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A young African woman who was a farmer enrolls in college, becomes a chemical engineer, and receives a PhD.

Thandi Princess Ngxongo, a gifted young woman from South Africa, went from farming to becoming a Chemical Engineer with distinction.

Thandi Princess Ngxongo was born and raised in South Africa on a farm near the Mooi River. While helping her parents on the farm and spending time around cars and other machinery, she developed an interest in chemical engineering. Despite coming from a small town, Thandi Princess Ngxongo developed a passion for automobiles and the business and chose to pursue it.

“I grew up as a kid playing in worn and ragged cars which were filled up with petrol and oil smell. I quickly developed an instinct for cars and the oil industry. I yearned for success in the male-dominated business,” said Dr Thandi Princess Ngxongo.

The Durban University of Technology is where she enrolled, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Chemical Engineering. She then started working for refineries and other oil corporations after joining the industry.

Thandi Princess Ngxongo enrolled for a Master’s in Business Administration and then earned a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in 2022 with a research focus on women’s empowerment because she was dissatisfied with the gender-based injustices and inequalities in the petroleum industry.

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