You can achieve anything you want to achieve if you set your heart to it and believe in yourself, this summarizes the story of 23 year old Zimbabwean scholar,  Musawenkosi Saurombe who is currently the youngest African woman to earn a doctorate degree.

The young lady graduated with a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from South Africa’s North-West University (NWU).

Here are 8 facts you should know about the record breaking young lady:

1.  Saurombe was born in Zimbabwe but grew up in neighboring Botswana.

2. She gained admission into the university at age 16 after skipping a grade in elementary school to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at North-West University.

3. Despite her academic talents, Saurombe says her success came mostly  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”.


4. At 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”.

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5. Saurombe  presently works as a postdoctoral fellow at the university’s campus in Mahikeng, where she is responsible for the teaching and supervision of postgraduate students.

6. 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.”

7. 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.

8. According to her,  “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.”