Dr Mthembu’s Career Presently on the Crest of a Wave

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Dr Mthembu’s Career Presently on the Crest of a Wave

Dr Mthembu’s Career Presently on the Crest of a Wave

Dr Mpilo Siphamandla Mthembu (32) from KwaNyamazane in Manguzi, Northern KwaZulu-Natal, is officially a PhD holder effective Thursday, 20 April 2023. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Library and Information Science during the second graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Dr Mthembu enrolled for his PhD in 2020. His dissertation is titled Research Data Management Services in Selected Public Universities in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Despite facing numerous challenges while growing up, Dr Mthembu persevered and is now reaping what he sowed. “I refused to let my difficult past define me and instead focused on creating a better future for myself through hard work and determination. Despite the odds, I was able to overcome my difficult background and achieve my goals,” the doctor said.

He lives with his mother, uncle and six siblings, all of whom are incredibly proud of their loved one and wish him more and more achievements.

The newly graduated doctor asserted that since primary school, he was a focused pupil hence he was awarded a science bursary which took him through primary and high school. This bursary instilled in Dr Mthembu a sense of determination and commitment to achieve his goals. “This opportunity was a significant turning point in my life, giving me a sense of hope and a strong motivation to succeed. During my time in secondary school, I consistently performed well and earned excellent grades. This success fuelled my ambition, and I became inspired to one day attend university,” the doctor shared.

He added: “I would have failed if I do not acknowledge my loved ones, my family, my lovely fiancé, and my friends who have always been there providing unwavering support and motivation along the way.”

He reflected on his darkest moments when his father passed away, saying the loss only propelled him forward in his academic journey. He further proudly said, “My parents deserve all the credit for the person I have become today and for the many achievements I have accomplished.”

Dr Mthembu encountered moments where he found himself going to bed with nothing to eat and limited clothes to wear, particularly when attending classes. “This was a difficult experience for me, as I had to deal with the physical discomfort and hunger pangs while also focusing on my studies. It was a challenging period in my life, but I persevered and worked hard to overcome these obstacles.”

Dr Mthembu is currently a permanent lecturer in the Department of Information Studies at UNIZULU. Looking ahead, he sees himself as an NRF rated researcher, attending international conferences and supervising many postgraduate students.

Extending wise words to students and those who are about to embark on their academic journey, the doctor said remaining focused, maintaining a positive outlook and not giving up on one’s goal will lead one to success.

Dr Mthembu lives by the words Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantuwhich translates to“I am because we are.

– Mbuyiselo B. Mlaba


Dr Mthembu and his fiancé celebrated their milestones today (Thursday, 20 April 2023).

Picture by: James Thwala


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