Brilliant young lady goes from farmer to PhD holder in Chemical Engineering

Thandi Princess Ngxongo is a remarkable woman who has overcome many challenges and achieved great success in the field of chemical engineering. She was born and raised on a farm along the Mooi River in South Africa, where she helped her parents with farming activities and household chores. She developed an interest in cars and the oil industry from an early age, as she played with worn and ragged vehicles that were filled with petrol and oil smell.

She pursued her passion for science and engineering by enrolling at the Durban University of Technology, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Chemical Engineering. She then gained practical experience by working with Engen SA, one of the leading players in the oil industry. She did not stop there, as she continued to empower herself with further education, earning an MBA and other certificates.

She also embarked on a PhD journey, which she completed in 2023, becoming one of the few women to hold a doctorate degree in chemical engineering in South Africa. Her research focused on developing sustainable and environmentally friendly biofuels from agricultural waste. She said that her motivation was to contribute to the body of knowledge and to solve some of the energy challenges facing her country and the continent.

She is also a successful entrepreneur, as she owns and manages a BP Moore Road Service Station in Durban, which employs 25 people. She is believed to be one of the few women fuel dealers in KwaZulu-Natal. She said that she enjoys running her own business, as it gives her an opportunity to interact with customers and to mentor young people who aspire to follow her footsteps.

She has received several awards and recognitions for her outstanding achievements, such as the Women in Engineering Award from the South African Institution of Chemical Engineers, and the Young Achiever Award from the African Women Leadership Organisation. She has also been featured in various media platforms, such as Wakanda African News, Rising Africa, and IOL.

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She has inspired many people, especially women and girls, who face social barriers and stereotypes in pursuing their dreams. She said that her advice to them is to never give up, to work hard, and to seek mentorship from others who have gone ahead of them. She also said that she is grateful for the support of her family, friends, colleagues, and mentors, who have helped her along the way.

She says that her motivation comes from her parents, who taught her to work hard and never give up on her dreams. She also credits her husband Menzisi and her three children Siyaphila, Sibabalwe and Sinovuyo for their support and encouragement. She hopes to inspire other women to pursue their goals and reach their full potential.

She says: “I believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I want to show other women that they can achieve anything they want, regardless of their background or circumstances. I want to be a role model for young girls who want to study engineering or any other STEM field. I want to make a positive impact in my community and my country.”

She is a shining example of how one can rise from humble beginnings to achieve greatness in life. She is a role model for many young Africans who want to make a positive difference in their communities and the world. She is a woman who deserves to be celebrated for her excellence and innovation.

Manoko Mashangoane is another brilliant South African lady who has made history by becoming one of the youngest admitted attorneys in the country. She achieved this feat at the age of 23, fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a lawyer.

To become an admitted attorney in South Africa, one must first complete a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree, then serve articles with a registered law firm and then pass the board exams. Manoko completed her LLB degree at the University of Limpopo in 2022, graduating with distinction. She then enrolled for a Master of Laws (LLM) degree at the University of Pretoria, where she faced some challenges as a postgraduate student from a different institution.

She had to familiarise herself with the new academic environment, the online systems, the libraries and the databases. She also struggled to make friends and felt anxious and out of place on campus. However, she did not let these difficulties deter her from pursuing her goals. She consulted lecturers, information specialists and former classmates for guidance and support. She also worked hard and completed her LLM degree with distinction in 2023.

During her LLM studies, she also served her articles with MacRobert Attorneys, one of the leading law firms in South Africa. She passed her board exams in February 2023 and was officially admitted as an attorney by the High Court of South Africa.

Manoko took to social media to share her proud moments and inspire others with her story. She posted a beautiful picture of herself in her graduation gown and wrote: “An Admitted Attorney at 23?! You did it girl!” She also thanked God, her family, her friends and her mentors for their support and encouragement. Click here to continue reading about Manoko.

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