Mintek employees make it to the FameLab South Africa finals


Nanji Sheni and Tshiamo Legoale from Mintek have progressed to the FameLab South Africa finals.

The pair competed in the semi-finals, held at Wits University on 24 March.

Communications officer for Mintek, Elvis Tshweneyame explained that the FameLab is an international science talk competition organised by the British Council, Jive Media Africa and the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (Saasta).

Tshweneyame added that the competition aimed to nurture science communication with an innovative format. He also pointed out that Sheni and Legoale will be amongst 10 finalists in the final round which will take place on 19 April.

Sheni, who holds an MSc in Minerals Processing, won the Mintek heat of FameLab held on 14 March at Mintek’s offices in Ferndale by giving a three-minute science talk titled Waste to wealth through flotation.

She explained how the value of waste can be realised through the flotation process (which is the action of floating in a liquid or gas which separate into smaller particles) and acknowledged that waste was a problem that was affecting the environment and livelihood of many people in South Africa.

Sheni said that through the flotation process, harmful waste can be treated for recycling.

“I am very happy for the opportunity as I am very passionate about science. The FameLab presents us with the opportunity to showcase some of our other talents,” she said.

Legoale who holds a BSc Honours in Geology was nominated as a runner-up in the Mintek heat, for her presentation on the role of geologists in the mining value chain.

Director of Jive Media Africa, Robert Inglis briefed the audience during the competition and said that FameLab provided an opportunity to grow South African science on the world stage.

“If scientists don’t speak with the public, it ends up creating divisions and promotion of science that lacks relevance,” he explained.

Tshweneyame added that the winner of the SA FameLab final would receive R5 000 and a trip to the United Kingdom where they will compete in the international finals in June.

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Gaahele Mokgoro

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