What is your educational background?
I graduated from the department of Astronomy at Omdurman Islamic University (OIU), Sudan. Then I moved to the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, where I have completed my honours and master’s degrees from the Astronomy department in December 2019 as part of the National Astrophysics and Space Sciences Program (NASSP).
What is your current occupation?
I’m a first-year PhD student at the Institute of Space Science (ICE-CSIC) in Barcelona, Spain. My project is focusing on searching for pulsars and transients from multi-band frequency. This will be achieved by developing a pipeline and Machine Learning algorithms to perform the searching and look for pulsar candidates.
What or who got you into STEM?
My interest in Astrophysics has started at an early age, when I was young and having a curiosity about the stars and the sky during the clear nights in my hometown, Kenana.
What is the biggest challenge/barrier you have faced as an African in STEM?
The main challenges I faced in STEM is the lack of the knowledge of Astronomy in my home country and thus I had to go overseas to study it.
How do you think your background/upbringing has been beneficial in your journey/career?
I have always had curiosity and ambition in doing Science, and Astronomy in particular. Also having believed in myself was a great way to have self confidence.
How do you think we can start to change the narrative surrounding African contributions
to global STEM research & careers?
We need to change the general understanding of our community about STEM. And make it clear that we have all the human/natural resources to raise STEM in Africa. This can be achieved by more collaboration and implementing the right strategies in decision making.
What advice would you like to give to young, aspiring Africans in STEM?
To all young people, I would say: despite all the challenges you may face you still can draw a bright future for your life by having self belief and plan ahead to a definite goal. The take home message is that acquiring knowledge is the key that can enable you to reach your dream and beyond.
Do you have any projects you’re working on that you would like us to highlight?
Due to the lack of knowledge of Astronomy among the public and non-specialised people, I have created a Facebook page that focuses on simplifying the field and its terms by writing scientific contents various Astronomical topics e.g instruments, discoveries, news, space missions etc.