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Eminent Speaker

Sibongangani Mngomezulu

Nelson Mandela University

South Africa


Dr. Sibongangani Khonelihle Mngomezulu was born and raised in a small rural town called Ingwavuma. The town is part of Umkhanyakude District Municipality of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. She is one of the eight siblings, and she grew up in a very traditional neighbourhood where ploughing and farming are still being practiced. This instilled in her a profound respect for the land and the bounty it provided. She completed her high school education at a local school called Nansindlela Combined School. While she cherished the simplicity of rural life, she also yearned to experience life beyond the confines of the community. After matriculation, she was accepted to study for a national diploma in civil engineering at Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), Durban, South Africa. University life was an exhilarating and transformative experience for her, and she managed to graduate. After graduation, her life was full of endless possibilities, but she never forgot the lessons she learned from her upbringing. The values of hard work, community, and respect for the environment remained deeply rooted within her. After a few years of practicing as a junior civil engineer, she went back to university and enrolled to study for a Bachelor of Human Settlement Development at Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, South Africa. She had a dream of pursuing a degree that combined her passion for nature with a desire to make a meaningful difference in the world. She was part of the second cohort of graduates of the Bachelor of Human Settlement Development degree from Nelson Mandela University. As part of her degree, she completed academic research titled “Challenges of solid waste management, case study of Missionvale Township at Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM), Gqeberha, South Africa”. Today, she holds a doctoral degree in construction management and a master's degree in construction management (Cum laude), which she obtained at Nelson Mandela University in Ggeberha, South Africa. Apart from her bachelor’s degree research, Dr. Mngomezulu has successfully completed two academic research projects based on solid waste management, and as an upcoming researcher, she has five journal papers to her credit. Sibongangani is a registered member of SAICE, SACE and IHSP-SA. As she continues to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, she carries with her the essence of her rural heritage, knowing that all the lessons learned will always guide her.

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