I live in Alexandra and when there are heavy rains sewage comes up into the streets. The water that comes up there stinks and it is really unhygienic. The area also floods and a lot of kids play in that dirty water because there is nowhere else for them to play.
Last year, two of my classmates, Bathabile Monati, Dineo Shayi, and I were chosen to be part of the I Am Science project at the Goethe-Institut. We were chosen because our marks are above average. When we went to Goethe, we were told, ukuthi, we would be doing experiments and making videos of those experiments.
After we did that, Dineo, Bathabile and I decided to raise awareness about waterborne diseases in Alex, using video clips and posting them online. We are doing it because we are hoping it will get us a bursary. My mom’s a cashier and my dad’s in retail, so they can’t really afford to send me to university. I want to be a gastroenterologist.
I also love science. It’s fun. What I’m learning at I Am Science, I want to teach my other classmates when I go back to school this year. I want to show them that science is not boring — especially for the girls, because sometimes boys have an advantage.
I want us, as women and girls, to make an impact in the world so, for our project, we are working throughout the school holidays. There’s no break for us. We need to do everything we can to make sure, ukuthi, we have a better future. We just want Alex to be a safer place to live in. And to be able to live a life of purpose. — Thabisa Dobe, 16, as told to Carl Collison, the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the Mail & Guardian