These are the resounding words with which my pensioned educator parents, my dad, in particular, have raised my siblings and me. These words are held near to my heart, as they have encompassed the guiding light which has illuminated the processes of my academic journey. I grew up in the rural community of Sterkspruit, situated in former Transkei, which is significantly remote and previously disadvantaged. I later moved to the town of Potchefstroom and the cities of Bloemfontein and Pretoria to pursue my higher education. I am a PhD candidate at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and am currently based in Nashville, TN, USA as a Fulbright Visiting student researcher at Vanderbilt University. My research area is diversity and gender in organisations, specifically the professional identity work of black women concerning their hair. My research stems from my curiosity about how race, gender and social class are constituted with and against each other and how these constructions operate in discourses, societies, institutions and individual lives past and present.
Furthermore, my research explores postcolonial discourse and the intersection of gender, race and social class within local and transnational contexts, all of which are deeply motivated by my experiences of negotiating my identity in each environment I enter. In 2017 I was awarded the North West University (NWU) Commercia Top student award by my alma mater, NWU, and in 2018 I was the B.Com Honours Human Resource Management Top Student. I am a multifaceted individual with a history in track and field, running nationally, and I have past and present involvement in choral music. Currently, my hobbies entail regular pottery classes and afrobeat dancing. As a young researcher, blogging about an array of themes around the postgraduate journey in South Africa means I get to grow through the guided mentorship provided by the editorial team. Furthermore, I get to stretch and enhance my ability to think more critically about pressing issues on diversity, gender and social class in and outside organisations.