VUT LECTURER LISTED ON THE 2023 MAIL AND GUARDIAN’S TOP 200 YOUNG SOUTH AFRICANS
By: Nontobeko Moimane- 11 July 2023
Dr Zondi Nate (29) a Chemistry Lecturer and Researcher at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), was recently listed on the Mail and Guardian top 200 young South Africans of 2023 under the education category.
It was his passion for science and research that led to his colleague nominating him to be part of the initiative. “It is overwhelming and an honour to be recognized among this year’s Mail and Guardian visionary leaders. A special thank you to everyone that contributed to my development” stated Dr Nate.
Dr Nate holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of KwaZulu Natal (2021) – from VUT, he obtained his Magister Technologiae (M-Tech) Chemistry in 2018; a Baccalaureus Technologiae (B-Tech) Chemistry in 2015 and a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry in 2014.
He believes that when you want something, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
According to the Mail and Guardian, the youth are South Africa’s key to reaching greatness and for almost two decades, the publication has continuously recognized the impact the South African Youth make every day through 200 Young South Africans initiative. “These young people are actively shaping South Africa and playing a pivotal role in building its future. It is one of the most popular editions of the M&G, widely anticipated by our community and beyond.”
According to his profile on the Mail and Guardian website, Zondi’s research focuses on developing diagnostic tools for neglected tropical diseases and synthesis strategies for nanomaterials used in wastewater treatment and as diagnostic tools. To date, he has published 15 peer-reviewed research articles and contributed to three book chapters. Since 2016, he has helped high school learners from disadvantaged schools with facilities for chemistry and physics experiments. A man of many hats, Zondi is a mentor and a judge at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.
He aims to open a laboratory that will focus on developing diagnostic tools for tropical diseases. The laboratory will also teach chemistry, nanotechnology and research methodology to young people and assist learners from underprivileged communities with science practicals. “I have always believed that we can use science to solve our everyday challenges such as access to clean water and good healthcare facilities. I would like to see a South Africa where your geographical location, social and economic status does not determine the quality of education that you will receive. I believe we can work around this to ensure that all schools are inclusive and well-equipped to develop the leaders, scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs that this country needs,” he said.