Musawenkosi Saurombe: Africa’s Youngest Female PhD Graduate



As confirmed by South Africa’s North-West University, Mafikeng, Musawenkosi Saurombe has become Africa’s youngest female PhD holder in history,

In a statement released by the institution, the 23-year old graduated with a distinction as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Industrial Psychology.

Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe’s PhD thesis was exceptionally great. So much so that there was no corrections needed after her submission.

“Congratulations to 23 year old Musawenkosi Saurombe. She is the youngest female PHD Graduate in Africa with a Research thesis of No Corrections & Ammendments,”

The thesis was on The Management perspectives on a talent value proposition for academic staff in a South African Higher Education Institution.

Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe who describes herself as a hyperactive yet a scholarly person was born in May 24, 1993, in Harare, Zimbabwe. Few weeks after her birth her family moved to Gaborone, Botswana.

At 15 Musa and her family once again moved to South Africa where she furthered her education. According to her, the change of environment at that point took a toll on her. However, she did not let it affect her studies.

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Seeing her through school was a challenge for the parents of the brilliant young lady. At a point her father who was a teacher had to sell his car to make ends meet.

To the miracle of completing her education and attaining series of academic feats, the young lady attributes it all to God.

“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,”



In a different interview she was quoted to have said:

“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.”

All through the course of her education, Musa has been so smart that she spends reasonably lesser time to complete learning tasks.

“At 5, I was sent to Grade 1 because my teachers saw that I adapted and finished my work quicker than other children. They felt I needed something more challenging.”

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History repeated itself again as she forged on to higher learning. Records show that Musa completed her undergraduate studies in 3 years; Honours degree in one year (at 19); Master’s in one year (at 21) and Ph.D. in over 2 years.

NWU vice-chancellor Professor Dan Kgwadi commended Musa’s academic excellence. He used her as a model of what is expected of students in the institution.

“We are very excited; the increasing research capacity at our institution is enabling us to see more students like Musa. When I think of her, I get excited to see a researcher who is able to maintain a social life, yet perform.”

Currently a member of a doctoral fellowship at North West University, Musa teaches and supervises postgraduate students at NWU’s campus in Mahikeng.

Musawenkosi Saurombe’s academic feat will be adding to past records of the likes of Dr. Sandile Kubheka who graduated in 2014 from the University of KwaZulu-Natal with an MBChB.

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