Growing up in Mbilwi, Limpopo, Maseda Mphaphuli wanted to be a pilot. She was fascinated by the aircrafts randomly flying over her home and wondered who was behind flying them. However, as she grew up, her interests changed altogether, she was more fascinated with the outdoors and a sense of adventure. “So, when deciding what to study, and reading through the geology requirements, I knew that my passion for the outdoors and adventure would fit in. And I was not disappointed when we started going on field trips,” she says chuckling.
Mphaphuli graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Johannesburg. After a successful stint at the Siyaphambili Geological Services as a Graduate Geologist doing detailed coal logging and sampling for different mines within the Emalahleni area; she went back to school to pursue her Honours and Masters degree in Geology at the University of Johannesburg. Her research focused on Petrographic consideration of the impact of the Tshipise Fault on coal quality in the Soutpansberg Coalfield. After successfully completing her Masters degree, she joined the Mandela Mining Precinct as an intern in May 2021.
Through the internship Mphaphuli had an opportunity to do underground mine visits to test different geophysical techniques, networking with people in her field, attending conferences and visiting different local original equipment manufacturers. “I gained quality and diverse knowledge within the geophysics field. The internship also provided me an opportunity to develop interpersonal skills and a platform to network with a diverse group of people,” she says.
Mphaphuli prides herself in being reliable. “I would describe myself as reliable and as a team player because I am always available to my teammates and manager when they need me regardless of the task,” she says. Mphaphuli is keen on discovering more in the geophysics field and furthering her studies through a PhD.
She encourages those who are keen to learn to join the MMP internship programme. “If you are looking for an opportunity to learn, then joining the MMP programme is the way to go. You will get an opportunity to test your classroom knowledge in real life,” she says.