Meet Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe: The Youngest Person in Africa to Earn a PhD At 23 Years Old

Zimbabwean woman, Professor Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe who is now an Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, made history in 2017 when she became the continent’s youngest PhD holder at 23 years old.

Born in Zimbabwe but raised in Botswana, Musawenkosi started her college education at the age of 16. She studied Commerce at the North-West University and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree with distinction at the age of 19.

She continued her educational pursuit and went on to receive a Master’s degree from the North-West University at the age of 21. At 23, she obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Organisational Psychology from the same university.

After obtaining her PhD, she started working working in the field of academia. She worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the North-West University from 2017 before she got hired as a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Free State Bloemfontein, South Africa, in 2019.

In 2021, Professor Musawenkosi started working at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa where she later become an Associate Professor. The young Professor, who is now 29 is being celebrated for her outstanding achievement in the field of academia.

In a LinkedIn post, her friend Tutu Kgobane celebrated her achievement and wrote, “Congratulations, my sister. The youngest PhD graduate in Africa. She has now been appointed as a professor. Prof Musa! So proud of her.”

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