Tuesday 05 June 2018

As South Africa celebrates Youth Month in June, one of the country’s brightest young minds and the winner of FameLab South Africa 2018, Emmie Chiyindiko, is heading to the UK where she’ll represent the country at the FameLab International Final 2018, at the Cheltenham Science Festival from 5-8 June 2018.

Currently pursuing a research MSc in Chemistry, Emmie’s research is based on synthesis and characterisation of a unique series of metal complexes.  Using chemistry techniques such as electro-chemistry and computational chemistry, properties that make these complexes of great interest are explored. "Metal complexes have tremendous application potential in science and industry. They are mostly used as highly-efficient catalysts in manufacturing industry which in turn will up the production levels across the globe." said Emmie who's researching a method to use catalysis more effectively in solving our everyday problems.

Each contestant will deliver a three-minute presentation on their chosen topic. Every presentation will be judged according to the golden rule of the 3 Cs: content, clarity and charisma.

Finalists from across five continents will compete to be named as the most interesting, accessible and charismatic science communicator by a panel of expert judges. The final will take place on Thursday 7 June from 8.45pm - 10.15pm (UK time) at The Arena in front of a packed Cheltenham Festival audience. Thousands will watch the live-stream around the world via FameLab Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/famelab

This year’s finals will feature contestants from 27 countries: South Africa, Malta, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Poland, Greece, Egypt, Italy, Ireland, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Thailand, Portugal, UK, Netherlands, Korea, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Brazil, Spain, Romania, Cyprus, France, and Australia.

You can also keep up with all of the action on Twitter by following @zaBritish, @FameLab and @CheltSciFest, and join the conversation using #FameLab.

Notes to Editor

About FameLab

FameLab® was started in 2005 in the UK by Cheltenham Science Festivals and is a successful model for identifying, training and mentoring scientists and engineers to share their enthusiasm for their subjects with the public. It is implemented by the British Council, together with local partners, in over 31 countries, including Mauritius, Uganda, the USA, Brazil, Thailand, Qatar and Kazakhstan to name a few. In SA, the competition is implemented in partnership between the British Council, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (a business unit of the National Research Foundation) and Jive Media Africa.

The competition has a strong capacity building element with a year-long training programme and heats hosted by various science, higher education and research institutions across the country. One semi-finalist is chosen from each of these heats. The prizes include science communication Master-class training for the 20 semi-finalists as well as a R5000 cash prize for the winner and R2500 each for the runners up. A highlight for the participants this year was the Master-class conducted by renowned BBC science journalist, producer and communicator, Quentin Cooper.

About Jive Media Africa:

Jive Media Africa creates innovative, cutting edge communications; grabbing attention and conveying crucial messages in accessible ways. An award-winning multi-media company, Jive Media Africa produces media strategies and products that challenge and inform, making a difference in the areas of Science and Technology (Jive Science), Biodiversity Conservation (Jive Earth), Children in the context of HIV/ AIDS (Jive Children) and Human Rights (Jive People). Jive Media Africa strategises the best combination of media for the message, and importantly, for the target audience. 

For more information, please visit http://jivemedia.co.za/. You can also follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JiveMediaAfrica 


The South Africa Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) is a business unit of the National Research Foundation (NRF) with the mandate to advance public awareness, appreciation and engagement of science, engineering, innovation and technology in South Africa. SAASTA’s contribution to the NRF’s vision is to grow the pool of quality learners today who will become the scientists and innovators of tomorrow. All science engagement programmes within the NRF reside under three key strategic areas that combine to form an integrated and seamless approach. 

Through education we build up the supply of tomorrow’s scientists and innovators. Through communication we celebrate South African achievements in science and technology and build the public’s appreciation of the benefits of science. By growing the awareness of science through exploration, exhibitions and actual experience, we instil in people an enthusiasm about the wonder and application of the subject, while encouraging greater public engagement in SET issues. By taking overall ownership of science advancement initiatives within the NRF and on a countrywide scale, SAASTA is responding to an organisational as well as national imperative. 

For more information, please visit http://www.saasta.ac.za/ 


Ntambudzeni Tshiswaise, British Council: Newton Fund and HE Grants Manager

Tel: 011 5609348. Email: Ntambudzeni.Tshiswaise@BritishCouncil.org.za 

Charlotte Rampasard, British Council: Communications Manager

Tel: 011 560 9348 Cell: 082 9368978 Email: Charlotte.Ramparsad@britishcouncil.org.za 

Robert Inglis, Jive Media Africa Director

Tel: 033 342 9380/2 Cell: 084 357 7333 Email: robert@jivemedia.co.za

Joanne Riley, SAASTA, Science Editor: Science Communication

Tel: 012 392 934 9 Email: joanne@saasta.ac.za

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. 

For more information, please visit: http://www.britishcouncil.org.za/. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through https://twitter.com/zaBritish