Mintek SA FameLab Heat Winner


Nanji Sheni , a Mintek Engineer-in-training won the three-minute science talk entitled “Waste to wealth through flotation” at the Mintek SA FameLab Heat held in Randburg on 14 March.

Sheni who holds an MSc in Minerals Processing from the University of Cape Town, will compete with other contestants in the regional semi-finals to be held at Wits University on 24 March.

She explained in a simplified way, how the value of waste, by referring to waste tailings dumps in mines can be realised through the “flotation process”.  She acknowledged that waste is a problem affecting the environment and livelihood. She said that, through the process, harmful waste can be treated for recycling.

Sheni said that, “I am very happy for the opportunity and very passionate about science. FameLab presents us with the opportunity to showcase the rest of our talents”.Mintek SA FameLab, participants- Wesley Banda, Nanji Sheni, Tshiamo Legoale and Sizwe Majola

(From left to right : Wesley Banda , Nanji Sheni, Tshiamo Legoale and Sizwe Majola)

Briefing the audience, Robert Inglis, Director of Jive Media Africa, said, “FameLab SA provides an opportunity to grow South Africa’s 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”.

Tshiamo Legoale, Mintek scientist is the runner-up for her presentation “The first cut is the deepest-the role of a geologist in the mining process”.

Winners from regional heats will attend a masterclass training in science communication which will prepare them for further legs of the competition.

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).The competition aims at nurturing science communication with an innovative format. Entry to the competition is open to anyone aged 21 to 35 and working in or studying technology, engineering, medicine, biology, chemistry, physics or maths. This includes private and public sector employees.

The competition started in 2005 at the Chaltenhem Festival and has gone global with competitions held in more than 26 countries. The winner of the SA FameLab final will compete at the international final in UK.