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Tebello Nyokong, PhD'87

IT News Africa | September 14, 2011

tebello nyokong
Africa's most influential women in Science and Tech

In the spirit of celebrating African excellence, ITNewsAfrica has decided to profile 10 African women who have been pivotal in the development of Technology on the continent.

The technology sector in Africa is dominated by men, but the women on this list have shown that given the opportunity they can stand toe-to-toe, and in some cases outperform their male counterparts.  This Dr. Nyokong's profile. 

Professor Tebello Nyokong won the Africa-Arab State 2009 L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science for her pioneering research into photodynamic therapy which looks at harnessing light for cancer therapy and environmental clean-up. Nyokong is the third South African Scientist to receive this award.

Tebello Nyokong was born in Lesotho on 20 October 1951, but spent most of her first eight years outside her country of birth. In primary school she spent alternate days tending sheep. Far from discouraging her, this increased her self-confidence because she concluded that she could do anything a boy could do.

In 1977 she graduated from the National University of Lesotho, having spent her spare time doing research on the role of chemistry in everyday African life, and obtained a Canadian International Development Agency Scholarship to undertake post-graduate studies. Four years later she graduated with an MSc in chemistry, and after further study received a PhD from Western University in 1987. She then applied for and was given a Fulbright fellowship for post-doctoral study at the University of Notre Dame in the United States. At Rhodes, Nyokong trains PhD Chemistry students. In 2010, Prof Nyokong was awarded honorary doctorates from the Walter Sisulu University and the University of South Africa. Prof Nyokong has been inducted into the Lesotho Hall of Fame.

Read the complete story: IT News Africa


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