Eskom Expo for Young Scientists alumnus, Mosalashuping Emmanuel Setlhapelo’s unwavering passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) has positioned him as a remarkable individual ready to make a significant impact in the scientific world and beyond.
A passionate and accomplished individual hailing from Mafikeng in the North West Province, Mosalashuping became captivated with Eskom Expo after seeing research projects showcased by young scientists. “I used to cut out the pictures from the booklet and paste it into my vision board years ago. And when I got to my first science expo, I was impressed and visited almost all the projects just to learn from others,” he says.
Mosalashuping’s involvement in Eskom Expo yielded notable achievements. In 2009, during his Grade 9 year, he secured a Silver medal at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair.
Science Fair (ISF) and the Faraday Award, accompanied by a cash prize for his individual project. In 2010, he earned a Bronze medal at the Regional Expo for another individual project. The following year, Mosalashuping collaborated with a friend for a group project, which garnered them Bronze medals at the ISF, and a fellowship award from the school.
Mosalashuping completed his matric at Kismet Secondary School in Vryburg in 2012, setting the stage for his journey into the world of science. He furthered his education at Nelson Mandela University, pursuing a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry from 2013 to 2014.
In 2015, Mosalashuping gained valuable experience through his experiential training at the Resource Quality Information Services, a directorate in the Department of Water and Sanitation, where he received comprehensive training in various aspects of laboratory work. Building upon this foundation, he returned to Nelson Mandela University to complete his Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) in Chemistry, further honing his expertise.
Driven by his eagerness for knowledge and personal growth, Mosalashuping continued his studies while working. In 2020, he achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Management in Business Financial Management, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Water Management in 2021. These accomplishments, coupled with his involvement in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists from 2009 to 2011, have broadened his horizons and instilled a sense of humility within him.
“I was born with a passion for STEMI, but I can recall when the learners were asked to do a presentation, or oral, in the natural science class in Grade 6 on the human respiratory system. I was the only learner who went the extra mile to build a model and do a presentation on it and achieved a 100% mark on it. I think that was when my passion intensified. Even before doing science, I used to look at my late father’s science textbooks, i.e., New General Science Form 2 + 3 by C.J. Muller Sr and Jr, W.A. de Klerk and A.M.L Thomas, and I used to see all the experiments in them,” he says.
Outside of his academic pursuits, Mosalashuping has a keen interest in fitness, marathons, mind-developing games, and utilising social media, productively. He established his own YouTube channel, Mosa – The Scienthlete, where he shares his passion for science experiments, fitness, marathon tips, and integrated educational fitness games.
Mosalashuping’s insatiable curiosity to understand how things operate holistically has driven him to explore diverse areas of study. His postgraduate diploma in management has provided insights into the interplay between business processes and the implementation of scientific principles in organisations, emphasising the importance of mental wellness for employees’ performance.
Throughout his academic journey, Mosalashuping has been actively engaged in community outreach, particularly through the Beyond the Classroom (BTC) programme at Nelson Mandela University. Additionally, he has served as a judge and science demonstrator at Eskom Expo’s district expos.
His career highlights include becoming a registered professional scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions, an accomplishment he achieved last year. “I am keen to work with anyone to get a new challenge. We as humans must expand our horizons, just like the universe is expanding,” he concludes.
Registration to take part in Eskom Expo opens on 15 January 2024.