What is your educational background?
I did my Bachelor’s and Master’s qualification for Chemical Engineering in South Africa, staying in two of the most beautiful coastal towns i.e. Cape Town and Durban. I am currently based in Napoli, Italy where I am pursuing my PhD qualification.
What is your current occupation?
Researcher – PhD Candidate. I am currently working on a research project tasked with solving the challenges of producing potential liquid drop-in biofuels from residual lignocellulosic biomass.
What or who got you into STEM?
The dream of working in an engineering field with so many varied opportunities, funny story is I remember listening to an interview on radio from a Chemical Engineer, which really sparked my passion to pursue this career.
What is the biggest challenge/barrier you have faced as an African in STEM?
Being underestimated due to societal bias based on where you studied, background, demeanor etc.
How do you think your background/upbringing has been beneficial in your journey/career?
Faith was instilled into me at a young age, which has taught the ethos of believing in my dreams because they will surely come true.
How do you think we can start to change the narrative surrounding African contributions
to global STEM research & careers?
Amplifying and celebration our success stories. Own the narrative of our STEM contributions through funding and managing our own projects that offer solutions to our local communities in Africa.
What advice would you like to give to young, aspiring Africans in STEM?
All dreams are valid, be diligent in your work towards attaining your dreams despite the challenges presented. The path to succeed may not always be straight, but through hard work and perseverance success can be realized.