What is your educational background?
I studied towards a Bachelors and Master’s degree in Chemistry at the Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa. I have a PhD in Pharmaceuticals Sciences and a PhD in Chemical Sciences from the University of Angers in France and the University of Liege in Belgium respectively.
What is your current occupation?
I am a Senior Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research working on the development of delivery systems for drugs burdened with non-compliance, absorption and toxicity issues, majorly for infectious diseases.
What or who got you into STEM?
The need to find simple and innovative ways to solve African problems. I felt like there was a time where we used a ‘one size fits all approach’ to solving our problems based on what we saw working for the rest of the world, without looking at what solutions would suit the environment we live in.
What is the biggest challenge/barrier you have faced as an African in STEM?
Representation and Access. It has been challenging for me to identify experienced researchers in my field who can relate with my background and struggles and assist me in shaping my career. African researchers who came before us are still fighting for access themselves.
How do you think your background/upbringing has been beneficial in your journey/career?
My grandmother raised me to be confident and my upbringing was centered to around building my self -esteem. This has helped me to reach out for any opportunity without doubting myself.
How do you think we can start to change the narrative surrounding African contributions
to global STEM research & careers?
We can start with creating more visibility around African researchers and promoting research collaborations among Africans in STEM.
What advice would you like to give to young, aspiring Africans in STEM?
Absolutely anything is possible. All of the inventions in modern technology were created by someone and YOU could be the next someone.