From starting school together to graduating with a master’s degree

2016-04-11 09:58
Twin sisters Tracey Steenkamp and Danielle Steenkamp in Grade 1 and then after receiving their master's degrees. (supplied)

Twin sisters Tracey Steenkamp and Danielle Steenkamp in Grade 1 and then after receiving their master's degrees. (supplied)

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Pretoria – Twin sisters Danielle and Tracey Steenkamp started Grade 1 together, and now they've capped their educational journey by sharing a stage and getting their master's degrees together.

The pair received their master’s degree in biokinetics (Master of Arts Human Movement Science also known as biokinetics) from the University of Pretoria last week.

Speaking about the day, the sisters were all smiles.

“It was very special because we didn’t know we were going to graduate on the same day because we have different subjects and our testing takes place over various months. Mine was from January to December while hers was for three consecutive months. I thought I was going to graduate after her but it worked out quickly. It was a proud moment. It was nice knowing she was right behind me while graduating,” said Danielle Steenkamp.

Her sister, Tracey, echoed her sentiments. “It was very proud and exciting because we do everything together. It was nice that we could graduate together."


The pair said studying for their master’s was not easy as both were employed by the university. Danielle Steenkamp said they had to juggle work and their studies while trying to maintain a social life.

“We worked early in the morning until late in the evening. Weekends were consumed with work but we just kept telling ourselves it will be worth it in the end. The first six months were tough because our social life took a bit of a dive,” she said.

Working and studying

“It was very tough because we are working and studying at the same time. It was a lot of hours, it was a tough road but I think what helped was that we support each other. When she is busy, it makes me work even harder,” Tracey Steenkamp added.

Danielle and Tracey started working at the Institute for Sports Research in 2005 and were employed as permanent staff from 2006 (as biokineticists). They work with special population clients suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's, pulmonary diseases, multiple sclerosis, and stroke patients.

The pair praised their parents and family for the support they were given during their studies. Asked what their future plans were, they both said they wanted to obtain their doctorates but also wanted to take a break from the demanding academic schedule.

“It’s always good to study further when you have the opportunity and we did. Probably we will one day do our doctorate but now we are going to rest,” said Tracey Steenkamp.

Danielle Steenkamp added that she was looking forward to having the doctorate degree but not the work that comes with studying for it.

“I’m looking forward to having my doctorate. I think when the time comes I will look forward to having it. It’s tough working and studying but it’s good to keep one busy and furthering oneself,” she said.

See News24's interview with the twins below:

Read more on:    university of pretoria  |  pretoria  |  education  |  good news

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