Hard work and perseverance took Nthabiseng to her dreams

By Corporate Communications Division/Asiphe Nombewu

Growing up in the dusty streets of Gankwana village in Limpopo, 25-year-old Nthabiseng Seleme says she never ever imagined herself graduating with a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Stellenbosch University (SU).

“I am super excited about graduation; this shows that hard work and perseverance are indeed keys to success,” she adds. Nthabiseng arrived at Stellenbosch University in 2017 after completing her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 2016 at the University of Pretoria (Tuks).

“I was fortunate enough to receive funding from the National Research Foundation (NRF), they paid my fees and Thermaspray (Pty) Ltd topped up the bursary by chipping in to help me as well.

“Although I felt homesick at times, I found the move to Stellenbosch University very adventurous. I have always wanted to travel beyond Gauteng and the Limpopo province.” Being the first person in her family to obtain a master’s degree, Nthabiseng says her family has been a constant support system and is very excited and proud of her for all her achievements.

Nthabiseng says she wouldn’t have been able to do all of this without the support and assistance of her family and supervisors, Drs Tobi Louw and Neill Goosen, for her MEng research entitled Modelling of enzymatic protein hydrolysis.

“My plan is to gain as much industrial exposure as I can, and continue to learn as well as explore the industry as I am currently based and working at Samacor Chrome in Mpumalanga, Middleburg.”

She describes her childhood as a “normal” one – she lived with her grandmother and aunt before moving to Pretoria to stay with her parents where she completed high school and undergraduate studies. “I think I was a very good child because I did my chores. I was nurtured a lot by my grandmother and mother, and turned out quite well.”

As a top achieving student for both Mathematics and Science in high school, Nthabiseng first dreamt of becoming a medical doctor. “At the time I even thought my handwriting was a testament to that,” she says jokingly. Her love for Mathematics drew her to Actuarial Science, but she later learnt that there was more to Actuarial Science than just Mathematics. And this is what lead to her decision to follow a career in Chemical Engineering.

Photo caption: Nthabiseng Seleme.