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Mudi-Munaka Mbedzi

2023 Intern

Mudi-Munaka Mbedzi, or Munaka as she likes to be called, believes in everyone finding their magic. She has certainly found hers in the world of conservation and biotechnology. She completed her Honours degree in Biological Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Hailing from Limpopo, she will now be staying in Gauteng where she joins the Biobank at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria as an intern.  

Munaka is assisting with collecting, processing and banking samples from various species of wildlife. In her spare time, she also likes to read and is a great source of encouragement to others. “Find your magic, and never lose it. If you do, find it again!” she says. 

We asked Munaka a few questions to learn more about her inspirations, passions and plans for the future: 

What are you passionate about?  

I am passionate about conserving the environment and finding innovative solutions to solve problems. I enjoy the research and discovery that goes into finding those solutions. 

What inspired your choice of study? 

I have always been fascinated by life processes and wanted to understand how life and nature work. The complexity, beauty and diversity of nature and living always left me in awe. This developed into a passion to protect and conserve the environment.  

What excites you about your internship? 

I am excited about the research component, laboratory work and collaborations with other divisions at the National Zoological Gardens.  

What are your expectations of this internship? 

I hope to learn as much as I can and gain practical experience from exposure to seasoned professionals. I expect to develop professionally and personally through this experience. 

What contribution do you hope to make towards a future in which people and nature thrive? 

I hope to make strides in research for conservation and restoration of the environment and am particularly interested in finding sustainable solutions in the world of biotechnology. I also hope to spread awareness of nature conservation by educating others and advocating for the responsible use of resources so that we have a future where both people and nature can thrive. 

Who inspires you most and why? 

My family inspires me the most. They are the most amazing people I have been blessed to cross paths with. They are incredibly supportive, caring and dependable. Whatever they do is rooted in love and kindness and on days that I cannot show up for myself, they always carry me with gentleness.  

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