What is your educational background?
I hold a double major BSc in Applied Biology and Biochemistry attained from the National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe.
What is your current occupation?
I am the Founder and Head Formulator of tAMz NATURALs a brand that aims to strike a balance between health, science and beauty using sustainable measures. My passion for natural hair and science led me to start my own brand to help empower women to embrace their natural beauty using scientifically well-researched and curated plant based actives. I am currently working in R&D for use of active compounds of cosmetic value that can be obtained using biotechnological techniques.
What or who got you into STEM?
I have always had a curious mind about life processes and how things work. My inquisition led me to naturally want to know more and a career in STEM, particularly biology, seemed befitting and quite interesting.
What is the biggest challenge/barrier you have faced as an African in STEM?
STEM generally requires resources. This is the major challenge with being in STEM in Africa. A lot of work is theoretical and that becomes a barrier itself in that there is lack of motivation from lack of representation from fellow Africans in STEM.
How do you think your background/upbringing has been beneficial in your journey/career?
I strongly believe my upbringing has been beneficial in my career. I was bought up in a Christian family and that on its own made me to always believe that I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. The values and ethics instilled in me from a young age made me to grow to be a woman who is strong enough to chase her dreams and to work hard and believe in herself. Being a woman in science has its own challenges but I believe growing up in a family of girls only even as they are not in science gave me motivation to work hard and prove to myself that I can do better. I can do more.
How do you think we can start to change the narrative surrounding African contributions
to global STEM research & careers?
I think more visibility is needed for African researchers in STEM. There is need to come up with platforms that encourage research collaboration between African and non-African STEM contributors to help with exposure and visibility.
What advice would you like to give to young, aspiring Africans in STEM?
You can do it. Follow your passion, pursue your dreams and believe in yourself. You might just be the next big innovator in STEM.