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Young Unisa researcher listed amongst the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans 2024

On 27 June 2024, the Mail & Guardian newspaper, in partnership with several sponsors, celebrated their 19th year of honouring the brightest young minds and trailblazers in South Africa under the age of 35, through the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans gala dinner held in Johannesburg. The event was held to shine a spotlight on young South Africans shaping the future of our nation.

Dr Tshimangadzo Munonde, 33, a Senior Lecturer in Analytical and Environmental Research at Unisa’s Institute for Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability (iNanoWS) in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology,  was listed as one of the top 200 Young South Africans 2024 in the Education category, which is  sponsored by education finance company Fundi. Munonde is involved in the supervision of master’s and doctoral students whose research projects are related to water quality monitoring and the treatment of wastewater. After working on a project in a rural area where villagers relied on river water that was contaminated with arsenic, Munonde is now focused on humanitarian projects.


Dr Tshimangadzo Munonde at the awards dinner 

The Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans flagship project is an initiative that recognises future leaders in South Africa who are having a positive impact on society. To be eligible for this recognition, nominees should be aged 18 to 35, and be committed to the development of South Africa in 17 categories that include education, sport, agriculture, financial services, governance, justice, arts and entertainment, health, and technology. It has become synonymous with excellence, celebrating the youth not only as the leaders of tomorrow, but as agents of change today.

Reflecting on his recognition by the Mail & Guardian, Munonde said: “I am filled with immense gratitude for being selected to receive the 200 Young South Africans 2024 award. The honour of having my work recognised in this way means a great deal to me, and I am deeply touched that the work I am passionate about also resonates with others.”

He continued:  “My advice to the youth is to prioritise education. In a world dominated by ‘grind-and-hustle culture’, education is often overlooked. However, I firmly believe that education is not just about acquiring skills for employment; it is the most crucial tool we can use to develop ourselves, our communities, and the world at large. The most impactful human beings on earth have reiterated that education enhances critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, thus they recommend it to every young person who would like to make an impact on the world. I concur very much with this line of thinking.”

Unisa salutes Dr Munonde for hoisting the Unisa flag high.

* By Dr Nozipho N Gumbi, Communication and Marketing Specialist (acting), College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Publish date: 2024/07/02

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