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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Brilliant Nigerian Mathematician becomes the first woman to earn PhD in Mathematics at UNISA, breaks record

An exceptional Nigerian Mathematician named Oghenetega Ighedo has broken a 148-year-old record at the University of South Africa after emerging as the first-ever black woman to earn a Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Pure Mathematics from the institution.

Oghenetega Ighedo, now an Associate Professor of Pure Mathematics, started her higher Academic studies at Delta State University, South-South, Nigeria where she bagged a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Mathematics.

She proceeded to the University of Ibadan, South-West, Nigeria for her Master’s degree in Mathematics before enrolling at the University of South Africa for her Doctorate degree (PhD). Speaking about the record she broke at the Unversity of South Africa, Oghenetega Ighedo narrated that she was inspired by her mother who was a Mathematics teacher.

“I was inspired by my mother – a retired maths teacher. I saw the way she was going about teaching it and when I grew older, I thought the way she did maths was interesting and I wanted to see if I could do it like her,” she said.

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Oghenetega Ighedo also added that she remains dedicated to studying Pure Mathematics because there are few black mathematicians and most especially because there are few black women who are pure mathematician.

“My decision to study pure mathematics was also motivated by the fact that not only are there few black pure mathematicians but there are fewer black women who are pure mathematicians,” she added.


Professor Oghenetega Ighedo encouraged young women not to let adversity and challenges of Mathematics deter them from excelling in the field. “When I started my PhD I was already married, I had two children and was expecting my 3rd child. In spite of being a mother and a wife, I was able to complete my PhD within three years,” she narrated.

In another story, a brilliant Nigerian woman named Oluwaseun Bamigboye has become the first-ever female PhD graduate of the Federal University Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), South-West Nigeria.

She achieved the feat by studying Agricultural Economics. Read more about Oluwaseun Bamigboye HERE.

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