What is your educational background?

PhD in Microbiology with over 14 years experience studying microbial pathogenesis.

What is your current occupation?

I am a Postdoctoral fellow at the Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia. My current research focuses on the mechanism of virulence in the encapsulated yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, which is responsible for over 175,000 deaths annually and the leading cause of death in HIV/AIDS patients in Sub-Saharan Africa.

What or who got you into STEM?

Reading articles about science discoveries stimulated my interest in STEM.

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

The disparity and gap in the curriculum of STEM in Africa compared to the developed world.

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

I was raised to be determined and never accept failure. This has assisted in my journey through language barriers and cultural shocks across the three continents I have explored academically in the last 7 years.

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

Proper orientation of the young ones who desire a career path in STEM and political will of African leaders to fund STEM.

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

The present narrative must not deter them from achieving their goals and dreams. When there is a will, there will surely be a way.

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

I have a twitter platform where I share scholarships tips, links and provide career guide and opportunities across the continents for prospective graduate students in Africa.