Wanting to make a difference and create jobs in her community, Port Elizabeth scientist Nomahlubi Nazo developed a way to heal wounds and scars using fish scales and walked away with top honours at the second phase of the South African edition of FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme last month.
Nazo, 35, of KwaDwesi, was among 10 finalists at the Nepad Sanbio African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum’s FemBioBiz competition in Cape Town, which is aimed at bioscience entrepreneurs in the Southern African Development Community region.
She impressed the judges with a bio-polymer that can heal wounds and prevent infection.
The substance is made by extracting the collagen from fish scale waste and adding essential oils. Speaking after her triumph, Nazo said being a part of the competition was a stepping stone towards making her dream a reality.
Nazo graduated from NMU with a diploma in polymer technology before doing a BTech at Tshwane University and then an advanced diploma in polymer technology at UCT.
Nazo, a mother of two boys, said she had been compelled to make many sacrifices for her family in pursuit of her dream.
The idea for her gelatin-like invention came to Nazo when she was pregnant with her first child.
She was worried about her caesarian scar and was looking for a product she could apply on it when she was given access to some fish scale waste from a pilchards factory and recognised the possibility.
To get her product, she soaks and crushes the scales and then adds essential oils.
Nazo is due to attend the finals of the Fe