Do you love research? Well its time to get engaged! When researchers complete their work, it is typically published in a journal or presented at a conference. But how can researchers ensure that those outside their disciplines know about it?

“I always jump at any opportunity to talk about my work, but I didn’t know how to get into science communication. Then I attended a FameLab training. I think I’ve found my calling! I want to talk to people about science for the rest of my life.”

Jive Media Africa FameLab

FameLab SA winner, Emmie Chiyindiko from the University of the Free State, put South African science on a global platform when she spent the week at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK, ahead of the FameLab International finals. 

Jive Media Africa FameLab

Creating conversations between science and society to address the sustainable development goals was the focus of the 2018 FameLab South Africa final held at the Future Earth conference at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.

Jive Media Africa FameLab

Creating conversations between science and society to address the sustainable development goals was the focus of the 2018 FameLab South Africa final held at the Future Earth conference at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.

Emmie Chiyindiko, a Masters student at the University of the Free State, won the title of FameLab South Africa champion with a talk which had the audience engaged from the beginning. She used the analogy of a relationship match-maker to explain the role of catalysis in food, water and energy production. She will travel to the international competition in the United Kingdom in June to represent South Africa.

Runners-up, Sebabatso Maifadi from the University of South Africa and Buhle Buyana from the University of Fort Hare also impressed the audience and judges, linking their research to the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

Director of Jive Media Africa, Robert Inglis, highlighted the importance of the communication skills developed through FameLab for “having conversations about science which can ultimately lead to solutions for a more sustainable and equitable future”.

The format of the FameLab competition requires participants to present their research to a panel of expert judges within three minutes. Their talks are judged on content, clarity and charisma.

Deputy CEO of the National Research Foundation, Dr Gansen Pillay, praised the young researchers for their commitment to engaging the public in their research and will hold further discussions with all the finalists about the future of science in South Africa.

Anisa Khan, at the British Council, expressed her delight that there were so many women among the finalists, saying, “We must ensure that all voices are part of the science conversation.”

Do you want to host this international competition in the year ahead? Click here > Expression of Interest Form

Huge congratulations to the 2018 finalists:
– Nyasha Chimhandamba (finalist) – University of Cape Town
– Nobuhle Mweli (semi-finalist) – South African Environmental Observation Network
– Darryl Herron (finalist) and Khavharendwe Rambau (semi-finalist) – Science Forum South Africa
– Brian Rathabe (semi-finalist) – University of Limpopo
– Emmie Chiyindiko (finalist and 2018 winner) – University of the Free State
– Sylvia Mokuoane (semi-finalist) – Central University of Technology
– Bonisiwe Seshabela (semi-finalist) and Sebabatso Maifadi (finalist and runner-up) – University of South Africa
– Thlangelani Nghondzweni (semi-finalist) – Tshwane University of Technology
– Buhle Buyana (finalist and runner-up) – University of Fort Hare
– Sinethemba Makhanya (finalist) and Olaperi Okuboyejo (finalist) – University of the Witwatersrand
– Puleng Maleko-Boyce (finalist) – Nelson Mandela University

FameLab is an international competition by Cheltenham Festivals designed to inspire, motivate and develop young scientists and engineers to actively engage with the public. With over 30 participating countries, it has been dubbed the ‘Pop Idols of Science’! FameLab South Africa is made possible by a partnership between the British Council, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement together with research communication specialists Jive Media Africa.

Jive Media Africa FameLab

Tshiamo Legoale made history on the 8th of June by winning the FameLab International competition at the Cheltenham Science Festival held in the UK.

Healthy and robust ecosystems are essential for the health and wellbeing of the planet. That’s why Jive Media Africa is thrilled to be working with the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology. The principal aim of the Centre’s work is to reduce the rates and impacts of biological invasions by furthering scientific understanding. Engaging […]

Jive Media Africa FameLab

It is with great excitement that we congratulate Tshiamo Legoale on her FameLab SA win at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Johannesburg. Tshiamo delivered three minutes of science communication excellence with her presentation on using wheat as a gold hyperaccumulator from mine tailing dumps, or literally growing gold from wheat! Tshiamo was one of 10 finalists who […]

Jive Media Africa FameLab

You never quite know who you’re talking to… Last year’s FameLab SA final saw an audience member express her immense enthusiasm for the FameLab ‘talking science’ project, hosted by Jive Media Africa in partnership with the British Council and the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement. It turns out that Mrs Ameenah Gurib-Fakin […]

Jive Media Africa FameLab

It is all smiles for the ten contestants who have made it through to the #FameLabSA finals! The competition is fast reaching its climactic end, when these young scientists meet each other at the FameLab South Africa 2017 final. The event will take place on the 19th of April 2017  at the Rand Easter Show,  Nasrec, from 10am to 1pm.

Only one contestant can be crowned the FameLab South Africa 2017 winner. They will walk away with an all expenses paid trip to the international FameLab final in the United Kingdom, and R5000 to spend. Two runners-up will each receive R2500.

Congratulations to the FameLab SA finalists:  
CSIR – Tshepo Makgoba
Mintek – Nanji Sheni and Tshiamo Legoale
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University – Wynand van Lesenoord
University of Cape Town – Dr Sheetal Silal
University of South Africa – Saneliswa Magagula
University of the Free State – Oluwasegun Kuloyo
DST NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeo Sciences – Aviwe Matiwane
DST NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials – Phylis Makurunje and Michael Bodurin

Jive Media Africa will be tweeting live from the finals on the 19th of April.  @JiveMediaAfrica  Tweet us with the hashtag #FameLabSA to show your support for the contestants!

The South African #FameLab winner will be announced here on Jive’s FameLab blog, on Twitter and on our Facebook page.

FameLab ® is an initiative of the Cheltenham Festivals. The British Council in collaboration with the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) and Jive Media Africa deliver the FameLab competition in South Africa. Find out more about FameLab South Africa at