At a young age of 28, Dr Lerato Mokoena embodies the ancient Hebrew scripture that teaches us that “an intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” It all began in 2012 when Mokoena began her studies in Theology at the University of Pretoria. Eight years later, Mokoena has secured four qualifications under her belt including obtaining a PhD in Theology with specialisation in Old Testament Studies. She tells the Mail & Guardian that obtaining the PhD qualification was one of her proudest moments in her life. Her other notable achievements include being awarded the Dean’s merit award for outstanding academic achievement. She subsequently received a Doctoral scholarship award from the National Institute of Human and Social Sciences.
Mokoena serves as the youngest lecturer at the North West University’s Faculty of Theology, where she teaches Hebrew – an exciting aspect of her career that she didn’t anticipate, given the language’s ancient origins: “I am always in awe at how I was able to grasp the language and now being able to teach it.”
Passionate about the ongoing debates on land in the country,Mokoena will be attending a teaching Seminar in Jerusalem in January 2021 to speak on Land in the context of South Africa and Palestine from her honors research on land. In September this year, Mokoena will be one of the speakers in a webinar series on “The Power to Discriminate” at the University of Stellenbosch where she will be presenting a paper virtually on Perversion and Othering in the Hebrew Bible.