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News - Date: 25 November 2019
Written by: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho / Viewed: 16424
A mother and wife, who had quit her full-time job to pursue her studies, was awarded a doctoral degree in applied chemistry and is now aiming to help rural communities through water remediation and purification.
Dr Denga Ramutshatsha-Makhwedzha, who will form part of the group of academics who will supervise and train young graduates in the field of water remediation and purification, believes that her skills and knowledge will be an added advantage in the current water crisis faced by the communities in Limpopo.
“My journey in science began at an early age and got cemented while I pursued my tertiary education,” she explained. Dr Makhwedzha-Ramutshatsha matriculated from Mphaphuli High school in 1999. She obtained a national diploma in chemical engineering, a bachelor of technology degree in chemical engineering, and a master's degree in chemical technology from Tshwane University of Technology.
She was fortunate enough to get a scholarship from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which funded her full-time doctoral study.
“A PhD is a long, assiduous journey, and I had produced and published papers in international peer-reviewed journals and other manuscripts under review along the way,” she said. “I was so excited when I was presented with the Excellent Shotgun Presentation Award at the 2nd International Caparica Conference on Pollutant Toxic Ions and Molecules that was held in Caparica, Portugal, in 2017.”
She is the 2018 Black Woman in Science (BWIS) fellow, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to deliver capacity development for young black female scientists.
“I thank my husband, Mr Reuben Ramutshatsha, who had encouraged and supported me in pursuing my studies when I quit my full-time, paying job,” she said. “Today I am a doctor because of my family's tremendous support. I further thank my parents, Mr Solomon Makhwedzha and Mrs Lufuno Makhwedzha. I also thank Pastor Dr MP Ragimane and Pastor ME Ragimane, for spiritual guidance.”
Dr Denga Ramutshatsha-Makhwedzha looks forward to supervising and training young graduates in the field of water remediation and purification.
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.