The International FameLab Competition has chosen its South African Winner: Nozipho Gumbi from Eshowe (KZN), a PhD candidate at the University of South Africa in the Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit
The final of the South African leg took place in front of a capacity audience at the glittering Cape Town International Convention Centre – venue of the British Council Going Global conference.
The finalists presented to the high-profile audience and judges, who included Dr Tollulah Oni (UCT school of Public Health) Dr Carolina Odman (Universe awareness Programme) Koki Selepe (Department of Science and Technology) and John Wade Smith (British High Commission. Quentin Cooper of the BBC and FameLab International played the role of MC.
Runners up were Claude Moshobane from Limpopo, currently working with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), and Savannah Nuwagaba from Uganda, currently at Stellenbosch University. Moshobane discussed alien invasive plants and how they disrupt the ecosystem, while Nuwagaba spoke about how mathematics is used to predict possible changes in animals’ body size, depending on changes in their eating habits.
But the star of the show was Nozipho Gumbi from Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal, who is currently studying nanotechnology at UNISA. Gumbi was the overall favourite as she dazzled the audience and the judges with her engaging talk on water filtration using carbon nanotubes.
Nozipho Gumbi’s journey has only just begun. She will soon be packing her bags and jetting off to the United Kingdom for the FameLab International Finals hosted by Cheltenham Festivals to go up against 30 country winners for the international title. Humble, yet confident – Gumbi acknowledged the other candidates saying “each and every one of you could have been the winner tonight”. Congratulations once again to all the contestants and we wish Nozipho all the best for the International finals.