I am part of the fortunate percentage in the world that was born with a twin and two other sisters. I was born and bred in the Eastern Cape that is also where I did most of my schooling. In 2012 I enrolled for a Bachelor degree in Agricultural Extension at the University of Fort Hare. The plan was to get my degree, do Honours and be an adult and get a job. By the time 2016 came to an end I had fallen in love with listening to people’s (smallholder farmers in particular) perspectives about different farming issues. This happened while I was collecting data for my Honours project which was focusing on the importance of community radio in disseminating information to smallholder farmers. Listening to the smallholder farmers and the station managers made me realize how much science communication is an integral part of social and economic development.
After this experience, I decided I wanted a Master’s degree because I wanted to continue working with and learning from smallholder farmers. However, plans changed and for my Masters study I was focusing on the use of Indigenous Knowledge and its ability to improve household income and food security. For my PhD, I decided to go back to “my first love” working with smallholder farmers focusing on using Video-Integrated-Learning as a tool for improving extension approaches currently used to disseminate information to smallholder farmers.
Scientific communication done in an easy to understand manner is what I am passionate about. I enjoy communicating whether it is through pen and paper, video or simple face to face communication. I believe the future of building effective scientific solutions that are acceptable to community’s lies in well-constructed communication channels.