Kanyisa Royana grew up with her two girl cousins (her Sisters) in Mdantsane, 15km outside East London. They lived with their grandmother and grandfather – who passed away in 2009. From thereon, her gran supported them and became beloved mother and father to them in their home.
This example of tireless love and fierce determination taught Kanyisa to always give of her best, which she did throughout her schooling at Nyameko High School. Kanyisa scored straight ‘A’s during high school and her accomplishments lead to her being invited by Engen to attend the progressive Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) Programme hosted at the University of Fort Hare campus.
At Fort Hare Kanyisa excelled and thanks to her performance (and straight ‘A’s) she was offered an Engen Bursary to study for her B.Sc. degree in Maths and Chemistry.
Few education success stories begin where Kanyisa’s story did, but she believes that God gave her abundant talents to use to the best of her ability. Having given her very best meant that she graduated from university at the end of 2016 with a coveted Batchelor of Sciences degree.
Thanks to joining Engen’s Graduate Development Programme – Kanyisa now finds herself ‘in heaven’. Today she works in her favourite place: Engen’s highly sophisticated Chemistry laboratory, where she tests motor oils, fuels and lubricants. Working at Engen’s Lubricating Oils Blend Plant in Durban, Kanyisa’s ability to master the science of analysis is invaluable. And she is doing what she loves: grappling with seeing and understanding what the eye cannot perceive.
Kanyisa sees her God in Science and through Science she sees the beauty of the world. She would like to become a professional scientist one day, putting her love for her scientific world to discovering how God has connected it all. “I would love to find or develop something that makes this world a better place,” she says.
Should Kanyisa do so, she would be honouring her beloved grandmother, her heroine, who continues to make her world a better place. And whilst the two now live some distance apart, there is still no place like home for Kanyisa. After all, Mdantsane has proven the perfect laboratory for her talents. Both Mdantsane and Kanyisa’s granny can take pride in an accomplished daughter who now works in a world-class laboratory testing and analysing products that advance Engen’s goal of providing quality petrochemical products that drive the wheels of the South African economy forward.