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“I am very pleased, happy and most of all very proud of myself. It was not an easy journey but I guess hard work really does pay off,” said Wendy Snoyolo Masika jubilantly. 

The ambitious Masika, who is also the only scientist in the family, will be graduating with her Master of Science (MSc) in Biotechnology at the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Virtual Graduation on Monday, 30 November 2020 at 12h00. 

Being innovative and developing new strategies and technologies is definitely what she loves doing, and Biotechnology was the answer.  

Masika said that she is very sad that she won’t be able to have a formal graduation ceremony 

“COVID-19 has robbed us of a very special occasion, but our safety and lives and those of others matter more. Kudos to all those who obtained their qualifications in 2020, at least we will have something good to show off this year,” she said. 

For her, also being a post-graduate student was tricky, as it’s tough because now one needs to manage one’s time and be up to speed with one’s research and writing. 

“The same amount of energy that I put in while studying is the same amount of energy I got from it or even more. Also, doing what you love is one of the biggest motivations anyone can have. No one will be pushing you, so you will need to motivate yourself,” she replied. 

One challenge that hit her the most whilst pursuing her MSc was losing her mother. She found it hard to carrying on and she lost one year of studying, but she rose again and obtained her qualification with a Cum Laude.  

“Unfortunately my mother passed on but I know she would have been ululating so loudly when I told her I passed with a Cum Laude. She was very supportive when it came to my education. My dad was super happy and I could see that he was very proud of his little girl,” she said. 

Currently, she is employed at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria as a Candidate Researcher, and obtaining an MSc was definitely part of her plans, and when CSIR offered her a bursary for her Masters she did not think twice. 

In terms of her career path, Masika is exactly where she wants to be.  

“I want to make a difference in the Biotechnology industry and broaden my knowledge in science. I still want to pursue my PhD and be Dr Masika,” she said. 

Her advice to other future students wanting to embark in such a field is that if one wants to make a difference, that’s the only way one can be a successful scientist.  

“The course is challenging on its own but the industry is broad and has so much to give, you just need to find your niche and succeed,” she said.  

Pictured: Wendy Snoyolo Masika 

Waheeda Peters 

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