Dr Thembakazi Mali is bursting with energy
and confidence as she sits down for an interview with PSM Dr Mali powers.
The energetic personality is apt considering that she is a senior manager at the South African Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).
The confidence, she says, is as a result of her upbringing
and was later reinforced while at school, and with it came dreams of conquering the world.
That self-belief led Dr Mali, from Cradock in the Eastern Cape, on the journey to becoming a chemist and renewable energy specialist.
“Throughout my high school life I was in boarding school at the Inanda Seminary – an all girl school in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
As girls we were taught to be confident and never to compare ourselves to anybody Dr Mali powers.
“I carried this lesson with me throughout my life and later, when I was in the workplace, which was dominated
by men, I didn’t see them as men but people,” she explains.
Dr Mali credits being in an all girl school as giving her the edge to push herself and live her dreams.
“The attention that we were given as girls allowed us to believe that we could conquer the world and not worry about anybody else because we were good enough.”
Dr Mali is now the Senior Manager for Clean Energy Solutions: Renewable Energy and Alternative Energy at SANEDI.
The state-owned entity was established after the merger of the South African National Energy Research Institute (SANERI) and National Energy Efficiency Agency in 2009.
SANEDI’s primary role is to direct, monitor and conduct applied energy research and development, demonstration
and deployment as well as to undertake specific measures to promote green energy and energy efficiency in South Africa.
“My portfolio is looking at renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, biomass and the ocean.
Getting onboard with ocean energy Dr Mali radiates energy when she gives a detailed explanation of ocean energy,
which is currently the buzzword in the renewable energy sector.
“The ocean energy component is very exciting for me because it’s still new and not many people understand
the potential that it has to contribute to our energy sector.
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