NAS Women: Positivity in people and a willingness to always show kindness is inspiring
Women’s Month: Focus on Dr Hanri Taljaard-Swart
Q: Job title and in which department/research entity do you work?
A: Lecturer and researcher for the BConsumer Science (Clothing Retail Management) degree in the Department of Consumer and Food Sciences.
Q: What has been the highlight of your career?
A: There have been quite a few highlights along the road. One of them is getting my PhD in 2020 and sharing my knowledge and findings surrounding sustainable clothing consumption and well-being with a larger audience through conferences, articles, and social media. Another highlight has been and still is teaching. The privilege of somehow being part of shaping a student’s future is rewarding and remains a highlight.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Positivity in people and a willingness to always show kindness towards others no matter what. In addition to that, nature remains one of the most inspiring aspects on this earth, and I am ever so often drawn back to nature for inspiration, renewal and reflection.
Q: What challenges have you experienced in your career?
A: Every day brings its challenges that are dealt with - especially nowadays, planning becomes very difficult and multiple scenarios are not adequate to anticipate what might happen next week. One can choose to take them on and manage them rather than letting them overwhelm you. As academics, I think we are often placed in very stressful situations when it comes to teaching, research and career development, which could make this job very challenging. However, one has to rise to the challenge every day and strive to do one’s best without pushing the boundaries of one’s mental and physical health.
Q: What message do you have for the youth of South Africa?
A: You are the change-makers of tomorrow, so live your life to the full and always do so with love, kindness, and compassion. You are capable of anything you put your mind to, so chase your dreams and never give up on them until you have reached your goals and aspirations.