18/12/2021

Congratulations to Dr Gabriel Kwadwo Twumasi, who has graduated at the December 2021 graduation ceremony with his PhD in Business Management. Dr Twumasi shared some insights into his academic journey.

 

A descendant from Kumasi in Ghana, Dr Twumasi’s academic journey started in his native country at Fosu Training College, where he obtained a 3-year Post-Secondary Teacher Certificate (Diploma in Education) awarded by the University of Cape Coast. He then furthered his education at the University of Education (UCEW-K), where he was awarded a Bachelor of Education (Honours) by the University of Cape Coast. Upon relocating to South Africa as a qualified educator, he found employment in the Eastern Cape Department of Education. During this time, he still had a great passion for furthering his education, which pushed him to attain a Postgraduate Diploma, followed by a Master of Philosophy degree (specialising in HIV/AIDS Management) at Stellenbosch University. In addition to this, Dr Twumasi also pursued an Advanced Certificate in Project Management at the University of Cape Town. He also belongs to various scholarly networks, such as the Council for Economic Education (CEE) in New York, USA where he attended the inaugural conference in 2013.

 

Almost four years have passed since Dr Twumasi took the plunge and commenced his PhD research. That decision has been a luxury in one sense, but it has also been defined by a time full of challenges, struggles, and most importantly, personal growth. Indeed, Dr Twumasi’s journey to his prestigious PhD may not have been as smooth as one would expect. There were twists and turns together with unexpected obstacles. “It made me perspire, and sometimes, pushed me to the depths of despair. It has been a long journey but worth it,” said Dr Twumasi. As an individual with a young family throughout his PhD journey, he faced several challenges that only compounded the demanding nature of academia, such as the issue of self-funding and being the father of two children between the ages of one and seven years old. At the same time, he has been working full time as an Economics teacher in the rural Transkei area at Port St Johns Senior Secondary School. These difficulties birthed serious financial difficulties, to the point where he nearly had to give up his research studies. In addition to these hurdles, during the third year his PhD at Nelson Mandela University, the Covid-19 pandemic and its lockdown measures created a unique hurdle for his research, as his study was based on inbound tourist experiences in South Africa. With the tourism industry at a standstill, one can only imagine how this could be detrimental to a study of this nature. However, he found a way to persevere through all of these difficulties and has now officially crossed the finish line.

 

During his studies at Nelson Mandela University, Dr Twumasi met two generous and dedicated supervisors – Prof Janine Kr├╝ger (Supervisor) and Dr Felix Amoah (Co-supervisor). Working with them, Dr Twumasi developed his personal, academic, organisational, planning, and time management skills. “I was lucky that my supervisors gave me good research advice and writing support throughout the entire journey as their student,” said Dr Twumasi. He then took the opportunity to express his sincere gratitude for the various roles that they both played in the development of his thesis and research skills.

 

The title of Dr Twumasi’s PhD thesis is “Inbound tourist experience in South Africa”. The study investigated factors influencing inbound tourist experiences in South Africa. The main empirical results of the study found that statistically significant relationships exist between the independent variables of Quality accommodation, Tidiness of attractions, Ancillary services, Safety of destination, Convenience retention, Quality of attractions, and Transport, and the dependent variables of Customer satisfaction and Recommending and revisiting of destination.

 

Dr Twumasi has come to understand that one does not simply ‘pursue a doctorate’. He learned that the task was not to slay some proverbial dragon or climb some lofty pinnacle, but instead, the task was to become hopeful, hungry and curious about the world. “The PhD experience has taught me many things, as it puts you in situations where you really have to work on yourself and show resilience,” said Dr Twumasi.

 

Given Dr Twumasi’s academic and professional strengths in research, it may not be a surprise to see him pursuing yet another degree in the near future, particularly as a result of his passion to change the world through education. As PhD holder, he now sees every occurrence and event as an opportunity to learn something new.

 

In conclusion, Dr Twumasi leaves us with some inspiration that has been adapted from Tommy Hilfiger’s famous quote, saying: “The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to achieve the PhD dream”.

Contact information
Prof Janine Kruger
Associate Professor in Business Management
Tel: 041 504 1124
Janine.Krueger@mandela.ac.za

Dr Felix Amoah
Senior Lecturer
Tel: 0415043796
Felix.Amoah@mandela.ac.za