MIT, LBS, Harvard, LSE and now Oxford University. What an achievement!”

Apart from all the writing and studying Williams involves himself in, he is also co-founder of the Read to Rise literacy project, and is well known in Cape Town for his charity work and the work he does to inspire and empower communities.

Whilst visiting the iconic Christ Church College in Oxford (where scenes from Harry Potter were filmed), Williams proudly posted: “WH Auden, Lewis Carroll, John Locke and Albert Einstein walked these halls. And now a man from Mitchells Plain…”

And he deserves every bit of success. In a reply to a recent article written for SA People on Williams, he said: “Thank you for this article. I am blessed to have had these amazing opportunities and will continue seeking ways to lift South Africa in whatever small ways I can.”