In 1994, Mamokgethi Phakeng did not have a master’s degree. But, by 2002, she had become the first black South African woman to get a PhD in Mathematics Education.

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng attributes her exponential success to hard work and opportunities offered by a democratic South Africa. She worked hard to maximise the opportunities that came with democracy, enabling her to complete her postgraduate studies and flourish in academia and community outreach.

Today, Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT), a Professor of Mathematics Education, an Internationally Acclaimed Researcher (B2 NRF-Rated Scientist), the Founder of the Adopt-a-Learner Foundation and much more.

This blog post will take you through 50 quotes from Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng to encourage you to work hard and achieve your dreams.

Table of Contents

1Quotes About Hard Times
2Hard Work Quotes
3Success Quotes
4Attitude Quotes
5Quotes About Self
6Positive Quotes
7Leadership Quotes
8Women Quotes
9Social Media: 237,464+ Followers

6 Quotes about hard times from Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Life is going to be challenging, unfair and difficult. Whatever happens, make sure you never ever give up.

Turbulent times taught me a lot about life. I learned that some of life’s brightest moments come in the darkest hours. I learned to never lose hope.

When things are tough, I remind myself of what big dreams, faith and optimism can produce.

Human beings have a tendency to be mean to others in order to feel better about themselves.

The world out there will test your ethics and therefore teach you ethics every day.

You do not have to agree with me. A disagreement does not mean that we are enemies or that we have to be disrespectful to one another.

12 Mamokgethi Phakeng Quotes on Hard Work

Go ahead and be ambitious, but be ready for the hard work.

Smart work only happens after hard work. There is no substitute for hard work.

There is no smart work without hard work.

With hard work and consistency, anything is possible.

Everyone can get better over time through hard work.

You can change your life and your situation by working hard.

Hard workers take on the responsibility of changing their lives.

The lack of a desire to work hard is a great weakness.  

Hard workers do not wait for things to be done for them. They make things happen.

There is no doubt that I work hard.

If you want to travel, be clear about why you want to travel.

There are people today, who tell our young people not to work hard but to work smart.

7 Success Quotes from Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Stay true to your dream. Believe in your dream and keep pushing until you see it happen.

It is only through “doing” that we can find solutions.

You can’t win on talent alone. Talent on its own does not produce success.

Start with the “why” and then the “what” and the “how” will be clear.

Success requires hard work whether you are a tennis player, an artist, a scientist, a writer or an entrepreneur.

Talent that is not supported by hard work ultimately runs out of steam and fails.

Nowadays, everyone wants to be an overnight success.

8 Mamokgethi Phakeng Quotes on Attitude

Starting at the bottom builds character. It is the best way to learn.

Starting at the bottom makes you hungry and determined.

If you ever have an opportunity to start at the bottom, don’t look down on it.

Go out there, be free and achieve your goals.

The right attitude is to believe that you can cultivate your abilities and develop talents through practice.

When given an opportunity, use it well.

It is within you to carve out your future and create your own destiny.

Keep the feeling of endless possibilities alive for as long as possible.

8 Quotes about self from Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

There was a time in my life when I thought everything about me was not right and needed fixing. I thought I was not smart enough, I thought my bum was too big and my eyes too small. It has taken me many years to be okay with being different.

We are always in the process of becoming and so I remain a work in progress.

Most of my life is faith. When I have a dream, I pursue it without thinking about what would happen if it doesn’t work and this is what makes me.

Your actions have consequences. When you choose an action, you are also choosing its consequences.

Your good name and reputation make you who you are. Don’t give them away.

It’s never too early or too late to learn or get your ethical act together.

Your good name and reputation are bigger than the job, the deal, the promotion and the money.

Make sure you choose mentors whose ethical choices you admire.

4 Positive Quotes from Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

I have become my own cheerleader and because of that, positive things are happening around me.

Sometimes, all you need to do is take the first step with the faith that everything will be fine.

Believe that something positive will happen even in the absence of any supporting evidence.

Truth is that you cannot make a comeback if you are never lost.

3 Leadership Quotes from Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Those of us in positions of power should be willing to invest our time in supporting those who are willing to be the ‘right people’. Don’t always look for the finished product, get involved in the process of creating the right people.

As a leader, my priorities are transformation, excellence and sustainability. These priorities are interrelated because excellence without transformation is not sustainable, and where there is transformation without excellence, there is no integrity.

When you work with young people, it’s important to be visible on social media because that’s where young people hang out.

2 Women Quotes from Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

In a place where patriarchy is the norm, public space is defined as belonging to men, and women are outsiders made to live in accordance with parameters set by men. How women dress, act, and engage in those spaces is strictly regulated by these social habits/norms.

Places, where patriarchy is the norm, allow men to cause discomfort, embarrass, berate, harass, and sometimes even violently attack women for their existence as the opposite sex.

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng has 237,464+ Followers on Social Media

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng is also affectionately known as @FabAcademic and Deputy Mother on social media because of her passion for encouraging students to pursue education. Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng uses her social media platforms on a regular basis to encourage students to work hard to complete their tertiary studies. Some of her popular social media hashtags are #MakeEducationFashionable, #Past3amSquad and #BeltSwag.

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