Scifest Africa Takes Off

The 26th edition of Scifest Africa began in Makhanda on 7 September and will run until 13 September. We are all set up and ready for an exciting week ahead as we return to a live format.


Says Scifest Africa Manager Samridhi Sharma, “Our theme for this year is Back to the Basics which allows us to acknowledge and appreciate that the basic elements are human needs, and further allows us to understand the foundation of where science is now.”


“Scifest Africa aims to encourage the future generation of scientists and innovators by exposing them to the diverse fields in STEMI, by making science fun and accessible to all.” Says Sharma


The Official Opening Ceremony will be held on Friday, 9 September from 10 am - 12 pm in the Guy Butler Theatre. The Brian Wilmot Keynote Lecture “Getting All Emotional About Teaching Science” will be presented by the renowned Australian science communicator and educator Dr Graham Walker.


Festival  Highlights


All the way from New York City in the United States, Fulbright Specialist and actor Heather Massie presents her award-winning show  "HEDY The Life &  Inventions of  Hedy  Lamarr"  live in Makhanda from 8-10 September. She previously performed this work at the 2021 National Arts Festival. Communicating science through theatre, the show celebrates the unexpected scientific genius of Hollywood screen siren and inventor Hedy Lamarr. Famous for being glamorous, Lamarr defied expectations by inventing technology for torpedoes during WWII. Known as Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum Technology her invention is used in today's cell phones, WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth.


The Kitchen Chemist, Dr Stephen Ashworth from the University of East Anglia, in the United Kingdom returns to Scifest Africa, presenting two exciting workshops - one on  SLIME!; and the other on forensic  science.  Dr Ashworth will also host an  original  show  that offers an entertaining window to chemistry, in particular chemistry that goes on all around us. Using readily available materials and simple equipment, he will show audiences chemistry they can do at home!


Audiences prepare for some seriously mind-bending science, as a festival favourite, Dr Graham Walker from The Australian National University, explodes his way through the chemistry and physics of things that go bubble, boom, bang and occasionally catch on fire in “Dr Graham’s Blow-Up Science Show”.


Combining art and science, Thandiwe Sekhibane from Nna Le Bokamoso Science and Arts Academy will bring an engaging interactive workshop  “Hail Queen Modjadji!” that teaches African and modern science concepts through dance and water. Queen Modjadji is believed to have special powers, including the ability to control the clouds and rainfall.


There are plenty of robotics workshops on offer too. Split Second Science Education Foundation will be bringing the J&J CanDo Robotics Workshop . This hands-on workshop will provide the basic skills needed to use the CanDo Cube (a state-of-the-art robotics platform). FOSST Discovery Centre will exhibit Lego  Robotics to familiarise learners with programming and engineering.


The daily Sundowner Shows will give audiences a taste of the highlights of Scifest Africa. There are dozens of interactive exhibits to immerse yourself in; and even a replica pirate ship the Sea Wolf - all at the Monument!


Ticketing and Bookings


All workshops and science shows are R30, and bookings are essential. Scifest Africa has gone digital this year, so all bookings can be made through the website. There is a physical Ticket Office at the Monument Reception for the duration of the Festival and block bookings can be made by contacting us directly. Discounts do apply for groups!


For a tutorial on how to use the website and make a booking book, click here  A full pdf programme can be downloaded here

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For more information about what to expect and what to see at the 26th edition of Scifest Africa, visit


Please do not hesitate to contact Steph Dvorak at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  should you require any additional information. We look forward to welcoming you to our celebration of science!


Scifest Africa is proudly supported by the Department of Science and Innovation.




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