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Brilliant Lady who became Africa’s Youngest Ph.D. Holder at 23, Becomes a Professor at 33

Cursory: Brilliant African lady who is the youngest PhD holder in the continent, has proven that she is born to make stellar achievements after she recently became an associate professor at the University of Johannesburg. Below are her professional journey and achievements.

Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe, a Zimbabwe native, made history in 2017 when she became the youngest person on the African continent to earn a PhD at 23 years old. Recently, she broke the glass ceiling again when she became an Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg.

Musawenkosi, raised in Botswana, started taking her Bachelor of Commerce degree from North-West University at the age of 16 and graduated with distinction at 19.

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She went on to receive her honour’s and master’s degrees from NWU at the ages of 20 and 21, respectively.

Musawenkosi was just 23 years old in 2017 when she obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Organisational Psychology also from NWU.

Since then, she has started working in the academic field. She worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the North-West University from 2017 before becoming a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Free State Bloemfontein in 2019.

In 2021, Musawenkosi started working at the University of Johannesburg as a Senior Lecturer. Most recently, Musawenkosi, who is now 29 years old, has been promoted to associate professor at the university.

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.”

Read Also: African Girl Who Made Headlines For Gaining Admission at 13, Becomes Youngest PhD Student at 18


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Ahmadu Bello University

I am so inspired..


Inasmuch as the achievements are very remarkable, most educationalists advise academic milestones according to age (maturity). So in South Africa you will not start Grade 1 before you are 6 years old plus. Thus, you will not be able to start a Bachelor’s degree at 16 years old, however intelligent you can be. The rest is logical. Misunderstanding of such education principles occasionally produces these supposed geniuses.


PhD in 2017 at 23. Now in 2023 if a Prof is 6 years later. She should be 29 years old


While congratulating her for the academic achievement at this young age, It would be better that she combines this with the industry experience just keeping purely academic may soon be irrelevant without industry experience.

Adeyemi Abdulqadir

More of it to witness in Africa’Insha ALLAH’

Ezurumem Cece

You disciplined from cradle. God’s supreme grace is sufficient for you

Ezekwu Damian

I love hear about persons who archived great feat in Education,I will use it to inspire my children.E


I like this

Darrell Johnson

Congrats to first Black female professor. More to come. ⚖️????????????

Darrell Johnson


Oyeleke Esther

Congratulations to her I am proud of you as an African woman and a professional teacher in Nigeria

Okuboyejo Basirat Olawunmi

Huge Congratulations to the young lady Associate Professor and her friend Dr Musa. I wish them more accolades in their academic career, amen.

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