Thobeka Ethel Shibe
Angus scholarship recipient 2015
I come from rural kwaMadlala in Port Shepstone, on the south coast of KwaZulu Natal. I was the first person in my family to ever matriculate and go to university. It was a dream come true. I am now pursuing my honours degree in mathematical statistics at Rhodes University. I have always known that I wanted to pursue a career in science. So, when I got to Rhodes, I registered for a pharmacy degree and subjects like mathematics and statistics were compulsory in first year. I had never heard of statistics before and I had absolutely hated mathematics in my final years of high school. Maybe it was the change in environment or teaching methods but I understood maths and started liking it again. It was love at first sight when it came to statistics. So when I reached a crossroads in my university career, I changed to a BSc majoring in the two subjects and it has got be the best decision I have made in my life. With my degree I want to change the lives of my family and my community at large. Very few people in my community ever get the chance to further their studies or even finish matric. I want to help change that. But most of all I want to create a better life for my mother, my rock. She has been a domestic worker for more than 25 years, has been earning peanuts but managed to single handily raise and educate us. I owe her everything. Thank you SAWISE for putting me amongst these great women in science. I shall try my utmost to make you proud!