MEET: Tshepiso Maroga, Science communicator from Sci-Enza, the first African interactive science centre

Posted on May 08, 2020

Establishing a dialogue between science and society is one thing that scientists are passionate about. Tukkievaria speaks to Tshepiso Maroga, the Science communicator at Sci-Enza about her passion for science.

Where did you work prior to joining UP?

Upon completion of my BSc Degree in Geology at UP, I joined Sci-Enza as a National Youth Services Volunteer which is a program offered by South African Advancement of Science and Technology Agency (SAASTA) for unemployed graduates. I worked there as a junior science communicator. Little did I know that the experience I was acquiring would open massive doors for me in the science communication field. I then moved to Mokopane Biodiversity Conservation Centre in Limpopo where I was appointed as an environmental educationist. My innovative, creative and critical thinking came in handy as I was tasked to start an education centre from scratch without resources. Post that, I got appointed as a science communicator at Sci-Enza science centre. To date my work experience in the above mention field is equivalent to five years and I am hoping for more growth and evolution.

What does your day-to-day role entail?

Our department is quite complex. But in a nutshell, my calling is to impart knowledge and that is what I do at Sci-Enza. My days are hardly predictable, I develop educational content for school learners and members of the public, coordinate both funded and non-funded projects, liaise with stakeholders, develop content for presentations and workshop facilitation, administration, procurement of materials, training of new interns and the list is endless.

What attracted you to UP?

What drew me to UP is the culture of networking with different expertise. The Cultural diversity that exists within the university allows us to learn more about countries that we have never been to, through their nationals. Positive work ethics that I have experienced throughout and prior to my duration of service which I got a glimpse of while I was doing student jobs on campus.  

What do you enjoy most about your job and why?

My job requires you to always be on your toes, always be aware of what is happening around the world academically, socially and politically and I have become that. Every day is a learning curve and the journey does not end as there are new discoveries each day and you learn while you enjoy working. I enjoy travelling because I go out there to get an inspiration from our counterparts and implement it in our centre, if applicable. Also, I like that travelling is an opportunity I get to explore certain places and their intrinsic values. My work environment lets you be a little bit of everything e.g. an engineer, an agriculturalist, chemist, physicist, a psychologist, a nanny and many more.  

What is your least favourite part of the job?

Not getting my job done on time.

Is there a piece of advice that you have received that you would like to share with colleagues?

Listen to your inner self. Life does not have limits, only the ones you set for yourself therefore go out there, multiply your gifts, nourish them and flourish. 

What do you do in your free time?

I read a book. Currently I am reading “Heads you win” by Jeffrey Archer

What are your personal likes and dislikes?

I embrace nature hence I enjoy visiting national parks. I also like a good positive attitude because it takes you far places. I dislike the opposite of a good attitude, laziness and a purposeless life. 

Quick quiz: Tshepiso’s favourite:

Sport: Netball

Food: samp and lamb stew

Movies: The No 1 Ladies detective agency

Actors: Tyler Perry

Musician: Lettah Mbulu (not yet uhuru)

All-time hero: Both of my parents. Through them I learnt what the most priority aspect of life is. Their motto is “educate your children to free themselves from dependency”. To date, I value education be it formal or informal, they both serve the same purpose.

- Author Tukkievaria

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