Gcotyelwa holds a Master of Arts in Political and International Studies with Distinction. Her thesis examined Xhosa widows’ navigations and experiences of citizenship after the mourning period, known amongst amaXhosa as ukuzila. Her interests include African Feminism and citizenship studies. Gcotyelwa lives by a Feminist ethic that seeks to centre voices and experiences such as those of black women and the LGBTQIA+ community, with honesty and integrity. She is also a published writer. Through the S-D Programme she hopes to learn at the nexus of academia and civil society, through fostering meaningful dialogue.