Top geophysicist gets promoted to Associate professor

The first black South African to obtain a doctorate in geophysics was promoted to associate professor in the School of Geosciences at Wits University on Monday, March 11. Dr Musa Manzi, 35, will return to South Africa later this month from Sweden where he is teaching international masters’ students at Uppsala University about African mineral resources.

“My research vision for 2019 and beyond is to use my expertise in reflection seismology and mathematical geophysics to collaborate with researchers worldwide in the field of applied geophysics,” Manzi told Wits Vuvuzela by email.

Manzi, who graduated with a doctorate in 2015 was previously the director of the Wits Seismic Research Centre which he established four years ago.
He told Wits Vuvuzela that the research centre had been established to “assist in easing the significant shortage of skills in geophysics applicable to petroleum, minerals exploration and geo-hazards in Africa.”

Siyanda Mngadi, one of the PhD candidate students supervised by Manzi, told Wits Vuvuzela that his supervisor’s promotion “comes at a great time, to inspire and demonstrate that it is possible for an African child in rural areas”.
Mngadi considers Manzi to be like ‘an older brother’. Given his own background from a poverty-stricken community in Ndwendwe, Kwazulu-Natal, Manzi has committed to uplifting teenagers in similar circumstances by teaching maths and science in impoverished communities.

He says he will be launching the Dr Musa Manzi Foundation in May 2019, through which he hopes to “emotionally and financially assist students on university campuses around South Africa”.
Throughout his academic journey Manzi has racked up accolades and awards, starting when he passed his matric examinations with 98% in Physics and 100% in mathematics.
Manzi encourages his students to “go abroad, enhance their skills, and come back to Africa.”

Originally published in Wits Vuvuzela, on 16 March 2019