University of South Africa
Makgalake Pabalelo Radingoana, 33, is a senior lecturer at the University of South Africa (Unisa). She has a PhD in environmental and water sciences from the University of the Western Cape and a master’s in geography and environmental sciences from the University of Limpopo. Besides having to instil knowledge in students, she has to remain relevant and keep up to date with developments in her field. This is displayed by the fact that she has published close to five academic papers in accredited journals and earned Unisa’s Women in Research award in 2021. Makgalake also attends conferences, which enables her to share her work with possible collaborators in her field. She has supervised seven honours students to completion, has one MSc student close to completion, and added two PhDs and two MScs to the current cohort of students. Makgalake says her all-time motivator was her paternal grandmother, Hlapogadi Ntobeng. “She would give words of encouragement and always stated ‘Thuto ke bophelo’. Although she is no longer with us, these words still visit me whenever I think of her. I am grateful for her lessons and they continue to light the fire for me.” Makgalake hopes that in five years’ time South Africa is not divided, there are no political mishaps and that gender-based violence and crime does not occur but is rather a country of abundance. She would also like to see that South Africa has propelled its progress in mitigating climate change and its impacts.
- PhD in environmental and water sciences, University of the Western Cape
- MSc in geography and environmental sciences, University of Limpopo (UL)
- BSc Honours in Environmental Studies, UL
- BSc in Environmental Resource Studies, UL
University of South Africa’s Research and Innovation Award for women in science in 2021
Having my grandmother accompany me to catch transport to school each day in the wee hours of winter mornings has always been dear to me. She would give words of encouragement and always stated “Thuto ke bophelo”. Although she is no longer with us, these words still visit me whenever I think of her.
Give your best in everything and always remember that you are your own backup. Even though things might not have gone according to plan at times, find peace in knowing that you gave your best and always give yourself some grace. Last, never regret anything that once made you happy.
I would like to see a peaceful South Africa that is working together towards a common goal. A South Africa that is not of division, political mishaps, gender-based violence and disheartening crimes. A South Africa of abundance. I envision a South Africa that is working towards being led by youth in certain spheres of government and affording youth the voice they need. I would also like to see that South Africa has propelled its progress as far as climate change and its impacts are concerned.