What is your educational background?

All I attended Tshikevha Christian School. My subjects were mathematics, geography, physical and life sciences. I started studying at Wits in 2012 and graduated 2016 with a BSc (hons) in Microbiology and Biochemistry. I obtained my MSc in medicine in 2018 – my majors were microbiology and biotechnology. I am currently registered for my PhD at Wits.

What is your current occupation?

I am a PhD candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand. My research focuses on investigating the cause of essential hypertension.

What or who got you into STEM?

I have always been fascinated by small molecules, gems to be specific, from a young age. I did not know much about them growing up but once I got to varsity, I knew that I was destined to be in science.

What is the biggest challenge/barrier you have faced as an African in STEM?

Receiving funding for my research.

How do you think your background/upbringing has been beneficial in your journey/career?

Having a solid support structure and having financial stability. My parents invested so much in my education and went out of their way to help me get to where I am today.

How do you think we can start to change the narrative surrounding African contributions
to global STEM research & careers?

We need to work on investigating issues that affect us as Africans, make solutions and solve problems that are specific for us. If we can do this, it will be easier for us as Africans to contribute content that is new, novel and can be internationally recognized.

What advice would you like to give to young, aspiring Africans in STEM?

Do it, you are definitely worthy of occupying such spaces.

Do you have any projects you’re working on that you would like us to highlight?

I have a YouTube channel ‘Everything_Anza_Thiba’, it’s something I do on my spare time