The bio on her Twitter handle says it all. It reads:
“An apostle of Education.
An academic with a social conscience.
Professor of Maths education.
I am here to give hope. #BeInspired”
In what has been described as an inspiration to the world, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT), Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, has requested that the funds set aside for her inauguration ceremony be used to pay off outstanding fees for students who finished their exams in the classes of 2015-2017. These students had been unable to graduate due to arrears.
She also personally raised funds to complete the total amount owed by the students to enable them graduate. A special graduation ceremony was then organized for the over 100 students, thanks to Professor Phakeng.
One of the graduates, named Ninkie Zimasa, who could not hide her joy took to twitter to share her excitement. She wrote:
“Completed my postgrad in 2015 but I couldn’t afford to pay all my fees and I finally got an email from UCT that it got paid and I’m invited to graduation cry with me I can finally get my qualifications Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng came through for me.”
In addition to this, it has been gathered that Professor Phakeng donates 10% of her salary to support female students.
You will agree that with this singular act, she has been able to affect generations and millions of people both born and unborn.
This is indeed a rare act and she deserves all the credit she can get for being an angel who has come to rescue the indebted students at the University of Cape Town.
There is a saying that education is the best gift you can give a person, but how do you classify a person who helps you graduate and makes your education meaningful?
Professor Phakeng is a hero not just for South Africa or Africa, but for the world in general; and will continue to be celebrated through time because she has written her name on the sands of time.
She surely deserves a Nobel Prize, don’t you think so?