Zim girl attains PhD at 23

By Kudakwashe Pembere

Breaking new ground is a Zimbabwean based in South Africa Musawenkosi Saurombe who was capped with a PhD in Industrial Psychology at the age of 23 yesterday.

She attained the degree from North-West University – Mafikeng, in South Africa. Musa’s PhD thesis passed without corrections, a remarkable and laudable feat.

With this feat, she has earned herself the title of youngest woman to earn a PhD in Africa according to a statement by the University.

Musa has been nurturing her passion and commitment towards community service, and she talks to women about women empowerment, sharing her personal journey to success.

“I am grateful to God for the milestone I have reached – this day has been long awaited. I am especially overwhelmed that I passed my thesis with no corrections. It can only be Him at work in all of this,” NWU quoted her saying.

 According to NWU, she started her university career with a BCom at the age of 16 which she completed at 19. Leading to her postgraduate studies, she received her honours and master’s degrees with distinctions at the age of 20 and 21 respectively.

Musa is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the NWU’s campus in Mafikeng, and is responsible for the teaching and supervision of postgraduate students, the University reported.

Her PhD thesis analysed “The Management perspectives on a talent value proposition for academic staff in a South African Higher Education Institution”. She wanted to explore a topic that would greatly contribute to her field of study.

The North West University (NWU) student was born in Zimbabwe and raised in Botswana before she moved to SA to embark on her studies at the age of 16, when she matriculated. Despite attaining her degree in 2013, Musawenkosi said she battled to find employment.

“I applied for different jobs but didn’t get a response, so I decided to further my education,” Musawenkosi says.

Her PhD thesis looked into the talent value propositions for academic staff members in higher education. And it was recently admitted by NWU, making her the youngest person to graduate with a PhD.

“It became a challenge for me to break the record and it became my source of motivation and inspiration,” Musawenkosi said.

The job seeker and aspirant singer in her spare time, further adds: “I am defined by my African name ‘Musawenkosi’, which means ‘God’s grace’, and indeed my life continues to be a story of God’s grace.”

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