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Meet Senamile Masango

The first African woman to be part of the first African-led experiment at CERN, PhD candidate in Nuclear Physics, Global Goodwill Ambassador.

Senamile Masango, popularly known as Sena, is Founder and Chairperson of Women in Science and Engineering in Africa (“Wise Africa”). Wise Africa is an NGO registered with the Department of Social Development that provides leadership and role models for young people wishing to enter the fields of Science and Technology. Highlights and addresses challenges faced specifically by women in these fields. She matriculated in Mlokothwa High School in 2003. Her formal qualifications include BSc in Physics and Electronics from University of Zululand; Diploma in Project Management from Varsity College and Honours BSc in Physics with a Nuclear Physics major 

from University of Zululand, MSc in Nuclear Physics at University of the Western Cape (UWC) passed with Cum Laude. Her career life has always been marked with determination and leadership attributes from an early age. Once, she opened her house as a study centre for Grade 10-12 learners in her community, to whom she also provided Maths and Physics lessons, as well as career guidance. She also donated all her high school study material and books to learners who couldn’t afford to buy prescribed textbooks, while she assisted university entrants with application process and fees.

Special Projects & Contributions

  • Sena has been invited to talk shows on numerous Radio Stations and television such as Gagasi FM, SAFM, Kaya FM, Ukhozi FM, Afternoon Expresso, Vuma FM, Cape Talk radion and Nongoma FM, ENCA, featured on Move Magazine and ANN7
  • She is a professional Project Manager

Her past portfolios include, among others:

  • Executive Member of Project Management South Africa (KZN Region)
  • Executive Member in Faculty of Science and Agriculture in UNIZUL
  • Secretary of UKZN PMB Athletics
  • Deputy Secretary of Peace Aid International
  • Chairperson of Young African Women in Leadership
  • Project Manager and Acting Director at CMA Consultant Engineers
  • Teaching Maths and Physics to high school learners
  • NEC member at Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF)
  • Chairperson of United African Youth

She is all about:

  • Women empowerment, she would like to see more South Africans, including herself, graduating in PhD
  • Passionate about education, she wants to contribute in making RSA education system a better one
  • Contributing in RSA’s technological and economic growth
  • Improving high school pass rate in Maths and Science
  • Being a good role model and a mentor
  • Changing lives of the youth, especially from the disadvantaged background
  • Bringing Science to people and encouraging more black researchers in scarce skills
  • Making education fashionable in her lifetime

Milestones & Achievements

  • 2016 She presented her Masters Physics work at South African Institute of Physics
  • She made history when she was honoured as a First African woman to be part of a first African-led experiment at CERN; (She also received an acknowledgement from the former president)
  • She was invited in parliament (South Africa) to be part of the International woman conference 2017, she mad a speech addressing issues that are faced by women in science especially women from the disadvantaged backgrounds, where her passion is at she want to take science to the people
  • She has made a lot of international head line written in different language like French and Turkish. Her story is all over the Internet
  • She was featured in the first ladies documentary that was broadcast in 14 African countries
  • She was one of the speakers at the 4th SA-China Symposium
  • She is an Associate Member at CERN
  • She worked with Laura Owing who is a reporter with, where she contributed on the article “Brain Drain” in Africa, which covered science graduates that are either unemployed or not pursuing careers in science
  • She was a candidate for Science for today 2017, chosen amongst more than 100 applicants all over South Africa. Her work was published in Mail&Guardian newspaper in 1 December 2017
  • She was an invited speaker International Workshop on “Physics Opportunities using CAGRA and RCNP tracking Ge detector” (CAGRA17). This was her first International talk and more are coming
  • She was just featured at the Home Away Show, that was broadcasting in USA
  • Invited at Fermilab (USA) March 2018: to be the first African to attend the Detector school
  • Nominated in the woman of stature award under education category
  • Keynote speaker in the movie premier (wrinkle in time) hosted by women in science Atlanta (March 2018)
  • Featured in Destiny Magazine June issue (2018)
  • Had a privilege to address the President Cyril Ramaphosa on the importance of having more PHD’s graduates more than 3 times
  • She was part of first African-led experiment in Triumf Canada and this is going to be her PHD experiment (July 2018)
  • She represented South Africa at a Brics youth summit in Russia (June 2018)
  • Invited at University of York in the UK to be part of their nuclear instrumentation training (April 2018)
  • Invited to be part of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum 2018 in Russia. The Eurasian Women’s Forum is the world’s biggest influential platform for duscussing the role of women in contemporary  society. The Forum is aimed at consolidating and developing cooperation among female leaders for addressing urgent problems and strengthening the atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding in a world based on the universal values of humanism, rights and dignity
  • Invited speaker at a Pan-African conference on restoring and reviving African dignity for the Africa we want through advancing the History of African idea. Her panel discussion was Harnessing the contribution of African Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship in the Global knowledge economy. She shared a platform with the former President of Ghana His Excellency John Maharnan and Her Excellency Dr Nkosazana Dhlamini Zuma, former AU Chairperson.
  • Invited speaker at Forbes Woman Africa leading women summit 2019, she was part of South Africa’s young intellectuals and she shared a platform with Naomi Campbell
  • Invited as a special guest of President Cyril Ramaphosa in his inauguration, May 2019
  • Invited as a special guest of the Premier of Kwazulu Natal – (Sihle Zikalala) in his State of the Province, where the Premier honoured her for raising the flag of Kwazulu Natal
  • Keynote speaker at the woman the brand conference that was held in her hometown KwaNongoma
  • In commemoration of Youth Month (June 2019) the Solution Space at University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business partnered with Senamile Masango Foundation where young people from township had a chat with Senamile, a career in Nuclear Science
  • She is a leader of a research team representing South Africa as part of Brics Young Energy outlook 2019
  • Partnered with Lasec Education where she is raising money to provide science kit in rural schools
  • Through her foundation she travels all over Africa to motivate young girls to take science subject at school
  • She has partnered with many organizations advocating advocating for free quality education because no one choose to be poor and she is passionate about education
  • Received an award from Thobeka Zuma foundation for playing a significant role in inspiring youth under the field of science and technology
  • New member recognition award from Golden key society, a monetary acknowledgement for new members who excel academically, hold leadership positions, committed to cummunity involvement and participate in extra-curricular activities alongside their scholarly commitments


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