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Africa’s youngest female PhD holder: Musawenkosi Saurombe

Africa’s youngest female PhD holder: Musawenkosi Saurombe

South Africa

She is Zimbabwean, studied in South Africa and is now a higher education ambassador for Bostwana. She is 23-year-old Musawenkosi Saurombe, Africa’s youngest PhD holder.

Personal and familial sacrifices counted largely for the academic march that has earned her a doctorate in Industrial Psychology.

And she is the first to admit that it took a lot of psyching up to navigate through social pressures and to achieve. “If I had listened to what people will say about my age, gender or race, I would not have taken some of the steps that I took.

If I had listened to what people will say about my age, gender or race, I would not have taken some of the steps that I took.

“My father had to sell his car, just to get me through my third year of study and also the general social challenges, usually being the youngest in my class,” she told the News24 Beautiful News page.

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She entered varsity at the age of 15, at 19 she attained her first degree and moved on to graduate studies. ‘I never thought I will be the youngest woman to have a PhD in Africa. I never thought that at the age of 23, I will have a PhD in industrial psychology,’ she added.

She left her native Zimbabwe purposefully to pursue tertiary education. The North-West University, one of South Africa’s largest varsities, became her home. Today the institution shares the light of giving birth to Africa’s youngest PhD holder.

She is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher. ‘What motivates me is my responsibility to be good to others. I am currently working as a post-doctoral researcher and youth activist – ensuring that others can reach their interests and their goals’.

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Advice to young people

“As young people, it is very important to accrue the right character traits, don’t let anyone tell you that you are substandard, under par or unworthy of having a dream, so be daring be bold and be aggressive in your pursuit of success.”

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