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zinhle mthombothi

Junior Researcher, South African Centre of Excellence in Epidemiology Modelling & Analysis (SACEMA), Stellenbosch University


Go for it with all you have.

What do you do?

I develop mathematical models that use observed data (about infectious disease characteristics) to predict how transmission dynamics of infectious disease will be altered in the future.

Why did you choose this field?

My field is the integration of mathematics, biology, and epidemiology which provides me with the opportunity to follow my passion for mathematics whilst dealing with health related issues. 

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

"[Maths] can be applied to so many different fields."

I wish younger me knew that mathematics was more than finding x. 

Why do you love working in STEM?

I always look forward to learning new ways to apply my mathematical skills and address health related questions about disease transmission dynamics.

Best advice for the next generation

Don't let anyone tell you it cannot be done or that it is hard. Others before you have done it, so can you! Go for it with all you have and don't allow yourself to fail. If you fall, get up and try again.

Role model 

I know its cliche, but my role model is my mom.