Gardener from Platrand sets off to Oxford University to complete PhD

Gardener from Platrand sets off to Oxford University to complete PhD

- Sizwe grew up on a farm in Mpumalanga

- He applied for the Mandela Rhodes scholarship while working as a lecturer in UJ

- He is now starting his PhD at Oxford University in England

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Sizwe Mkhwanazi worked as a gardener to make money, but dreamed of bigger things. With hard work and determination, Sizwe is now heading out to England, to lecture at one of the best universities in the world, oxford University.

Sizwe Mkhwanazi grew up on a small farm in Platrand in Mpumalanga. He spent his youth helping his family out on the farm and herding livestock. He began working as a gardener when he was only 14 years old to help support his family, earning around R300 per job, Briefly.co.za learned.

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Sizwe enjoyed learning when he was young, but quit school after grade 9, believing that government education did not hold enough value for him, as these schools are under-resourced and education is standardised and not designed to stimulate critical thinking by learners.

Instead, Sizwe finished is secondary education at TVET college, obtaining a national certificate.

Sizwe hit a bump in the road to success when his application to study at University of Johannesburg was reject, even though he was a high academic achiever at his college.

Fortunately, his community knew him to be a hard worker and someone at the TVET college he attended wrote a letter on his behalf to the minister of education at the time, Blade Nzimande.

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Finally, Sizwe managed to obtain a diploma in Entrepreneurship and a BTech from the institution.

After that, it was smooth sailing, thanks to Sizwe’s intellect and impressive academic performance, he was offered funding to complete a postgraduate diploma in management and entrepreneurship at North-West University.

When Sizwe started a new job lecturing at UJ, he decided to apply for the Mandela Rhodes scholarship to complete his Masters degree and PhD and was successful.

Sizwe then moved to the UK and enjoyed every minute of it, saying that it feels like home.

This year he is set to start researching towards his PhD at Oxford.

His students and those he encountered throughout his academic career, are hardly surprised about Sizwe's success, having experienced his commitment and talents first-hand.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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