Her specialisation might be Nanotechnology or, “the science of small things,” but Dr Nosipho Moloto is one scientist who is making huge strides.

Moloto, who grew up in KwaMashu, just outside Durban, believes that she was born a scientist. “I was an inquisitive child who always asked questions,” says Moloto. After high school, she was awarded a scholarship to study Chemistry at the University of Zululand, a pioneering South African institution for Nanotechnology.

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She went on to complete her MSc and PhD in Nanotechnology at the University of Zululand and the University of Manchester and later studied at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Now 35, Moloto is an associate professor at Wits University’s Chemistry Department where she leads an independent research group of 15 scientists.

They are studying the application of Nanotechnology in delivering cheap solar power to marginalized communities, as well as its use in gas detection and in the early diagnoses of disease. Outside of the lab, Moloto is a mother of two, and passionate about nurturing Africa’s future scientists.

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When she was a student herself, Moloto co-founded the Nanosciences Young Researcher’s Symposium, and is proud that it is still going strong after ten years.

|The hardest lesson I ever learnt is to do it yourself.|

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