SANBio Student Ambassadors are young, enthusiastic university students studying in a biosciences related field, selected as voluntary ambassadors for the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences in their respective countries and the SADC region, arranging and participating in various activities in order to raise awareness on the importance and potential of biosciences, promote collaboration, networking and knowledge exchange across borders and engage the youth. The key is in the younger generation’s enthusiasm. The ultimate goal is to create an active network of student ambassadors at both national and institutional levels in the 14 SANBio member states. Welcome to SANBio!
Keletso Masisi (Botswana)
Being passionate about Biosciences Keletso plans to be an advocate for change in her field of work, promoting research that is up to date and can directly impact the lives of people in her country. Already being part of the Bioscience Organization in Botswana it gives her an opportunity to increase research capacity and collaborations between research institutions in her country. In her pursuit for change, Keletso is enthusiastic about encouraging emotional intelligence amongst researchers and students. Being fervent in women empowerment, she also motivate young school girls to take on careers in science and technology.
Vanessa C. Dzekedzeke (Malawi)
Vanessa was born and raised in Lilongwe, Malawi on April 09th 1999. She’s currently in her final year pursuing my BSc in Environmental science and technology majoring in food science at the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic. One of her proudest moments was hosting the 2019 Malawi FemBioBiz acceleration programme with mHub in association with SANBio and Hivos. This experience further motivated her existing interest in biosciences and its advocacy. Therefore, Vanessa is looking forward to working with SANBio to create a community of bio scientists in Malawi and Africa as a whole
Palvez Seleem Gohabur (Mauritius)
Palvez is 22 years old born and raised in Mauritius. “Palvez in Persian theology means the fortunate, and I am surely fortunate to have been selected as the student ambassador for Mauritius”, he explained. He is currently a final year student at the University of Mauritius studying Agricultural Science and Technology with a minor in Animal Production and Health. Palvez is an avid book reader, sportive who love nature beyond imagination. He is excited to embark on this exciting journey and extremely pleased and honoured to be selected as a student ambassador for SANBio. “I will do my best to be an efficient vehicle of knowledge, as well as promoting Biosciences in Mauritius and in the SADC region”.
Sankhulani Daka (Zambia)
Sankhulani Daka is a 25 years old Zambian. He is a pharmacist by profession and mental health advocate. Having grown up on a farm in Mkushi, he has always been fascinated by the processes of life (movement, reproduction, sensitivity, nutrition, excretion, respiration and growth) which is the basis of biosciences. Being one of the best pupils in high school, he always wanted to help others understand which is something he is looking forward to continuing as a youth ambassador. Sankhulani fell in love with pharmacognosy while in University. He has a strong passion to explore the medicinal properties of plants.
Zainabo Amisse (Mozambique)
Zainabo, Aged 23, born and living in Maputo. She finished her degree in Food Engineering in 2019, at the Eduardo Mondlane University. During that period, she also served as a professor assistant. In 2019, Zainabo joined the multinational Compal in an internship, which lasted a year. It was during that period in which her interest in Quality Control blossomed, and up to this day, she remain enthusiastic in developing Biotechnology oriented projects. She attended the orientation provided by SANBio FemBioBiz Program in 2019, where she developed a project of formulation of a “new” nutritive yogurt (lactose-free) and thats where she became more engaged in entrepreneurship initiatives. Now Zainabo is a project manager of a small industry of seafood.
David Chapisa (Zimbabwe)
David Chapisa, born and raised in Harare. He believe that science can be a solution to common problems at a profit. As a soon to be biotechnologist from Harare Institute of Technology, David strive to quench his research fixation on monetizing biology. With his acquired knowledge in entrepreneurship and biosciences, he has successfully established start-up partnerships on oyster mushroom production and worm breeding and this experience has been proof of the applicability of biosciences. David is ecstatic to work with all the members of the science and research forum to empower Africa and contribute to the pool of innovative ideas.
Abner Tomas (Namibia)
Abner Tomas is from Onethindi, Oniipa in Oshikoto region, Namibia. He has a Master of Science in Microbiology as well as a Bachelor of Science (Honour) in Microbiology & Biochemistry degrees from the University of Namibia. Abner is waiting to continue with his doctor of philosophy degree, with the focus on the molecular mechanisms of Namibian plants traditionally used as herbs and spices for prospects development of a scale supplement for food and nutraceutical applications. “I am excited about bioscience because I am passionate about plants and mushrooms, especially for African indigenous knowledge management”, Tomas.
Akhona Mazingisa (South Africa)
Akhona is an Environmental Health Scientist who hails from a small town called Umzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal. She studied her first Undergraduate Degree at the Mangosuthu University of Technology, and she furthered her studies at the Nelson Mandela University. Her motivation to study Environmental Health is due to her concern about her community and the ill health practices leading to various disease and health malfunctions. Furthermore, these ill health practices such as the burning of fossil fuels which may result in diseases such as asthma and respiratory diseases and these diseases have been shown to increase mortality rate. While doing her undergraduate, Miss Mazingisa was awarded the opportunity to a prestigious international conference in Guangzhou, “2017 Guangzhou World Youth Environmental Protection Conference” in China. Akhona has worked at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) as a Junior Scientist. She is currently working as a Port Health Officer/Inspector at the Cape Town International Airport. Akhona aims to study towards identifying the impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on the health and healthcare of inhabitants of the marginalized communities and also develop a framework for its sustainability in the community.