School of Law academic Dr Phemelo Magau not only completed a Doctor of Laws (LLD) in two years, but achieved this qualification at the young age of 25.
He graduated with his LLD in Mercantile Law at North-West University’s autumn graduation.
‘I feel humbled and honoured to have attained this qualification within the minimum record time and at such a tender age. It required formidable resolve and commitment,’ said Magau.
Titled: A Comparative Legal Analysis of the Promotion of Financial Education for Low-Income Earners in South Africa, Magau’s thesis explored COVID-19’s unprecedented socio-economic effects on the livelihoods of most of the country’s households.
‘The South African financial sector is becoming more innovative and complicated in terms of offering financial services and products for all consumers, including low-income earners,’ explained Magau.
He added that innovation and the complexities surrounding financial services and products render it difficult for consumers to make appropriate decisions.
‘A lack of adequate and appropriate financial education is a serious challenge, particularly for low-income South Africans. This motivated me to focus on the promotion of financial education.’
While it was challenging to conduct research during the pandemic, which resulted in Magau changing his focus to reflect the current situation, this did not deter him from achieving his goal.
‘I had to take a different angle, align my research to the pandemic and factor in its socio-economic impact,’ he said.
‘This boosted my passion and confidence in completing the study as it was an opportunity to contribute to the body of knowledge on financial education during and post a pandemic.’
The active academic has written four journal articles and two book chapters and supervised four master’s students. He also participated in the annual International Corporate and Financial Markets Law conference.
‘Completing a PhD in two years calls for many sacrifices. The uncertainty brought about by the pandemic made me anxious and at one point, I was not sure that I could finish on time. Support from my family and supervisors saw me through. With a doctoral degree, I am better positioned to grow my career,’ he said.
Words: Thandiwe Jumo