Former switchboard operator attains PhD

Belinda Bantham -- Thu, 11/07/2019 - 11:26

Former switchboard operator attains PhD

Thoredi Elizabeth Choabi, a former switchboard operator at the North-West University (NWU), recently obtained a PhD in pastoral studies during the graduation ceremony on 17 October 2019 at the campus in Mahikeng.

Thoredi joined the campus in Mahikeng in 1984 as switchboard operator, and is currently working in the Department Facilities and Maintenance.

She completed several degrees at the NWU, including a BA in communication (1993), a BAHons in theology (2012, cum laude), and a MA in pastoral studies (2016, cum laude).

Thoredi also holds an Accredited Local Preacher Certificate of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. She actively engages within the community as preacher and pastoral caregiver at local hospitals, as well as at the Mahikeng and Rooigrond correctional facilities.

She says her siblings and her late parents, Bareng and Tiro Choabi, have been her biggest inspiration in her academic journey.

“It was always my goal to become educated and qualified as something other than a switchboard operator,” says Thoredi. “When my colleagues would go home to be with their families‚ I would go to the library to study.”

She says it took great perseverance to attain all her degrees.

“I want to thank God Almighty for uplifting my life to where it is now.  With God nothing is impossible and life without a purpose is meaningless.”

In her PhD thesis titled “Challenging prevalent sexual practices amongst black South African teenage girls leading to unwanted pregnancies: a practical theological study”, Thoredi explores the burning societal issue of unwanted pregnancies among black South African teenage girls.

“The thesis approaches the subject matter from a practical theological paradigm by assessing prevalent sexual practices of black South African teenage girls via an in-depth study of current statistics. as well as a hermeneutic interpretation of documented data,” she explains.

“The unique contribution of the study is in viewing the research problem through the lenses of the African and Christian traditions to formulate an appropriate response to empower the Christian church to challenge this issue in our contemporary South African society.”

Thoredi Choabi received a PhD in pastoral studies during the recent graduation ceremony on the NWU’s campus in Mahikeng. With her is Franco Nkoana, SALA director.