A Journey of Resilience: Naledi Nkoba’s Inspiring Evolution from Katlehong to Bloemfontein

17 November, 2023: “My journey reflects the power of exposure and the transformative Naledia Nkobainfluence of opportunity. From my humble beginnings in Katlehong to my current pursuit of STEM excellence, every step has shaped my conviction in the boundless possibilities of the technical realm,” shared Naledi Nkoba, an aspiring STEM enthusiast.

Hailing from the bustling streets of East Johannesburg, Nkoba ‘s childhood dreams initially gravitated towards the noble professions of medicine or education. However, her transition to Louis Botha Technical High School in Bloemfontein marked a turning point. Adapting to life in the school hostel, her interests gradually shifted towards the captivating world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), unravelling a deep-seated passion for technical intricacies.

Nkoba s trajectory was significantly influenced by the TechnoGirl programme. Subsequently, a transformative stint in job shadowing at Transnet propelled her affinity for critical thinking and creative problem-solving, making her reconsider her career aspirations beyond her initial ambitions.

In 2015, based on her exceptional Grade 9 academic performance, Nkoba was chosen to take part in the job shadowing programme at Transnet Engineering in Germiston. Directly engaging with the complexities of engineering solidified her commitment to pursuing a technical career, prompting a definitive departure from her earlier ambitions of pursuing medicine or education.

This pivotal juncture has since paved the way for her current pursuit of a Bachelor of Science Honours in Quantity Surveying at the University of the Free State embodying a dedication to the constantly evolving landscape of STEM. Reflecting on her transformative experiences, the opportunity to conduct job shadowing at Transnet’s Germiston branch remains an indelible testament to the profound impact of exposure and opportunity in shaping the trajectories of young minds.

Nkoba’s story serves as an inspirational testament to the potential that unfolds when one dares to venture beyond the confines of familiarity, embracing the uncharted territories of knowledge and ambition.