It drives me to indescribably awesome heights, when I'm invited to speak, perform poetry, and train. When firebrand and mastermind behind Science Stories Africa, Patricia Nanteza, extended a request for me to train some of Uganda's most ingenious scientists on how to creatively share their discoveries to the world, I accepted the invitation in a heartbeat.
This photo captures me embracing the moment as I was engulfed in science.
Courtesy photo: Science Stories Africa
At the start of a much-needed two-month holiday, in June 2019, I plunged into the training. Science Stories Africa is a platform intended to create connections between leading Ugandan scientists and their discoveries, to the rest of the world. The intention is to make science more palatable, relatable and creative. My job was to articulate that and train the scientists into managing their discoveries, difficult laboratory terms and impossible to believe experiments, into stories, so that entire audiences could hear and learn from them.
Allan Muhumuza, Engineer at Kiira Motors EV. Photo Courtesy of Science Stories Africa
In 2008, Vehicle Design Summit (VDS) Teams from 35 Pre-eminent Research Universities built a 5 seater Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, The Vision 200 Led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Let's embrace ourselves, too, for the first electric powered environment friendly public bus. We can't wait!
With Dr. Priver Namanya Bwesigye, Photo courtesy of Science Stories Africa.
Priver genetically engineered entirely new plants, from a process known as cell suspension. Targeting a specific type of matooke highland breed, Priver, in four arduous years, challenged by walking away from the project, depression and fatigue, soldiered through with fortitude. Being able to re-generate plants from cells empowered Namanya and other scientists to try to enhance the plants’ defence mechanism through genetic engineering. This came at a crucial time when the particular matooke breed had begun significantly reducing in quantity. Now, it's possible to reproduce this breed, through genetic engineering.
Martin Tumusiime, of Yo-Waste App!
Yo-Waste, is a mobile app that explores ways of reducing the heaps of garbage in your community, Their mission is simple:
Prof. Wilberforce Tushemereirwe, Director of The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), as a child, experienced the morbid reality of attending burials of other children. As an adult, his observation led him to realize that the large deficiency of Vitamin A in foods, could possibly be a leading factor of those early deaths.
Using Genetically Modified processes, he , with other scientists, have increased Vitamin A content in matooke. He stands by the word that the foods are safe for consumption.
Engineer Alphonse Candia, another formidable scientist, on growing up in Arua, where smoked fish was a delicacy, realised that with tragic deaths from liver cancer, there could be a link to the local ways fish was smoked. Through the invention of a smoking kiln, a prototype that was tested and found to be effective in preserving fish without the dark-smoke, Engineer Candia is heralded for his magnanimous work in science and in improving livelihoods.
Above are the mesmerized crowd, filling the National Theatre auditorium, listening to the heartfelt, endearing and empowering stories of the five scientists.
Photos are from Science Stories Africa.
For me, being part of the enchanting thread where dreams and nightmares turned into possibilities, to hear firsthand how lives are actually changed, thanks to scientists who sharpened their grit to make a difference. It's nothing short of wow!
By Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva