JOHANNESBURG - Faced with the prospect of losing the only copy of her master's thesis, South African student Noxolo Ntusi resisted armed robbers despite having a gun pointed to her head.
Ms Ntusis, 26, was almost done with her thesis and was determined not to let her attackers have it during the robbery on Tuesday (Sept 12).
According to the BBC, the medical student at the National Health Laboratory Service had her molecular zoology master's thesis on a hard drive with her when a car pulled up beside her and two men jumped out.
One of them was brandishing a gun.
But while they succeeded in grabbing her lunch bag, Ms Ntusi clung on fiercely to the bag containing the hard drive.
"I was thinking about my master's. I'm almost done with what I'm writing, there's no way I will let them take it," she told the BBC.
At one point, she had the gun pressed to her head, with one of the robbers threatening to shoot her.
"I was just pulling myself into a ball. They were trying to put me in the car, I think, but I made myself so heavy that they just gave up."
Ms Ntusi said losing the thesis would mean having to ask for an extension until next year. "I wanted to finish so badly, and nothing got in the way of that."
However, she admitted what she did was dangerous and "not very smart", and urged others not to put up a fight during a robbery.
"You can always write again," said Ms Ntusi. She has since backed up her work.
The robbers were later arrested and a gas gun was found on them.