At a young age of 24 years most young people are grappling with their lives after completing their undergraduate degrees but for Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe it is a different story.
On Tuesday she graduated with a PhD in Management Perspectives on a Talent Value Proposition for Academic Staff at the Northwest University in South Africa.
Her academic journey was extremely tumultuous and action packed as she ascended all the way to high school at the age of 11, two years shy of being a teenager.
This was made possible by her Preparatory Standard (Reception) teacher who allowed her to proceed to Standard One just after one year even though she was only four years old. Her Standard Three teacher, however, realised a lot of hyper activity in her and at the end of first term she was promoted to Standard Four where she adjusted extremely quickly so much that her teacher suggested that she be promoted to Standard Five the next term.
Due to fear of psychological side effects at a later stage Saurombe’s parents declined this promotion.
Upon her arrival at high school at just 11 years Saurombe proceeded to complete it in a record four years and continued with another year of A-levels after which at 16 she registered for an undergraduate degree in Human Resource Management and Industrial Psychology with honours.
After graduation she proceeded to do her Masters, a two-year programme which she completed in a year. Saurombe wasted no time and enrolled as a PhD scholar which she completed in less than two years.
The rollercoaster of her school life was quite challenging and according to Saurombe, it was hard to synchronise with the age group she was always subjected to by virtue of her always being a few years ahead of her age mates.
She describes the journey as strenuous a she was in an expectations versus reality conundrum – the expectation on her to excel versus the reality that she is just a child. Despite all this she managed to progress very well and fit in the environment she found herself in.
Having been the only girl child in her family, Saurombe explained that she grew up very coddled by her family and it was a drastic change for her to be off in varsity at 16.
When she first started university she had to contend with numerous phone calls from her family worrying and fussing about her being away from home which was slightly overwhelming.
“My parents constantly guided me through my way and I am extremely grateful for the guidance,” says Saurombe.
Like any growing child she has had an encounter with falling in with the bad crowd causing her to neglect her school work in the process. She claims to have quickly gotten rid of them and went back to her good old disciplined ways.
“I used to feel that I missed out or skipped different stages in my life because of the circumstances I found myself in but with time I got over it,” says Saurombe.
She sates that she is quite comfortable with the fact that she skipped the ‘general frivolities’ that come with being a child which she saw her peers go through and couldn’t quite relate to.
For the near future Saurombe is embarking on a journey to being a professor as soon as possible so that she can advance her career in academics. Though she is a scholar she is also open to all possibilities and would not mind going whichever direction life will lead her.
This young high achiever does have time for fun and for a good time Saurombe travels both domestically and internationally. In an unexpected twist she states that she also sings and not just in the shower as she gets hired to perform at events and will hopefully cut an album one of these days.
Through discipline, dedication, a solid upbringing and hard work she has progressed steadily through school to become one of the youngest PhD graduates to hail from Botswana.