Mmaki Jantjies is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Western Cape. Dr Jantjies also researches on the development and use of emerging technologies to improve science and mathematics education. Furthermore she works with various schools to teach basic ICT skills to infuse technology into their classroom education.
Why did you get into STEM?
Growing up, I had a keen interest on technology. When I was around 13 years of age, my parents bought a computer. The store representative who came to install the operating system and setup the computer, told me how he was earning so much from installing operating systems. I was intrigued and found the process of operating system setup to be so easy! This was one of my first interactions with a computer and as my parents were not too familiar with it, my siblings and I became the lead computer operators at home. I also realized the opportunities that the tech field held for me and followed my passion on being able to create and innovate in this space.
What do you consider your greatest achievements?
My greatest achievement is the ability to transfer skills to young women and men who will one day become leading technology experts. Being able to also contribute to research with an African perspective on technology use in improving education and emerging technology use also gives me great fulfillment.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM and how did you overcome them?
Every field has its own challenges. Personally I have learnt that remaining focused on why I do what I do has been a key factor in everything that I do. Being able to follow my passion and staying true to what I stand for, that is what has helped me take each day as it comes.
What is your advice to budding women in STEM?
Be true to yourself in any STEM field that you find yourself in. Stay focused and be steadfast in what you believe in.
Image obtained from: http://www.inspiringfifty.com/inspiring-fifty-south-africa-2017/