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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

75-year-old woman bags Master’s degree from South African university, set to earn PhD

A determined 75-year-old grandmother named Notozi Jennifer Mgobozi has achieved her lifelong dream of advancing her education after earning a Master’s degree from Walter Sisulu University, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Notozi Jennifer Mgobozi who earned her Bachelor’s degree in the 1960s narrated that she was advised by her brother-in-law, Philip Saluva, to become a teacher. Ever since she completed her Bachelor’s degree, her passion for teaching grew.

With her degree from the Tshiya College of Education, Jennifer Mgobozi joined several Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) that focus on Education. She speaks more than four languages and became more passionate about teaching languages.

After working for several years, she decided to further her education in 2016 and enrolled for a Master’s degree in Education at Walter Sisulu University. “I worked with ladies in Mthatha who had their families with them. After work they would go home to their families while I was lonely [by this stage she was divorced],” she narrated about how she got inspired.

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“I thought why should feel lonely when I can focus on getting an education. I thought here is a university next to me and it is within a walking distance so why don’t I go and register?

“When I first told my family that I wanted to study they asked me when I was going to stop wanting to learn. At first they weren’t too sure, but they didn’t discourage me.” she said.

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Two years after enrolling at the university, she started working on her dissertation. “The first challenge was working on it while also juggling my job. From 8 am to 4:30 pm I would be at work, however, my hours were flexible. I would arrange with my academic supervisor, Dr Ntshanga Nqabeni, that we meet in the afternoons as I had work in the mornings,” she narrated.

She added that it was not too tasking for her to adapt to the academic environment as she had extensive experience in education, having worked with schools in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape of South Africa.

She appreciated her family for supporting her throughout her journey and also her supervisor who she described as very patient. “My family were also very proud. They feel the pressure as they have not studied further but we understand that we are all different and have different desires,” she said.

Jennifer Mgobozi revealed that despite her age, she is looking forward to do her Doctorate (PhD) degree. “Education is so important. If you want to study then you need to set yourself obtainable goals. Once you’ve done that you will work very hard because you will want to achieve those goals,” she said.

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