The world may have joked about the COVID-19 Omicron variant by changing its name to “Omarion,” but that’s not the reaction that the scientist who discovered it, Sikhulile Moyo, is solely concerned about. The first case of the variant was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa, and since its discovery, Moyo has become disappointed in the world’s response. Moyo is a research associate with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the lab director of the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership team that was responsible for identifying the Omicron variant this past November. The New York Times reports, four international travelers contracted COVID-19 on Nov. 11, four days after entering Botswana. After further analysis, the scientists discovered the genetic sequence of the case was unique and foreign to the research and public community.
Dec 20, 2021
At a young age, his love for the consumption of stories about the stars and the moon helped him develop his passion for indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) research, specifically indigenous astronomy. Fast forward to 2019, Motheo Koitsiwe made history as the first to receive Africa’s first Ph.D. in indigenous astronomy from the North-West University (NWU) in South Africa. “This passion was ignited by my late grandmother, Mmamodiagane Tladinyane, when she narrated stories, poems, riddles, [and] songs of African night skies and cosmologies around the fireplace,” Dr. Koitsiwe shares with Face2Face Africa. It was years of the oral traditions of storytelling inspired by the cosmos that motivated him to investigate the African indigenous astronomy of the Batswana in South Africa and Botswana. In centuries past, Africans relied on the natural world around them to keep track of seasons, time, and directions as there were no gadgets like mobile phones and clocks to help with timekeeping. For...
Dec 2, 2020