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Rhodes University academic Professor Tebello Nyokong has been asked to participate in an international exhibition that celebrates 12 prominent women scientists.
Nyokong will represent Africa at the event in Spain in March as one of the National Centre for Research on Human Evolution’s (CENIEH) “Twelve Names to Change the World” exhibition, Rhodes University announced.
CENIEH is a non-profit venture based in Burgos, Spain, which aims to pay tribute to women scientists who develop “generous work for a better world”.
This particular exhibition will focus on the solidarity and social commitment of women scientists from around the globe.
One of CENIEH’s aims is the communication of science and its dissemination to society through various activities throughout the year.
The 12 women scientists selected for the exhibition have been chosen for their excellence in research combined with their strong social vocations.
As professor in Medicinal Chemistry and Nanotechnology and director of the DST/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre at Rhodes University, Nyokong has received international recognition for her work in the field of chemistry and nanotechnology, in particular her pioneering research into photodynamic therapy, which looks at harnessing light for cancer therapy and environmental cleaning.
Nyokong said she was honoured by the recognition and pleased her presence in the exhibition would increase awareness of Africa, and the serious scientific work being done on the continent.
“It counteracts the many images of Africans starving, or at war, providing rather an image of Africa in which women working in science can aspire to.”
Nyokong believes that while it was important to deal with the basic needs of housing, hunger and poverty alleviation, it was equally important to provide role models of success for African women.
The exhibition in Spain will consist of a photograph of Nyokong, a short biography and a video presentation in which she discusses her upbringing and work.
The exhibition coincides with the celebration of International Working Women’s Day.