She left school at 15. And ended up with a PhD


Musawenkosi Saurombe was bored by Grade 3. So are most kids. But Saurombe’s problem was different. The work designed for children her age just wasn’t challenging enough, so she skipped the year. From that moment on, she set her own pace, flying through school and university to become the youngest African woman to hold a PhD.

Through the doors of secondary education by the time she was 15, Saurombe earned her first degree at 19. When most students her age were celebrating a handful of first-year credits, she started her Master’s. And by 23 Saurombe had a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Academia was always going to be the young Zimbabwean’s destination, who moved to South Africa to pursue tertiary studies at North-West University.

“If I had listened to what people would say about my age, gender or race, I would not have taken some of the steps that I took,” she explains. “What motivates me is my responsibility to be good to others.” Though society wrote her off, Saurombe’s family battled alongside her, to the point of selling valuable possessions, including her father’s car, to pay for her studies. Saurombe’s success is phenomenal, and was achieved through the relentless pursuit of a dream.