Halala! 65-year-old 'Muvhango' actress Vho Masindi earns a PhD

Actress Regina Nesengani hopes her study will add to the body of literature and knowledge on GBV issues.

01 December 2020 - 11:00 By chrizelda kekana
Muvhango actress Regina Nesengani has earned a PhD.
Muvhango actress Regina Nesengani has earned a PhD.
Image: Supplied

Proving that it's never too late to add an achievement to one's resume, 65-year-old Muvhango actress Regina Nesengani was has had a PhD degree conferred on her by the University of South Africa (Unisa).

The actress, who is popularly known as Vho-Masindi in Muvhango, wrote her thesis in Tshivenda and focused on women abuse through dialogue on drama books written by male writers. The contention of the thesis was that because most, if not all the drama books were written by men, women are often portrayed in a very negative light and are hardly portrayed as intelligent creatures who can think and make decisions for themselves.

Regina said that her topic was inspired by the prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) in her community while she was still studying for her master's.

“I realised that women were not happy in their homes. I was also touched by many stories of women who were abused by their partners. I was shocked that this was happening in 2020 with all the awareness and education on GBV,” Regina said.

The actress said that after her master's, she researched more on the topic of GBV and found shocking discoveries, dating back from the early 70s. That is part of the reason she decided to take it further and pursue a PhD.

Regina says she hopes her study will add to the body of literature and knowledge on GBV issues.

In a statement shared by Word Of Mouth Pictures, the actress explained that she chose to do her thesis in Tshivenda because she wanted to emphasise to people that the language is also an official language in SA.

The 65-year-old granny of 12, who completed her master's degree while working as a primary schoolteacher, is also a radio drama actor and has been in the acting industry for more than 30 years. All while she juggled everything with her Muvhango duties.

The actress mentioned that she also got inspiration to study for a PhD after listening to an interview with an old lady on  SAFM who had just graduated with a PhD.

“I was very inspired by this lady. I said if she can do it so can I. I had a master's degree,  there was nothing  stopping me from pursuing a PhD,” she says.

Well done!