Nathasia Muwanigwa at a lab bench using a pipette. Photo provided by Nathasia Muwanigwa
Nathasia Muwanigwa at a lab bench using a pipette. Photo provided by Nathasia Muwanigwa

Nathasia is a Zimbabwean, first gen PhD at the University of Luxembourg who uses advanced 3D stem cell models to study Parkinson’s disease. She is an aspiring science communicator with a passion for promoting inclusivity and diversity in STEM, and motivating youth towards STEM careers in Zimbabwe and Africa at large. (Instagram: @mudiwa1409, Twitter: @Tasia1409)

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?

Pro-pun

3 Do you have any pets?

Back home in Zimbabwe I have a Maltese called Ziggy

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

I have a canvas print from @geniuslabgear that says – “Science made wine. Do more science.” And a measuring cup shaped as a conical flask.

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?

Cooking

6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?

Savory

7 Do you speak any other languages?

Shona (one of the native Zimbabwean languages). Plan on taking up French soon.

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Journalist/writer

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

Something Chemistry related

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?

Somewhere in the Caribbeans

11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

The Power of Healing

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

Definitely read Superior by Angela D. Saini. And How to Grow a Human by Phillip Ball.

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Watch some skin care videos (I’m obsessed) and/or Netflix, go out for a meal or cook something nice, catch up with friends.

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

Moisturizer, music, something to read

15 What beverage gives you life?

Gin Tonic

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

Can’t think of one off the top of my head but I did read alot of encyclopedias.

17 What did you want to be be when you grew up?

A medical doctor

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Coming from Zimbabwe, a pretty turbulent place economically and politically, I have seen just how hard life can get and how nothing is a given. I’ve learnt to make the most of whatever situation I am in and take the lessons as they come and just make the absolute most of my life in the ways that I can. I’m also driven by my desire to make a positive impact in any way that I can.

19 What got you excited in science?

I loved science from a very young age because I was always keen on understanding how and why nature works the way it does. However, getting to do my own research project during my Bachelor’s really inspired me. I loved being in the lab, doing my own experiments, having a specific research question, thinking about what my results (or lack of results) meant..

20 What excites you about science now?

How much more information is available than when I was a child and how easy it is to learn about different disciplines that are outside my comfort zone.

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Sour candy. Like the kind that almost burns your tongue.

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I’m a pretty good cook

23 What is your favorite game?

Anything that involves logic and problem solving

24 What is the last book you read?

Superior by Angela D Saini

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

Stay true to yourself.

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Bungee jumping

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

Don’t let people take advantage of your kindness…

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

A warm bath, a scented candle and some good chill music

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Typewriter

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

Dog treats for my dog

31 What is your favorite animal?

I’m a dog lover

32 What is your favorite book?

Currently it’s Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Mushroom Soup

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

The 29th of September. Two of the most important people in my life were born on that day

35 What is your favorite plant?

I have a thing for cacti

36 What is your favorite science fact?

That humans share over 90% genetic similarity to other primates

37 What is your favorite season?

Spring

38 What is your favorite smell?

Vanilla

39 What is your favorite sound?

Smooth RnB

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My sense of humor and wit. I think I’m hilarious 😀

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

Mudiwa. It means “the loved one” in Shona. And it’s technically my first name 😀

42 What is your proudest moment?

Graduating top of my Bachelor’s cohort and getting a full scholarship for my Master’s and getting my PhD position. I know that’s 3 but they are all kinda related and equally important milestones on my journey.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

A baobab tree – aka “The Tree of Life”.

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

I live in Luxembourg and its incredibly multicultural

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I have lived in 5 countries – Zimbabwe, Botswana, Cyprus (the south side), the Netherlands and now Luxembourg

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

@katiewhatsoever