Kenny Mnisi's PhD

study was the first ever

attempt to improve the nutritional

value of canola meal through the

use of feed enzymes for the

Japanese quail (Cortunix Japonica),

a recent entrant into the

poultry industry of

South Africa.

for Animal Science

Kenny makes it


The Animal Science subject group at the campus in Mahikeng recently celebrated the awarding of five doctorates in one graduation ceremony from one subject group. This means that 100% of Animal Science academic staff have PhDs.

Kenny Mnisi's proud grandmother, Agnes Mahlalela, attends his graduation ceremony.

The youngest to make it onto this list is 24-year-old Kenny Mnisi from a village called Masibekela in Mpumalanga province. “’In this village, farming is a way of life, thus as a young boy I grew up taking care of a variety of livestock. I guess that’s where the passion for the science of animal production was born,” he says.


Although still young himself, Kenny says he hopes that the South African youth, especially those from rural areas with limited resources, can be inspired, motivated and encouraged by his achievements at an early age.


Starting out


He secured his matric certificate in 2000. A few years later he registered with the NWU and his motivation and hard work earned him the highest honours (cum laude) for both his BSc and MSc degrees.


He is now Dr Kenny, having completed his PhD within two academic years.


“From my MSc research work, I published two articles in accredited journals and presented my work at the National University of Lesotho. I have also published two articles from my PhD study and two more articles have been submitted for peer review,” he says.


Kenny’s PhD study was entitled “Towards the optimisation of canola meal as a protein source for Japanese quails using exogenous feed enzymes”.


What a journey


“I want to believe that there are many individuals who also graduated with their PhDs at a tender age – what matters is what you do with the qualification. But I should say I’m grateful for this journey,” he says.


Kenny is currently working as a lecturer in animal science, specialising in animal nutrition, meat and dairy sciences. He is also supervising and co-supervising several undergraduate and 11 postgraduate students (nine master’s and two PhDs).


According to Kenny, the NWU is one of the best universities in the country, offering unparalleled opportunities for the eager young minds of tomorrow, particularly its own “cooks” (as Prof Dan Kgwadi would say).


“I was also motivated to further my studies here because of the support and direction I received from my director and promoter, Prof Victor Mlambo, and the subject group head, Dr Lebo Motsei. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked under their guidance and leadership,” concludes Kenny.


The other graduates from Animal Science who received their doctorates at the same graduation ceremony are Mogomotsi Keoletile, Freddie Manyeula, Khuliso Ravhuhali and Thabiso Sebolai.