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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

27-year-old African lady bags PhD in just 2 years, wins award as youngest doctor in her set

A 27-year-old African lady named Lettah Sikhosana has bagged a Ph.D. within the span of just two years at the University of South Africa and was awarded as the youngest doctor in her graduating set.

Lettah Sikhosana bagged her doctorate in Education specializing in Environmental Education at the University of South Africa within two years. Her achievements earned her the Youngest Female Doctoral Graduate of the university.

Lettah was presented the award at the University of South Africa 2023 Research and Innovation Awards. She described her achievement as a milestone she had never envisioned reaching.

”On the 11th of October 2022 14:00 at UNISA….I officially changed my title from Miss to Dr. Lettah Sikhosana (27yrs.). It is still unbelievable that I have managed to reach this milestone, it is through everyone including my Supervisor who were present and supportive,” she wrote on her LinkedIn.

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According to Women in Africa, Lettah used to work as a domestic worker part-time to help fund her tertiary education. She said after high school, she received admission to numerous universities in South Africa but decided to enroll at the University of South Africa.

“To ensure that I could attend the Sunnyside or Muckleneuk Unisa campus daily, I would work as a domestic worker on weekends where my mother was employed and get paid an amount of R200, which I used for transportation,” she said.

She said her parents who both work as domestic helpers, had to request advances of their wages where they worked to pay her registration fee, as she had no funding as a first-year student.

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Against all odds, she obtained a bachelors degree in Education (BEd) Honours with a focus on Environmental Education at the University of South Africa. She also holds a Master of Education in Environmental Education from same university.

Lettah expressed her gratitude to her parents for their support and struggles to make sure she got a quality education despite their financial incapabilities.”My parents sacrificed a lot in order to provide financial assistance and support towards my studies.,” Lettah said.

”I moved away from home and stayed with my mother in a backroom in Centurion, where she used to work as a domestic worker. I appreciate my mother’s employers for welcoming me with open arms in their home,” she added.

Lettah is currently a Lecturer and the Chair for Research and Innovation in the Department of Science and Technology Education, College of Education at the University of South Africa.

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