National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Phemelo Thapedi Selomane is studying mechanical engineering

Phemelo Thapedi Selomane is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Pretoria. He attended HF Tlou High School in North West Province.  

“At 19 years of age, I am an ambitious, determined and optimistic young male filled with big dreams for my future.”

Tell us a bit about yourself?


I am originally from the Rustenburg area in North West Province; from a small village called Luka. I am from a loving, Christian family consisting of seven amazing people. We are five siblings, two sisters and three brothers. I matriculated in 2020 from HF Tlou Secondary school, where I grew up from being a teenage boy to a young male aiming to change the world. I have a passion for the sciences and I enjoy spending my evenings paging through my mathematics textbook. Growing up in village I have learned so many qualities that make me a better person. Seeing people succeed in life and other people failing has taught me patience, integrity, pride, respect, compassion, but most importantly, it has taught me that life rewards hard work. I hold these qualities close and all of them combined define who I am. I learn not only from the textbook, but from life experiences that I have lived through as well as the experiences of other people. Problem solving is my drug. If I see a problem I want to solve it, even if it has nothing to do with me. This may be the reason why I love mathematics and science. Sharing is my nickname, since I share the little that I have with everyone around me. I love motorsports and know everything there is to know about Formula One. Phemelo Selomane is a sharing, motorsports fanatic who is smart and addicted to solving problems.  

Why I chose engineering?

As a young child I was always intrigued by the fact that I find subjects that trouble others so simple and easy, but the subjects that are easy to others I find difficult. I would literally spend all day studying a subject only to get 80% but spend 40 to 50 minutes practicing mathematics and I would get 100%. That led me to decide that I should spend my life pursuing mathematics and science. With hundreds of careers involving mathematics and science to choose from, engineering was the last thing on my mind. Things started changing for me when I started following Formula One. I realised that I am more interested in how the car works than in the racing. This newly found interest soon involved other mechanical objects: washing machines, planes, jet engines, turbines, and electric gates. I wanted to know the science behind these objects, how and why they work. This led me to discover mechanical engineering. Mathematics, passion for the sciences, solving problems, helping others, and mechanical engineering combined are the things I love. This is why I am currently studying mechanical engineering at the University of Pretoria, where my passion is growing by the minute.

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