- Dr Zenzile Khetsha inspired many when he revealed he is the first person in his family to bag a doctorate degree
- Described as a 'son of the soil', Dr Zenzile Khetsha fought against poverty, violence and social ills to reach the pinnacle of academic success
- His grandmother, Nuku Emily Khetsha, sacrificed her monthly pension to send him to school, clothe and feed him
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Former farmworker Dr Zenzile Khetsha, 33, of Bloemfontein received massive love from Mzansi when he tweeted about being the first person in his family to bag a doctorate degree.
"Rise, African child," said one Twitter user while congratulating Dr Khetsha after he recently clinched a doctoral degree from the Central University of Technology in the Free State.
Dr Khetsha said his grandmother, Nuku Emily Khetsha, would tell her friends when he was growing up that she is raising a teacher.
"She would remind me that ‘You’re intelligent’ and I would be the first teacher in the family. At times I would reminisce about how she would walk me to school 20 kilometres away to motivate myself," he said.
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Dr Khetsha said she sacrificed her pension in late 2006 to buy him a desktop computer while he was at university.
Dr Khetsha, who completed his Doctorate in Agriculture with a focus on plant production, began his journey as a farmworker at Landzicht Winery in Jacobdsdal, Free State in 2008.
Last month, Dr Khetsha, was named the acting assistant dean in the teaching and learning faculty at the Central University of Technology. He is no stranger to academia and has held both junior and senior lecturer posts at the university over the last several years.
In a tweet, Dr Khetsha spoke openly about being raised by his grandmother and that her government pension was the only source of income at the time.
"A first doctoral degree in the family!" wrote an elated Dr Khetsha.
Twitter users were fast to congratulate Dr Khetsha on his outstanding achievements
"Rise, African child. Grow Tall in developments like a gum tree and big in ideas and grace like a baobab tree. Congrats, son of the soil."
Twitter user @Lebo said:
"Inspired.. You’re truly an inspiration.’ In a separate tweet, he added: ‘We as former school mates.. We are so proud of you.. Indeed it’s true when they say (Mohale o tswa maroleng)."
Another Twitter user, @DrMqhele said:
"Congratulations Dr Khetsha on this noble feat."
Dr Khetsha is happily married to Nokhaya and has two children, Zen and Zinzile.
Dr Khetsha’s LinkenIn profile reveals he is a passionate agriculturist who is equally dedicated to the world of higher education. In his spare time, the educationalist is an avid UFC enthusiast.
"I grew up in a rough, bullish environment and had I known MMA back then, I could have defended myself better. I now enjoy the sport with my son," he told Briefly News.
UCT VC Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng’s motivational educational journey has locals sharing their own struggles
Briefly News previously reported that Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng shared her educational story on Twitter, warming hearts and inspiring people all over Mzansi.
Professor Phakeng explained that she did her postgraduate studies part-time at the University of Witwatersrand. She was also working full time and raising a family.
She said she had no social life. In 1998, she took leave without pay from her job in order to start her PhD journey. She revealed that not only was it a tough financial decision, but a personal one too.
Source: Briefly News