Khethokuhle Good-Gift Hlatshwayo is a young passionate and goal driven scientist who grew up in rural areas in Bergville, Zwelisha (KZN) where he developed a love for the environment. He pursued a BSc Life and Environmental Science (with Human Physiology and Zoology Majors) and BSc Zoology Honours at the University of Johannesburg. Currently, he is working for a small consulting company as a Junior Aquatic Ecology specialist, I am one of the few South African Scoring Systems version 5 (SASS5) accredited scientist, registered with SACNASP as a Candidate Natural Scientist. He has conducted numerous surveys all over South Africa and international surveys (eSwatini, Lesotho). As a young scientist, he is keen to make our environment great again and would love to motivate other young scientists, especially from rural areas to realise that, what ever your situation may be, follow what you love, dreams never lie, we can still make our world a better place.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am very much proud of completing the post-graduate studies (Honours) and still keen to continue studying further, passing my SASS5 accreditation. I am still looking forward to many more accomplishments yet to come but doing international field surveys has been the most interesting surveys I have ever done so far.
Who has inspired you in your career?
There are a lot of people that I draw my inspiration from and one of them is my one and only young sister (Zama), she loves science too much. Career wise it has to be my colleagues at work, to be the best aquatic ecologist in Africa is the goal on target.
What is your dream research project? Where would you work and with whom?
My dream research project is looking at the diversity aquatic invertebrates communities and fish communities that occur in West African countries, with Russell Tate, Michael Ryan, Dale Kindler, and Christian Fry, very interesting guys to work with.
Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
I see myself being one of the best and diverse ecologists in Africa, travelling all over the world for different and interesting surveys.
What secret talent do you have?
My secret talent is dancing, not a lot of people know that unless you were very close to me in my young days, but I still got it 😉
What do you miss most about the pre-Covid19 world?
I miss seeing people’s facial expressions, either when they talk to you or meet you on the street. It’s the small things that matter like those, that we take for granted.
What is your quote to live by?
I always live by the words “I was not born to blend with the rest”, that makes me push more on being different and outstanding.