Not one to shy away from challenges, Songezi is defying the notion that women can’t do it all.

While raising two children and lecturing at UJ, Sondezi has completed a study into quantum criticality in matter to earn the highest qualification in academia, while garnering international recognition.

“Simply put, the study is based on researching and finding new physics on rare-earth compounds at low temperatures,” she said in a statement explaining the research.

“This fundamental study opens up new interesting physics and properties of materials at ultra-low temperatures.”

Professor Andre Strydom, Songezi’s doctoral supervisor said Sondezi’s research was drawing widespread global attention “because it is widely recognised as a frontier in the physics of highly correlated matter.”

Songezi was named one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 young South Africans in 2012. According to the report, she’s a 2009 winner of the Department of Science and Technology’s women in science award. She was also awarded a fellowship to finance her research.

Songezi studied part-time and worked as a scientist at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa before applying for and accepting a lectureship at UJ. She also reportedly tutors Maths and Science to high school pupils.