Phoebe Mgxaji flew the South African flag high in the Beijing Science Competition

Phoebe Mgxaji (16)
Phoebe Mgxaji (16)
image via Good Things Guy

Phoebe Magxaji, an exceptional and dedicated learner from Curro Sitari in Stellenbosch, excelled in the recent Beijing Science Competition.

Young Phoebe was one of four girl scientists from South Africa who were selected to exhibit their work in the 39th Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition. The young women were asked to exchange innovative ideas about science and technology under the theme "Discovery, Innovation and Responsibility'. 

According to an article by Expo Science, Phoebe won two awards, taking home a silver medal in the Bio Medical Science category and a special award. The awards were sponsored by the Beijing District Government, and included a cash prize of RMB2000 (about R4291.46).

Also read: How Obakeng Leseyane went from not knowing a word of English at 10 to becoming an entrepreneur and giving Ted-X talks at 21

Landing herself in a major world competition like this one was not easy for Phoebe. Her journey to the Beijing Science Competition started in the regional rounds, and then in October last year she was asked to do a showcase of her project in front of a panel of academics and professionals at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair. 

Her project focused on food labels, and details how she found that the public do not really understand or trust, the information on food labels. "People are not aware of what they are eating, because the information is too scientific, or filled with numbers that regular people don’t understand," Phoebe says.

The competition aimed to tackle contemporary issues in our everyday lives and Phoebe based her project on tackling the issue of obesity, by reducing the use of jargon on foods labels and increasing the information around the nutritional contents.

Also read: "This is Africa's time": Kenyan teacher wins $1m at international teaching competition

This was Phoebe's first overseas trip, and she told journalists "I feel honoured to have been awarded the special award and the silver medal. I know that there were many people who had great projects in the competition, but to have been chosen as deserving a medal, I honestly do feel honoured. I am also thankful to everyone who had helped me throughout this project, because without them I most probably wouldn’t have gotten where I am now.

After high school Phoebe is planning to study Cardiology, as "What you eat does affect your health, and your health does affect your heart."

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