[LISTEN] From domestic worker to associate professor: Dr Venicia McGhie's story

Dr Venicia McGhie had to toughen up after her parents died in her teens and had to learn how to fend for herself. She found work as a domestic worker in order to provide for her family and later joined UWC as a data capturing clerk.

CAPE TOWN - Dr Venicia McGhie, the head of the Department of Academic Development at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), will next month be an associate professor.

McGhie had to toughen up after her parents died in her teens and had to learn how to fend for herself. She found work as a domestic worker in order to provide for her family and later joined UWC as a data capturing clerk.

"After my father died everything just went south... one of my aunt's friends found me a job as a domestic worker which I just took because it was just about survival," McGhie says.

"I thought to myself this won't last forever. I definitely know I can do better and still now I always try to be the best I can be."

McGhie says after working as a domestic worker for several months, she got a job at a shoe factory and that's where she started studying part-time.

She says she now works with first-year students from difficult backgrounds and she tries to inspire them because she understands their situation.

Listen to the audio above for more.

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