I did my BSc (Mathematics and Physics), HonsBSc (Physics) and MSc (Physics) at Stellenbosch University.
I am a PhD candidate in the Oceanography Department at the University of Cape Town. My research is on atmospheric aerosols at the interface of the ocean and atmosphere. We want to improve our knowledge and understanding of the impact of aerosols on climate change.
From an early age, I had a love for Mathematics and wanted to become a Maths teacher. At University I got hooked on Physics and had a Professor who supported me with bursaries to continue my postgraduate education in Physics.
After my MSc (Physics) I worked as a Scientist in electro-optics. My inputs and opinions were disregarded despite having the education and qualifications to prove my competence. I struggled until I realized that I don’t need the approval and endorsement of others to know my worth. It was such a liberating thought and experience.
I grew up as an only child and had to fight my battles alone. This helped me to stand my ground in difficult situations during my career as a scientist.
We as Africans have to promote ourselves. No-one else is going to do it for us. I presented at a conference in France and was the first to do so in the group that took part in an international experiment. It made me realize that we as Africans are well equipped and able to make contributions to the global STEM fields. We have to give ourselves more credit.
Be yourself and work hard. No-one can take your accomplishments and authenticity from you.
Do you identify as an African in STEM? If so, please send us some basic information to see if we can profile you on the VSA page.
I think it’s about time you heard my story.