Rural man obtained PhD in Mathematical Statistics
Thaba Nchu: A 29-year-old man from rural Thaba Nchu east of Bloemfontein has made it against all odds, and many people in the Free State, including social media users, have expressed their excitement at the achievement of the young PHD holder.
Gaongalelwe Maribe recently obtained his doctorate in Mathematical Statistics during the graduation ceremony at the University of the Free State (UFS).
A brave and hard working Maribe said coming from a small place doesn’t determine your future, but your mindset takes you anywhere you want to go.
He said he is proud because there are only few people completing their doctorates in Mathematical Statistics in South Africa and he is a good example especially to students from formerly disadvantaged communities.
‘This has been my dream to achieve this and it has come true through hard work, this has been a challenging journey of self discovery, losses owing to death and making mistakes owing to a lack of focus,’ Maribe said.
He said the period of study between 2012 and 2018 taught him to be strong in life and that he is also prone to emotional breakdowns.
“There were times when I had anxiety when things weren’t working my way, to the point that at some stage I even had to take anti-depressants.
I also learnt that I am a human and I learnt not to be too hard on myself,” said Maribe adding that one of his lessons was that he found he was prone to moodiness for bouts of about ten minutes, which he says he all took out on his girlfriend, Gabo Mphahlele.
His advise to those currently studying towards their doctorate degrees, one of which being to “take things easy”.
“The first thing I need you to know is that it can’t be done alone, some people can do it alone but for the most part, you’re going to need a strong support system, this includes your tutors and supervisors and using them a lot,” said Maribe who is a lecturer at the University of Pretoria.
Amongst his achievements, he also holds degrees in B.Sc Investment Science, B.Sc.Hons Mathematical Statistics (cumlaude), M.Sc Mathematical Statistics(cumlaude) and PhD in Mathematical Statistics.