Dr Gladys Ke-Di-Bone Mokwena, author of ’Resilience In Adversity’. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
Dr Gladys Ke-Di-Bone Mokwena, author of ’Resilience In Adversity’. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Age just a number for author Gladys Ke-Di-Bone Mokwena

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Sep 21, 2021

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Pretoria - Resilience and sheer determination propelled senior Unisa lecturer, PhD graduate and now author, Dr Gladys Ke-Di-Bone Mokwena to greater heights in academia and in life.

Mokwena, who was widowed at 26, raised two children as a single parent and pursued an education through night school, published her book titled Resilience In Adversity last month. It will officially launch next month.

The 65-year-old from Karenpark, Akasia in Pretoria, who got her PhD at the age of 62, said people often laughed at her, saying she was studying just so she could have a well- decorated obituary.

But, Mokwena did not lose focus nor allow people’s opinions to derail her from reaching her goals.

Her book discusses hardship and resilience from different perspectives.

Mokwena also discussses the challenges in her life – including pursuing a high school education through night school, widowhood at a young age, raising two children, and experiencing an ordeal from assailants in her home.

“The book seeks to inspire and motivate people who are going through a difficult time to be resilient in the face of adversity,” she said.

The book is a useful resource for individuals in formal, informal and non-formal learning settings as well as for educators, psychologists, historians and others, she told Pretoria News.

“The book adds significantly to the body of knowledge.”

Mokwena also shares her personal experiences of obstacles she has encountered over her life.

“What is amazing with all the adverse experiences I’ve been through is that I have come out courageous and emerged resilient, whatever the cost.

“In this book, I give an account of my experiences of adversity for purposes of adding my voice to the various bodies of literature on women’s determination to resiliently overcome adversity.

“I chose to use my own personal life journey as a way of telling my story. I believe it has the potential to invite personal connection with others in similar or worse situations.”

Mokwena said she dedicated all her achievements in academia to her mother and late husband, who always encouraged her to study.

She encouraged young people to equip themselves with education because it was something no one could take away from them.

“Young people should not allow our country’s high unemployment rate, especially of graduates, to stop them from pursuing education. Education is the key to a better life.”

Pretoria News

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