Nyokong came from a poor background. She had to wear second-hand clothes and was barefoot. As a young girl she was sent to live with her grandparents in the mountains of Lesotho.
She learnt about science by observing the wildlife whilst she worked as an eight-year-old child caring for sheep.
Nyokong says that she would spend one day at school and then one day with the sheep as someone had to care for them. Nyokong says that one of her childhood ambitions was to own her own pair of shoes.
When she started school she was steered away from science as she was told that it was too hard. lieutenant was only with two years to go that she changed direction and with perseverance completed the science course.
Nyokong earned her bachelor"s degree in both chemistry and biology from the University of Lesotho in 1977.
She went on to earn her master"s in chemistry from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.
In 1987, she received her Doctor of Philosophy in chemistry from the University of Western Ontario. After earning her Doctor of Philosophy, she received a Fulbright fellowship to continue her post-doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame in the United States.
She was awarded the South African Chemical Institute Gold Medal in 2012, and named one of the top 10 most influential women in science and technology in Africa by Information Technology News Africa. She is currently researching photo-dynamic therapy, an alternative cancer treatment method to chemotherapy. After finishing her Fulbright fellowship in the United States, Nyokong returned to Lesotho, briefly as it turned out, to take a position at the University of Lesotho.
In 1992, she took a position as a lecturer at Rhodes University.
The National Research Foundation gave her a high rating and helped Nyokong obtain a research laboratory at the university. Soon, she moved from lecturer to professor, and then distinguished professor
She is known for her research in nanotechnology, as well as her work on photo-dynamic therapy. Her pioneering research in the latter is paving the way for a safer cancer detection and treatment, without the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy.
Nyokong published an open letter that she wrote nominally aimed at her 18-year-old self (who would have been working hard to complete a three-year science course in just two years).
The letter reassured her younger self to have courage as her family may not realise the opportunities ahead. And you will." In 2014 she was a professor at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. She was the subject for a photographic portrait for Adrian Steirn"s "21 icons". which imagined her returned to her childhood role as a shepherd but now the shepherd is an adult and she is wearing her chemist"s white coat.
Copies of the picture were sold for charity.