“I believe that each and every person has a role to play in education. As the KZN Science Centre, the work that we do has a huge role to play in terms of science education. Most people aren’t exposed to science. They have a certain notion of what it is from their grandparents or people before them. We try to demystify those beliefs and show them that anything is possible if you believe and work hard,” says 26-year old, Glenwood resident, Celiwe Chauca, an education officer at the KZN Science Centre (KZNSC).
Chauca started as a volunteer in December 2012 and became an Education Officer in January 2013. She joined the KZNSC by chance as a friend had applied on her behalf. “I found myself there in shorts and golf T- shirt to do an interview. I fell in love with the place on my first day,” she remembers.
Although Chauca dreamt of being a doctor for most of her school career, she changed course and became a geologist after applying for a bursary with Mintek. I became fascinated by the world of crystals of how they come about and their shapes and also the structural part of every building,” she explains.
She graduated with a BSc in Geological Sciences from UKZN in 2010 with majors in Environmental and Engineering Geology.
Chauca says that she really enjoys working at the KZNSC where she develops and implements programmes from scratch. “But the best part is when you stand in front of learners irrespective of where they come from or what they have, interact with them, and listen to their different views. That’s the most humbling experience ever.”
Her goals for the KZNSC are lofty ones – for it to become the biggest organisation of its kind in the country and for it to enjoy even more support and recognition from both government and business. For herself, she would ultimately like to set up a home to care for orphaned children.
She believes that leadership and personal growth are important along one’s career path with a strong sense of humour being one of her most valuable traits.
“The whole drama of life is unique. It’s fascinating. And I’ve found that the skills that work well for one leader may not work at all for another. But the fundamental skills of leadership can be adapted to work well for just about everyone: at work, in the community, and at home,” she observes.
When Chauca is not hard at work, she enjoys watching sports and listening to hip hop music. If you ask her to tell you three things about herself that others probably wouldn’t know, that signature sense of humour comes to the fore – “I’m scared of my shadow, secretly stalk AKA and I love my boys more than anything in this world!”