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WATCH | UCT’s Mamokgethi Phakeng’s moving acceptance speech at the University of Bristol

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng receives her honorary doctorate at the University of Bristol.
Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng receives her honorary doctorate at the University of Bristol.
Image: Twitter/@FabAcademic

University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng has dedicated her honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Bristol to the people who contributed to her life and career.

Phakeng was one of 11 women to receive an honorary degree from the university in a ceremony in Bristol, England, on Monday.

While addressing graduates and academics, she said there were people during her career who had contributed significantly to her reaching this point.

"This is a recognition of the many people who made me, those I represent, the many young boys and girls all over the world, especially in my home continent of Africa, living in poverty and wondering if things will ever get better."

Watch the three clips below:

Phakeng, who was joined by her mother and three sons on her trip, said she hoped the honour would show that anything is possible with hard work and consistency.

"To succeed in the real world, you must be willing to start at the bottom. These days everyone wants to be an overnight success. But starting at the bottom makes you hungry and determined.

"It is also a great way to find out, hard as it may be, that you are not as smart as you think you are. Starting at the bottom is the best way to learn," she said. 

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