Senamile Masango

1st Aug 2019

The queen of science- Women in Nuclear

Explaining what she does: “We smash particles in order to unlock the mystery of the universe and we also want to understand the interaction that happens between neutrons and protons”-Senamile Masango.

Senamile Masango (31) graduated with a Master’s degree in nuclear physics cum laude and studying towards her PhD. Born in the rural village of Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, in May 1987, she says her mother is a princess from the Zulu royal family while her father was a chief inspector and leader. Her interest in science was planted at Mlokothwa High School when she was merely 11 years old. Having started school at the age of four, she was able to enrol at the University of Zululand at the age of 16.ย  She failed a few modules and also fell pregnant.

She made history as one of a few black female scientists to experiment at one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research, CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland two years ago. These are dreams she didn’t think she would fulfill as she fell pregnant at the age of 20 and lost that same child in a car accident three years ago. The sky is not the limit, she hopes to one day take over the reins at the problematic Eskom.

Matric at 16
Enrols for physics/electronics degree
Graduates 2009
Enrols for nuclear physics honours
Now Masterโ€™s student nuclear physics
Founder of NGO, SA Women in Science/Engineering

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