My Soul Sisters

I have been blessed with fantastic friendships, and I would like to acknowledge them here. Without these extraordinary women, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, so this page is here to say:
“Thank you and I love you!”

Ellen Fischat

Impact Entrepreneur and Founder of the Story Room

Ellen is just gold. What more can I say? She is kind attentive, generous, altruistic and deeply devoted to those she loves. She is also an entrepreneur who gives her all to support African start-ups. I am so glad our paths crossed and connected. Ellen, I couldn’t dream of a better friend!

Fanelwa Ajayi-Ngece

Chemistry Professor and Founder of AmaQawe ngeMfundo

I could spend hours dreaming and talking about the future with Fanelwa (and we do). She knows what the world needs and she makes it happen with all her heart. Fanelwa, thank you for sharing your dreams! We will go on that walk in the campus reserve – one day!

Mmaki Jantjies

Information Systems Professor and Social Entrepreneur

We first connected on Twitter and years later became colleagues, and immediate friends. And when we think we can work towards a common future, it happens! Mmaki is a visionary and a beautiful mum to some amazing young people. Mmaki, thank you for your support through thick and thin!

the Astrofamilies

We are all working in astronomy, we all have kids of roughly the same age, and we share a whole lot!

Amanda Weltman

Theoretical Physics Professor

Beside being an all-together super woman, Amanda is a family friend and probably my favourite home cook! We have been sitting in hospital rooms, at home, out and about, walking our dogs together, always chatting about life, our kids, nothing and everything. Thank you Amanda for feeding us, for the walks and for all the good times.

Vanessa McBride

Astronomy Professor and Colleague

Vanessa is such a joy to work and play with. Whether we’re hiking together, trying to keep up with the kids bodyboarding, sitting in long meetings, or getting stuck in traffic trying to catch snow, Vanessa is always up for it. Thank you Vanessa for all the fun!

Sarah Blyth

Astronomy Professor and Colleague

Always with a smile and a hug, Sarah is always so chill. I don’t know how she does it. Super mum, keeping a whole astronomy department together and finding time to fetch me from chemo, feed the kids or lend me her office if I need down time. Thank you for everything!

Shazrene Mohamed

Astronomy Professor and Colleague

Shazrene is one of the most humble astronomers I know. She is super dedicated to her students and keeps so many balls up in the air. At the same time, she always takes time to visit me when I’m unwell and to share some warmth. Thank you Shaz for your generous heart!

Aimée Challandes

Marketing Specialist, athlete and musician

Aimée and I go way back to our first day in high school! I can’t begin to list the adventures we’ve had, studying, traveling together, partying and more. In high school we promised each other to meet in 20 years’ time. Now, nearly 30 years later and across the planet, we’re still here! Thank you Aimée, for everything!

Bronwyn Lace


When Bronwyn, Marcus, Kevin and I get together, and now our children too, it’s a festival of ideas in art and science. Bronwyn is an accomplished artist and a beautiful soul. We first met under the stars in Sutherland, and while kilometres have always been many between our homes, Bronwyn is one of those friends who makes distance immaterial.

Gersende Prior

Nuclear Physicist and Engineer

There were not many girls in our undergraduate studies! At times it was tough, but today we can look back and smile. We made it. We even got married and had kids, who would have thought about it, back when we were working on micro-canonical ensembles! I am so grateful to still be connected to you Gersende, PH3 girls forever 🙂

Premana Premadi

Astronomer and Philosopher

I first met Premana at the beginning of the Universe Awareness programme. She is so dedicated to young people, to a better world, and she works so hard to make it happen! We’re not in the same half of the planet but we stay in touch. Thank you Premana for all your kindness through the 15+ years and for being around through everything!

Hillary Sanctuary

Physicist, Artist and Musician

Always inspired, always inspiring. Always seeking what’s true, or at least what’s right – for what do we know? I know that the more we chat, the more we realise we have in common. It’s incredible that we missed each other so close at EPFL, only to find one another so many years later. Thank you for the friendship and the honesty and everything else.

Julie Cleverdon

Director of the Cape Town Science Centre

When you live on another continent from your family and the hospital asks you for a person to contact, you were there! Through crazy times and through even more crazy times, between millions of projects and relentless fundraising, you make time for a cup of tea, Tea! What would we all be without you? I mean it!

Tlamelo Lolokwane

Management graduate and superstar

We found each other online. We got together to make something happen. It worked. Tlamelo, you shine like a star, I am so proud of you, you’ll go far! Thank you being so dedicated and always positive. You go girl!