MASTERS CHEMISTRY GRADUATE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE SAFETY OF HUMANS AND THE ECOSYSTEM
By Qhawekazi Memani 14 December 2021
Thriving with a solid support structure of her parents who are looking forward for their daughter to pursue her PhD next, Busiswe Dagracia Mabaso was born and bred in Breyten Kwa-Zanele Mpumalanga Province, she started her primary school at Siyacathula Primary School and proceeded with her senior primary education at Mkhomazi Senior Primary School and completed her matric at Masizakhe Senior Secondary School.
Busisiwe started her journey at the Vaal University of Technology in 2013 when she enrolled for the National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry. “I completed my Work Integrated Learning (P1/P2) in 2015-2016 at Samancor Eastern Chrome Mines and graduated in September 2016. My studies were funded by the National Financial Aid Scheme. I enrolled for B-tech degree in Chemistry also at VUT in 2017 and I was offered a bursary by the Ministry Qualification Authority,” shared Busisiwe.
Busisiwe describes her academic journey as having been quite a challenging experience but with resilience and dedication she was able to stay focused.
On 22 November Busisiwe graduated with a master’s degree in Chemistry, under the dissertation titled: “2,2 Dithiobis (benzothiazole) complexes of Ni and Cd: precursors to nanoparticles and their electrochemical properties and interactions with Rhodamine B”.
The main aim of the thesis was to synthesis a novel electrochemical sensor and to modify the sensor with CdS and NiS complexes and their nanoparticles modified glassy carbon electrode to establish electrochemical properties of the sensor as well as to determine electrochemical ability of the modified electrode. Busisiwe’s supervisor was Prof MJ Moloto and her co-supervisor was Prof N Moloto.
“According to the International Research on Cancer, Rhodamine B carries carcinogenic risk. This study aims to solve a worldwide environmental problem, the illegal use of organic dyes in food, textile, paint and paper industry has been considered a great threat to the human health over the years. Over the years the sensors that have been devolved were found to be commercially unfavourable because of their low stability and low electroanalytical activity. So, developing a sensor with high selectivity and high sensitivity for determination of trace amount of Rhodamine B using nanoparticles is necessary to ensure the safety of human beings and the ecosystem,” said Busisiwe.
Graduating Busisiwe says: “I have somewhat conflicted feelings. I feel a sense of relief, proud and satisfaction that I have accomplished a long aimed milestone on the other hand I feel a bit of trepidation leaving a place that has dominated my life since I was a teenager taking the next step to the wider world. However, every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”
Busisiwe is currently doing a program with NRF-SAASTA which aims in helping MSTA schools with mathematics and sciences.
Asked to share advice to people looking up to her Busisiwe said: “I don’t believe in giving advices to anybody. At the most, I may make some suggestions that can be investigated, pros and cons analysed and then decision taken. Other’s experience must just be information, and everyone must put in efforts and gain their own real time experience. Everyone is blessed with talent and skill and it becomes the responsibility of the individual to identify this, encourage and develop. Let everyone be their original self and live a life according to their own experiences. Also set their standards much higher, they should not be like me but better than me.”
Now that she has obtained her master’s degree also shared that ever since she started doing the school-based programme, she has started developing the love for teaching, she intends to enrol for Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Maths and Science and once she secures a stable job, then she would like to enrol for her PhD in chemistry.”
Busisiwe’s M-Tech studies were funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF).