Andries Conradie, a nonagenarian became the oldest person to graduate with a PhD from Unisa. Dr Conradie obtained a doctorate in literature and philosophy. He completed his doctoral thesis this year with the title “The Bible as a problematic text – a critical analysis based on controversies in the Dutch Reformed Church”.
Dr Conradie obtained his Doctoral degree in Literature and Philosophy from the College of Human Sciences.
It is never too late to follow one’s dream and Dr Andries Conradie proves that one is never too old to reach your dreams. He inspired many South Africans and people around the world.
A 91-year-old man, Andries Conradie, has graduated with his PhD from the University of South Africa (Unisa). Conradie became the university’s oldest doctorate graduate, Daily Afrika learned.
According to IOL focused his thesis on biblical questions he encountered during his career as a historian and teacher.
The great-grandfather titled his thesis on the controversial subject: “The Bible as a problematic text – a critical analysis based on controversies in the Dutch Reformed Church.
Introducing Dr Andries Francois Conradie, who obtained his Doctoral degree in Literature and Philosophy from the College of Human Sciences at the age of 91. "Anyone who keeps learning stays young" Henry Ford. #CircleofExcellence #Unisagraduations #shapingfutures 🎊🎉 pic.twitter.com/nqYyost5rW
— Unisa (@unisa) October 7, 2019
Conradie took his questions to ministers but after years of evasive answers, he decided to study the subject in depth. In 2013, Conradie enrolled at Unisa to study theology, working towards his PhD.
“I am proud of what I have achieved. One is never too old to reach your dreams,” he told Pretoria News.
Conradie said during his career as a historian and teacher, he had encountered biblical questions, which simply called for answers.
After years of evasive answers from ministers of religion, Conradie decided to study the subject intensively, to analyse it and write his thesis on it.
An erudite in the true sense, Conradie matriculated in 1945 at the Lichtenburg High School in the North West. He started his studies at Potchefstroom University in 1948 where he obtained a BA degree in English and History and later obtained his Master’s degree in History.
He worked as a teacher over the years and later moved on to become a school principal in the then Transkei.
After his wife died in 2009, Conradie moved in with his only living child, Dr Alet Harmse, who is an academic and worked at Unisa for 30 years.
His story inspired South Africans, who applauded Conradie’s achievements online.
Delsie Pateman Sanders commented: “Dr Conradie; you are an inspiration. Heartfelt congratulations!”
Fundile Sixabise Zwelethafa Zenani wrote: “Congratulations Doc, we are proud of you especially us the young ones.”
Milly Mgidi Mngadi said: “Wow Dr Conradie such a great inspiration.”
Itu Tricia Dube added: “I feel inspired right now.am also getting that doctoral degree in philosophy, it might not be now but I will.”