Getting to know Zama

Zama describes herself as someone who loves nature and the sea breeze, and she says the tree breeze soothes her soul. 

“Nature is a place where I can be at peace with the world and myself. It always reminds me that important things in life are free.”

Zama oversees the mammal collection and its storage spaces at DNSM. She is also responsible for the dissemination of knowledge through educational programmes, including behind the scenes tours and exhibitions.

In terms of the mammal collection, Zama is responsible for specimen preparation, processing, and curation of the collection; integrated pest management in collection spaces; processing accessions (donations) and loans; annual inventories and audits; databasing and cataloguing of specimens; maintaining specimen records; and conducting behind the scenes tours and exhibitions for the mammal department. She also supervises and mentors inhouse interns and volunteers.

Zama sees natural science collections as important because of the irreplaceable knowledge that they hold and the massive contribution they make in understanding biodiversity, evolution, population genetics, and the environmental impacts of climate change, bridging the gap between the past and present. 

Since working in collections, Zama has enjoyed doing behind-the-scenes tours and exhibitions. She is fascinated by the misconceptions people have about museums and collections. She recognises that at some point, she was one of them, until she started working at the museum and has gotten indepth knowledge and understanding about collections. She believes that education and awareness programmes are vital tools that help bridge the gap between museum collections and the general public.  

Zama as a young leader: Zama believes that leadership starts with self-awareness and being in tune with your inner self. She further believes that as a leader, you must know your strengths and weaknesses, know when to be vulnerable and not, and understand and cultivate your leadership style. She views leadership as a process and a mental game that gets better with self-improvement. 

“It all starts with ‘self’.”

As the saying goes, “Youth is the future.”  Zama believes that investing in young leaders is like investing and building for the future, so it’s easy to pass the baton on to the next generation. 

Moving forward, Zama would really like to take more initiative in most things at work while communicating effectively and clearly with all parties concerned to avoid unnecessary conflict. 

Importance of the workshop: Zama sees the workshop as an opportunity for improving her personal and professional growth in leadership as well as helping to identify her strengths and weaknesses and areas where she needs to improve in order to enhance knowledge transfer within her institution.

She is looking forward to meeting everyone, as she always finds it a pleasure. She is also looking forward to the activities, presentations, engagements, and all the fun and hard moments that are going to come with the workshop.

Foreseeable challenges: 

“I always get a little bit overwhelmed each time I have to step out of my head and comfort zone. Hence, I went above and beyond to be part of this workshop because I take it as another tool presented in my life for self improvement.”

Therefore, the fear of the unknown, curiosity about how intensive the training is going to be, and public speaking are some of the things that Zama is anxious about. 

Preparation for the workshop: 

“Listening to podcasts on leadership on YouTube, and a little bit of reading and researching.”

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