President of Dow Sub-Saharan Africa, Ross McLean, told the recipients of bursaries from the company that their journey towards a career in chemistry would require vision. ‘We can help a bit but most of the energy will have to come from you,’ he said.

McLean visited Wits along with other senior members of Dow and spoke to the students about what made them choose chemistry.

Bursary recipient Pearson Mururi said he enjoyed the fact that chemistry enabled him to solve problems that were relevant to everyday life. Bursary recipient Kamogelo Butsi said she’d chosen the subject because she enjoyed organic chemistry in Grade 12 and thought that chemistry would be a good platform on which to build her career.

Managing Director of Dow Southern Africa, Sazi Lutseke, described her own career path which began in chemistry.

‘You can show people what you do just by picking up a tube of toothpaste,’ she said. ‘The product that sits on the shelf can’t get to the shelf without the approval of a chemist. You’re there to tell people whether it’s a go or a no go.’

Acting Dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor Helder Marques, thanked Dow for their contribution. ‘There is no doubt that some of our students struggle financially and any injection helps them to focus on what they’re doing.’

Marques told Dow that Wits students would be ready for industry upon graduation. ‘Secondary education in this country is in dire straits but we try to take the best students we can find and show them that there is a career path for them in chemistry. We will not compromise on the quality of the final product. We never have, and we never will.’

Article issued by Wits University.