It’s that time of the year where one naturally thinks about what motivates them to continue with their PhD journey” There are factors that are constantly my motivation such as my family, friends, and food and of course inspirational books.  Music is also a constant motivator in my journey It really comes through for me be it I am excited about my work or I just have no idea what the next step will be. So I would love to pay some respect to the songs that I refer to as my “soldier on songs”   since I started my PhD journey as I look forward to learning new songs throughout the year.


 The Script “Hall of fame

This is my “girl one day this PhD will make you famous” song. There is a verse in this song which says “do it for your country, do it for your name …” Embarking on my PhD has made me realize how important the work that we as researchers do regardless of the disciplines we are in. The research may seem small and insignificant at the moment, however, I believe that some of it is the foundation upon which future research projects will be established. Research is a work of service because research projects are not designed to benefit (knowledge outcomes or innovations) the researcher alone but they are meant to better the lives of those who come in contact with the project. I apply myself to research in service of the people in my community and hopefully, someday the people in my country and beyond will also benefit from the work I do. This way my name will be written in the “hall of fame” and no, this does not mean the reference section of published articles that will have cited my work but the lives of people my research will help.

In the words of The Script “Be students, be teachers, be politicians, be preachers be believers, be leaders be astronauts, be champions” and I add Be Researchers!!!

Thandiswa mazwayi “ Nizalwa ngobani” ( have you forgotten where you come from)

The inspirational women of my life

This is the one song that keeps reminding me that as a young aspiring researcher I am standing on the shoulders of great women who have been trailblazers in their own right in shaping the world we live in. Women have not always had it easy (nor do they have it easy nowadays) particularly in the workspace. They are underestimated and sometimes expected to conform to unethical behaviour just to get their feet on the doors of their career paths. Having been a victim of patriarchal behaviour myself I appreciate and applaud the women who despite the enormous challenges they face in their workspaces they have soldiered on for themselves while paving the way for those who come after them. I guess these women, like me, when the going gets tough they always remember the place of their dreams and hard sacrifices that they come from.

Towards the end of this song Thandiswa pays a special tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, it is this part of the song that always makes me think we have rich heritage of women in this country be it teachers, lawyers, cleaners, women who sweep the streets we walk on, influencers, bloggers and women in many other career paths who through their work have shaped the world we live in . That is where we come from.

Lira “be about it

“Lira puts it beautifully when she writes about one making a choice about what they want to do in the world “Think about it, Speak about it, Be about it …”I remember listening to this song and it reminded me of a Tedx Talk that I once watched. The talk was delivered by Kakenya Ntaiya, who was sharing her journey about staring at a girl’s school in Kenya.

kakenya Ntaiya
Kakenya Ntaiya

In her talk, Kakenya Ntaiya explains what inspired her to start a girl’s school in a village where young girls and women were not allowed to get an education. I remember thinking to myself “this woman is goals, when I grow up I want to be like her”. In my view, Kakenya embodies what Lira calls us forth to do through her song as she continues to transform the lives of young girls in her village while inspiring many across the globe like me. At times when I’m discouraged (particularly by my methodology not coming together) I do what Lira encourages us to do I think about it, I speak about it and then I go on to be about my research because I have de decided to become a researcher

Truth is we will not always be disciplined to carry out our research work sometimes we need motivation until we conquer.  “When you’re fighting for it all your life, You’ve been working every day and night that’s how a superhero learns to fly every day, every hour, turn the pain into powerThe Script

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