Table Talk

'Women still have to prove we can be scientists': SA’s 'queen' of epidemiology

Quarraisha Abdool Karim is a woman of substance, writes Nivashni Nair. She also has a thing about pot plants

08 August 2021 - 00:00 By nivashni nair

Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim had a garden at her previous Durban home. Now living in a flat, she uses what little spare time she has to nurture greenery in pots. Two ginger plants that have grown to maturity and a vibrant pumpkin patch have restored her ego, she says.

It is strange to think that a woman of her accomplishments would need ego-boosting. Quarraisha (to differentiate her from her fellow professor and husband of the same surname) is one half — some, including her husband, say the smarter half — of SA’s royal couple of epidemiology...

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