Hello hi! I’m Nqobile, a lecturer and PhD candidate at UCT. On my postgraduate journey, I have learnt that the road to success is not only in understanding academic concepts but also in navigating, holistically, all the challenges in obtaining the degree. I think back to the time when I was a Masters student; when I longed for academic, administrative, psychological, and even physical support. All these elements are key to keeping your head above water when pursuing a thesis. I am here to provide that holistic support. I have poured my heart into providing this platform as an important resource to help you understand the academic concepts of research, such as choosing topics, understanding research approaches, literature reviews, analyses, academic writing, and a lot more. It is also here to help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming admin of applying for your degree, dealing with faculty, and knowing where to go for funding and how to apply for it. But, most importantly, I aim to help you get through the psychosocial aspects of keeping up with your degree – how to keep a healthy mind, heart and body, and how to deal with tough ‘life problems’ on the way to obtaining your Masters and PhD degree.
Considering my identity, and the transforming nature of academia in South Africa and minorities in the space, this platform has an added focus on dealing with the very real, everyday experiences of being a black woman in the postgraduate space, and tackles tough issues such as representation, invisibility, sexual harassment, ‘black tax’, and many other issues that directly influence our postgraduate success. I also share my own personal journey through my PhD (the good, the bad, and the beautiful), in the hopes that at least one aspect will inspire and motivate you to jump over hurdles and keep on going. Finally, I use this platform to celebrate inspiring black women in academia, and communicate their experiences to you to help you see that you too can achieve more than what you ever expected.
I hope that you take something from this space that helps you get through the hard days, and make the most of the good days. Read through the blog posts, watch my videos, and chat with me (I am always keen for chats)! One key thing I’d like you to take from all this is that although this journey is tough, it does not have to be confusing and, certainly, not lonely.
Yours in glamorous intelligence,