I am Burundian and I was born in Burundi in a very supportive family. My parents encouraged me to pursue my dreams and to never give up, I am who I am today because of them. I take this opportunity to say thank you to them.
I have an MSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUISTI) in Kenya.
I am a Immunology PhD Candidate at Friedrich Alexander Universität in Germany. My work is on the effects and regulation of IgA glycosylation.
No one, I was just a curious kid from my childhood always asking questions and I just liked STEM.
The biggest challenges I have faced are lack of mentors and lack of equipment. In molecular biology, we require a lot of equipment that are expensive and not easily available in Africa. Due to lack of mentorship, I did not have anyone to ask questions or orientation about molecular biology, I had to learn the hard way.
From my upbringing, I have learnt how to be perseverant and to never give up. I also learnt to have a positive mind and to fight for my dreams. I also got leadership skills which I am using today as a founder and CEO of an social enterprise ”Science-Needs-Her” that aims to raise the next generation of women in STEM.
We need to help each other; we need to uplift each other. Moreover, we need to share opportunities and to collaborate both with local scientists but also with scientists in the diaspora. Another thing we need to mentor the next generation of scientists not only when we are asked for but also in our surroundings. Mentoring others should be a lifestyle.
Never give up, it is not easy but it’s possible. It may be tiresome, worrisome, etc. but eventually you will find it was worth it. You can be what you want.
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.