Call For Stories: Youth Month 2022 – #TheScienceStruggleIsReal

It’s not easy to be a scientist these days (or ever, really).

You have to study for years – often in a second or third language. You have to put up with late nights in the lab, experiments that don’t work out like they should, the challenge of having to work incredibly hard to figure out a new way to tackle nature’s mysteries, all while trying to find funding and deal with committees, and so on. 

And for so many of us in this country, we have to do this while dealing with poverty, hunger and other pressing issues.

In other words, #TheScienceStruggleIsReal — and it’s no wonder so many young people don’t think they have what it takes to make a success of it.

But we know they have what it takes — because South African youth are no strangers to struggle.

This month, we commemorate the June 1976 Youth Uprising, where students came together to achieve great things in the face of repression. We celebrate the power of leadership, and of dedication, and of education. And we remember the long and difficult road that has brought us to this point. 

It is a day that reminds us of the power of young people to change the world — for the better.

So…are you a young scientist or technician (35s and under only, sadly — but we know you’re all young at heart)? Have you overcome great odds to get to where you are? And do you want to help inspire the next generation to be all that they can be, 

Well, we want to share your story with the world – and let the youth of today know that #TheScienceStruggleIsReal…but it’s worth it.

What we’d need from you:

Well, mostly, we just need you to be your wonderful self – and to tell us all about it.

  • EITHER A short (5 minutes or less) video highlighting the story of your struggle.
  • OR A short article (600 words max), letting us know how you got to where you are.
  • At least three good quality images (of you, your work, and/or your struggle).
  • Focus on the story behind your work, not the work itself.
  • Use plain language: it’s for the youth, after all..

We want to know: 

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • What struggles have you overcome to get to where you are?
  • How did you do it?
  • How can other young people do the same?

Express interest to submit a contribution by 31 May by emailing Fulu at or via WhatsApp on 0728822332. 

Not sure how to get started? Not to worry – just check out our helpful hints below, or contact us to find out more. And if you need more inspiration, check out these 4 Famous Scientists and How They Struggled.

Helpful Hints: Getting To Know You

So you have a stellar success story that you’d like to share, full of struggles and triumphs and really excellent science…but you don’t know how to put it into words? Well, why not try answering a few of the questions below – and see where that takes you?

  1. Can you tell me a bit about your background? [Where were you born? Where do you stay now, if that’s different? Where did you go to high school? Any siblings? That kinda thing.]
  2. What do you do? [Give a brief description of what your job entails / Describe a typical work day.)
  3. What inspired you to pursue this career? And what keeps you motivated?
  4. What’s the toughest challenge you’ve ever faced (so far)?
  5. What’s your secret? How did you manage to excel / overcome your challenges? 
  6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
  7. Do you have any role models or heroes or folks that you admire or would like to acknowledge for their support over the years?
  8. If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
  9. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
  10. What are your dreams? Where do you see yourself in ten years?