A rural student with a dream to become a chemist has achieved her goal with the award of her Master of Science degree cum laude after just one year of study.
Nomfundo Mahlangeni, the youngest of four children, was raised by her mother, a single parent and retired high school teacher. After completing high school Mahlangeni was accepted into the then Faculty of Science and Agriculture at UKZN with financial assistance. The transition from high school to university was extremely difficult. She told UKZNOnline she had to work even harder to familiarise herself with concepts and contexts that others took for granted.
Nomfundo realised that she had a passion for research whilst completing her Honours research project in Chemistry. She even managed to have one research paper published based on her Honours project. She subsequently registered for a Masters degree at the beginning of 2012 submitted her thesis for examination at the end of that year and was awarded the degree cum laude.
Not only has Mahlangeni realised her dream, but she has achieved something that most students do not: completion of an MSc degree in one year – and with flying colours.
She attributed her success to her supervisors who constantly motivated and guided her, her family who were always supportive, and her friends in the laboratory – what she calls her “home away from home”. She also admitted that such an outcome would be virtually impossible without sheer commitment, hard work and dedication.