Change the world



Atherton Mutombwera graduated with a B.Pharm Degree in 2014 and in April this year graduated with an MSc. Cum Laude in Nanosciences. Atherton describes how childhood interest has led to this achievement.

When I was in primary school my cousin and I would mix all the tablets and plants we could get our hands on, and claim to have discovered the cure for AIDS. This fascination with discovering “drugs” led to me studying Pharmacy at NMMU. The Pharmacy program not only provided the knowledge I needed, but also fueled my passion for healthcare delivery. Just before completing my B. Pharm I was invited for an interview by the Mandela Rhodes Foundation (MRF), after having applied for the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship. During the interview I heard myself say “I love drugs”, in response to one of the questions that the interview panel had asked, which is genuinely how I feel about healthcare provision. The workshops I attended with the MRF, which were on leadership, reconciliation, education and entrepreneurship taught me a great deal about myself, and life. The support I received from the MRF, and my fellow Mandela Rhodes Scholars sharpened my tenacity while I was studying the M.Sc. Nanoscience (Nanobiomed). Firstly, the Nanoscience program provided a theoretical understanding of Nanoscience and its applications. Secondly, the module on entrepreneurship provided insight into the use of Nanoscience to solve scientific problems and also create employment. Lastly, the research component of the project provided an opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge gained. My research under the supervision of Prof S. Roux and Prof M. Meyer was to develop components to an Ebola rapid diagnostic device.  Both the Nanoscience and Mandela Rhodes Experience have led to my growth. 

Atherton Mutombwera

Atherton celebrating with champagne given by colleagues