“Sometimes the place you are used to is not the place you belong. You belong where you believe you belong. Where is that for you?” — Queen of Katwe

Mining & Manufacturing


University of the Witwatersrand

Matsobane Nong, 32, is a lecturer in the School of Mining Engineering at Wits University. She graduated with a MSc in Mining Engineering in 2020.

In 2017 and 2022, she was awarded two prestigious grants, the Mining Qualifications Authority grant and the New Generations of Academics Programme grant by the Department of Higher Education and Training to pursue her interests in lecturing and her PhD studies. Having grown up in rural Limpopo, Matsobane understands the impact of socio-economic structures and the lack of information on the development of children in rural communities.

Her philanthropic spirit and passion for growth and development have ensured she gives back by serving the communities from which she hails and those around her. Since 2018, she has been an executive committee member of the Wits University Mining Engineers’ Association, where she helps raise funds for financially needy mining engineering students.

Matsobane speaks at career exhibitions in rural communities to motivate learners to pursue their passions and talents and to achieve their full potential. She is a solution-driven entrepreneur at heart and believes the youth are the shapers and drivers of the economy. Hence, she co-owns a bakery in rural Limpopo that sells bread at half the price of mainstream bakeries and employs two people.

  • PhD Candidate, University of the Witwatersrand
  •  MSc in Engineering (Mining), University of the Witwatersrand
  • BSc in Engineering (Mining), University of the Witwatersrand
  • BCom in Financial Management, University of South Africa (expected graduation: December 2023)

  • Department of Higher Education and Training to pursue a PhD in Mining Engineering.
  • Mining Qualifications Authority grant to study towards a master’s in mining engineering.

Advice from my dad to work hard and ensure that I am an independent woman. 

Be confident and trust yourself. You have everything you need to succeed.

A country with a youth driven by entrepreneurship.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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