UWC graduate becomes first black African woman to earn a biotech honours cum laude

(Cape Town) – Sinazo Bali, 23, from the University of the Western Cape (UWC), has become the first black woman in Africa to earn an honours degree in biotechnology cum laude.

GOOD NEWS: Sinazo Bali, 23. (UWC)

In a statement by the university, Bali said completing her honours degree was difficult as she was unable to secure funding for her studies.

“It’s not easy to get funding because they [scholarships] score you according to your marks and you have to give feedback every now and then,” she said.

Bali studied the physiological and biochemical responses of the plant Salvia hispanica L., commonly known as chia.

 Her supervisor, Dr Ashwil Klein, introduced her and fellow students to the plant.

Chia, which is drought resistant, is native to the mostly arid and semi-arid environments of southern and central Mexico. It is now, however, commercially cultivated in Australia, which has similar climatic conditions to SA.

For the full story: News24