UKZN’s Top 40 most inspiring student and high performance teacher Ms Phakamile Mazibuko received her Honours degree in Education summa cum laude.
‘This achievement is a testimony to the fact that hard work works,’ said Mazibuko. ‘Being a black woman from the small town of Ulundi, I hope young girls see that no matter where you come from, if you imagine something, you can achieve it.’
Her love of teaching and transforming lives through education led Mazibuko to conduct research on pre-service teachers’ understanding and experiences of peer assessment.
‘I chose curriculum studies because it enables one to critically examine and engage on various issues related to curriculum design, development and implementation in education.’
She thanked her family, lecturers and supervisor saying: ‘Their support and guidance helped me realise my potential and achieve what I thought was beyond my capability.’
Her advice to other students is: ‘Find a balance between academic, personal and social aspects in your life. Time management skills are essential as is identifying your priorities.’
Mazibuko’s leadership roles included UKZN Golden Key President (Edgewood Chapter) and a tutor and Head in the English department (Languages) of the Edgewood Extra Tuition Programme, which assists Grade 10-12 learners. Based on academic merit and community engagement she visited Germany on a study tour through the EPIZ Exchange Programme.
She also holds UKZN School of Education Excellence Awards for her academic, leadership and community successes and input.
Mazibuko, who is studying for her Master’s degree in Education, hopes to be able to dedicate more time towards the growth of her foundation – the Phakamile Mazibuko Foundation – by working in different developmental initiatives to uplift the lives of others and inspire greatness.