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Africa’s Youngest Female PhD Graduate


23-year old Musawenkosi Saurombe got her PhD in Industry Psychology in April this year, making her the youngest PhD honouree in Africa. She shares her story and success tips

Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe is an academic making early-waves in her career. She now works as a Post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Northwest with the hopes of being a professor one day. Born in Zimbabwe she relocated to Gaborone, Botswana with her parents and older brother when she was 6 weeks old. She was home-schooled by her mother from the age of 3 and began her preparatory class “standard zero” at the age of 4, in 1998 at Phakalane English Medium Primary School. Musa completed her matric at Legae Academy in 2008, at the tender age of 15.

“I then moved to South Africa at the age of 16 and furthered my studies at Northwest University. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management at the age of 19. I didn’t feel ready to face the corporate world because I felt I was too young, so I did my honours degree, which I obtained at the age of 20. I then completed my Master’s degree at 21 (cum laude) and was a top student in my entire faculty. I then decided there was no harm in doing a Ph.D. which I completed in 2015 with no amendments required to my thesis. I became a Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Psychology on 25th

Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe (2)

I became a Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Psychology on 25th April 2017, which makes me the youngest female Ph.D. graduate in Africa. Because of my outstanding results, my Masters and Ph.D. was funded by the University. This is why I always advise young people to work very hard at school because someone does notice. I decided to speicalise in Industrial Psychology because I am passionate about what goes on in the workplace. This career is another facet of HR where we analyse the psyche of the employee. I believe that to some degree it’s not possible for a worker to always leave their personal problems at the office door. Companies have to invest in the well-being of their employees to ensure a good work environment and the success of the company. I am also passionate about the youth and that is why I always do motivational talks nation-wide. I love sharing my story because I believe it will inspire another young person out there. My advice to the youth is that you have to take your own future into your own hands and take your education seriously. Education is the key to success as many doors can open for you if you have something to back you up. Also, take care of your brand on your social media handles. Potential employers and investors do look at that. So don’t let social media close doors and opportunities for you.”

Connect with Musa on:

Facebook: Dr. Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe – Youngest Female PhD Graduate in Africa

Twitter: @MusaSaurombe

Instagram: musawenkosi_donia_saurombe


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