BY Mark Babatunde, 6:00pm July 27, 2017,

At 23, Musawenkosi Saurombe Is Youngest African Woman With Ph.D.

“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” - Musawenkosi Saurombe. Photo Credit: MiCampus

Zimbabwean scholar Musawenkosi Saurombe is currently the youngest African woman to earn a doctorate degree. The 23-year-old recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from South Africa’s North-West University (NWU).

The scholar reportedly nailed her Ph.D. thesis, which explored the “management perspectives talent value propositions for academic staff members in higher education.”

Saurombe was born in Zimbabwe but grew up in neighboring Botswana. Friends and colleagues describe her as a child prodigy: She skipped a grade in elementary school and entered the university at the age of 16, moving to South Africa to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at North-West University.

Despite her academic talents, Saurombe says her success mostly comes from lots of hard work, sacrifice, and self-belief.

“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 News24.

Musawenkosi Saurombe

Photo Credit: Destiny Connect

By 19, Saurombe completed her first degree, advancing immediately to her post-graduate studies and receiving a Master’s degree with distinction at the age of 21.

“I never thought I will be the youngest woman to have a Ph.D. in Africa. I never thought that at the age of 23, I will have a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology,” Saurombe says.

A statement from North-West University said that with her accomplishments, Saurombe joins an elite list of young scholars around the world that have earned a doctorate while still in their early 20s.

The statement added that she currently works as a postdoctoral fellow at the university’s campus in Mahikeng, where she is responsible for the teaching and supervision of postgraduate students.

Notwithstanding her busy schedule as a teacher and researcher, Saurombe finds time for community service, mentoring young people, especially girls, to set their sights on the future and believe that they can be absolutely anything they want to be.

“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.”

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: July 27, 2017


Must Read

Connect with us

Join our Mailing List to Receive Updates