Dr. Musa Manzi is a Senior Researcher and Director of the Wits Seismic Research Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand.
The first black South African to obtain a doctorate in geophysics was promoted to associate professor in the School of Geosciences at Wits University on Monday, March 11. Dr Musa Manzi, 35, will return to South Africa later this month from Sweden where he is teaching international masters’ students at Uppsala University about African mineral resources.
When Musa Manzi arrived at Wits University in Johannesburg in 2002, he had little left from the R100 his mother had given him to travel from their poor rural village Mayekeni in KwaZulu-Natal.
As a single mother of six children, his mom couldn’t write her own name and barely scraped a living as a domestic worker. She’d had no way of knowing Musa had to apply ahead for university admission.
Coming from rural Kwa-Zulu Natal, Musa Manzi faced abject poverty while growing up. He had to sleep in the laboratory when he was a student at Wits University. But despite all these obstacles, Dr. Manzi still qualified with a PhD in Geophysics.
Prof. Musa Manzi, senior researcher at the Wits School of Geosciences, has won the Africa Award for Research Excellence in Earth and Ocean Science, in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Honours Programme.