Oyandi Sentse hails from a small rural area called Dongwe Location, outside East London, Eastern Cape.
Oyandi is a proud Vaal University of Technology (VUT) graduate. She obtained two qualifications from the institution, i.e. BTech and MTech in Chemistry. She is also a former VUT laboratory chemistry tutor.
The journey to her most recent achievement; a master’s in Chemistry began when she first enrolled at Walter Sisulu University Postdam Campus for a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry, after which she moved to VUT for a BTech programme in 2017, which she completed within record time and graduated in 2018. In 2018, without wasting any time, she enrolled for her MTech degree and graduated in 2021 winter graduations.
Working under the dissertation: ‘’ Synthesis of Age2X (X= SE, TE &S) Nanoparticles and their polymer Nanocomposites for the removal of FE (III) and CR (VI) from wastewater. She best describes it as a thesis which aimed at synthesizing nanoparticles of silver and incorporate them with chitosan to form polymer nanocomposites and use the polymer nanocomposites as adsorbents to remove Cr (VI) and Fe (III) in wastewater.
Oyandi further mentioned that her work will contribute to the body of knowledge by creating new knowledge about synthesizing nanoparticles. “This is because the current methods used to synthesize nanoparticles have disadvantages such as the use of organic solvents which are toxic, high temperatures and some of the methods are very expensive,” she says.
“In my thesis, the nanoparticles were synthesized at low temperatures and using water as a solvent. The method was simple, and did it require any complicated setup. My method to synthesize nanoparticles is environmentally friendly, a form of green chemistry,” she says.
“Achieving my goal feels great. I am currently assisting students with their research projects. This is a tutoring-mentoring programme which I started in 2019, looking for full-time employment,” she said.
Advising fellow students, she says: “All I can say to students who want to further their studies is that they must go for it. Furthering your education exposes an individual to recent trends and knowledge in the field of interest and offers an opportunity to the skills necessary for the competitive world of work. Most importantly studying further contributes to an individual’s sense of self-worth and better self-image.”
Oyandi plans to enroll for her Ph.D., continuing with research in the field of water treatment.
Oyandi’s studies were funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
Article by: Qhawekazi Memani