In a remarkable testament to lifelong learning and resilience, Notozi Jennifer Mgobozi, a 75-year-old grandmother from Langa in Cape Town, South Africa, has achieved a significant milestone by graduating with a master’s degree in education from Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape. Mgobozi’s journey, marked by determination and passion for education, serves as an inspiration to individuals of all ages.
A Lifelong Passion for Teaching: Notozi Jennifer Mgobozi’s journey into education began in the 1960s when her late brother-in-law, Philip Saluva, a school principal, encouraged her to become a teacher. Completing her Bachelor’s degree at the Tshiya College of Education, Mgobozi’s love for teaching flourished, leading her to work with Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) focused on education. Proficient in multiple languages, including isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho, and Afrikaans, Mgobozi’s dedication to language subjects became a cornerstone of her career.
A Decision to Pursue Higher Education: In 2016, while working at the National Education Collaboration Trust in the Eastern Cape, Mgobozi decided to embark on a new educational journey. Inspired by the opportunity to overcome loneliness and driven by her passion for learning, she enrolled in a Master’s degree program at Walter Sisulu University, which was conveniently located within walking distance.
Challenges and Triumphs: Undeterred by challenges, Mgobozi began her dissertation in 2018. Juggling work responsibilities and academic pursuits, she demonstrated remarkable discipline. Despite physical challenges, such as climbing stairs, Mgobozi found solace in a supportive academic supervisor, Dr. Ntshanga Nqabeni. Her extensive experience in education, spanning the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, proved invaluable, making the master’s program a fulfilling journey.
Family Support and Graduation Celebration: Facing initial skepticism from her family, Mgobozi persisted in pursuing her educational goals. With the support of her family and the patience of her supervisor, she successfully completed her master’s degree. The postponements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic added to the anticipation of her physical graduation ceremony. Mgobozi celebrated this achievement with her family and a supportive friend, Mandisa January.
Looking Ahead to a PhD: Undeterred by age, Mgobozi is already setting her sights on the next educational milestone – a Doctorate (PhD). Her unwavering commitment to education and the pursuit of knowledge serves as a beacon of inspiration for others.
Closing Thoughts: Notozi Jennifer Mgobozi’s journey embodies the timeless pursuit of knowledge, emphasizing that education knows no age limits. Her story resonates as a testament to the transformative power of learning and the indomitable spirit that propels individuals to overcome obstacles in their quest for personal and academic growth. Mgobozi’s determination shines as a guiding light, encouraging others to embrace education at any stage of life
In other news, Carey D. Waddell stands as an exemplary embodiment of dedication, perseverance, and excellence within the fire service. Over a remarkable 30-year span, he has not only served his community as a firefighter but has also pursued higher education, culminating in the achievement of a PhD from a prestigious university.
Waddell’s journey in the fire service commenced in 1991 when he enlisted in the United States Air Force as a firefighter. Following four years of commendable service, he continued his civil service career at Fort Bliss, Texas. Throughout his tenure, Waddell ascended through the ranks, transitioning from firefighter and engineer to lieutenant and eventually a fire inspector.
In 2004, Waddell embarked on an adventurous chapter by joining the Department of Navy Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES) Enterprise. This decision propelled him to different countries and continents, where he assumed diverse roles such as fire captain, assistant chief for operations, battalion chief, assistant chief for training, installation fire chief, and assistant chief for fire prevention. His assignments took him to naval bases in Greece, Spain, Japan, Okinawa, and California, demonstrating his versatility and commitment to service.
In 2019, Carey D. Waddell achieved yet another significant milestone by earning a Doctor of Education in Leadership with Organizational Development from Grand Canyon University. This doctoral accomplishment adds to his already impressive academic journey, which includes a Master of Science in Leadership with an emphasis in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership, where he graduated with magna cum laude honors in 2014. Waddell also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and a minor in Public Administration, a testament to his commitment to continuous learning and academic excellence, achieved in 2012. Click here to continue reading about Dr. Carey D. Waddell.