Bright minds awarded

2019-07-24 06:02
Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe and Innocensia Mangoato.Photo: Supplied

Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe and Innocensia Mangoato.Photo: Supplied

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The University of the Free State (UFS) prides itself on the nomination of two lecturers, Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe and Innocensia Mangoato, for the 2019 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans. Both candidates are 26 years old and are lecturers at the UFS campus in Bloemfontein.

They were listed among the 2019 Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans for strides in their individual fields. Saurombe is Africa’s youngest Ph.D. graduate, while Mangoato made waves with her research into cannabis as a cancer treatment.

These Kovsies are however already “on course to touch the world with their greatness”, in the words of the Mail & Guardian.

In Saurombe’s case, this honour comes after being named the 2018-’19 Youth Leader of the Year by the Institute of People Management for being Africa’s youngest Ph.D. graduate and contributing significantly to the talent management field.

On the other hand, Mangoato earned the 2018 South African Women in Science Award for her research on using cannabis in cancer treatment.

On 27 June 2019 Saurombe’s name lit up the screen as the Education category winner at a gala dinner held in Sandton.

Mangoato was recognised as one of the country’s brightest minds in the Science and Technology category.

Mangoato believes that the science of excelling is taught through living as an example. “The fact that a village girl can be recognised for conducting impactful research that will potentially result in new knowledge production in the area of drug development and using natural products should encourage more young people to achieve greatness regardless of their circumstances.”

This Pharmacology lecturer and researcher remains persistent in pursuit of her Ph.D. and ground-breaking research in cancer-drug resistance.

At four years old, Saurombe started school in Botswana. She was promoted past a few grades due to being more advanced than her peers. This led her to complete high school at 15 and enrol at North-West University as a first-year student the following year.

In 2017, she was celebrated across the continent as being the youngest Ph.D. graduate at 23. “I registered for my Ph.D. without knowing where I’d get the money to fund my studies,” said Saurombe, reflecting on how financial constraints encouraged her to complete her Ph.D. in one-and-a-half years.

Saurombe joined the UFS earlier this year as a senior lecturer in Industrial Psychology and continues her research into the relationship between employer and employee focusing on talent value proposition.

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