Dr Maurine Songa has triumphed over tragedy to achieve an incredible feat – obtaining a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Kwazulu-Natal.
Born and raised in Rang’ala village in the western part of Kenya, Dr Songa’s mother never got to go beyond high school and endured poverty, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, and eventually died at the age of 31. Dr Songa and her siblings, along with their cousins who had also lost their parents, were then raised by their maternal grandmother.
Despite these challenges, Dr Songa persevered and obtained a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Mathematics from the University of Nairobi, a Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematical Sciences from the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and a Master of Science (MS) in Mathematics from the University of Kwazulu-Natal before earning her PhD in Mathematics in May 2023.
Driven by her passion for girl child empowerment, Dr Songa founded the Hope for the Girl-Child Foundation, a non-profit trust that mentors, inspires, and caters to the education needs of less privileged girls in high schools across Kenya. She currently serves as an Assistant Lecturer at Kisii University in Kenya.
Dr Songa’s achievements are a tribute to her mother’s wildest dream. “My PhD in Mathematics is a tribute to her,” she said. “Just so I’d achieve my mother’s wildest dream.”