Tiwonge Mzumara-Gawa
Malawi's leading ornithologist
University of Cape Town
  • After losing her father in a car accident, Tiwonge was raised by her mother who worked hard to put her and her siblings through good schools and always emphasised the importance of education.
  • After graduating with a BSc in Biology, Tiwonge was awarded a Tropical Biology Association scholarship to Uganda where she was introduced to the field of Ornithology, which now drives her passion for biodiversity conservation.
  • On return to Malawi, Tiwonge found that there was only one Ornithologist in the country (who at the time was away for studies) and she knew immediately that this was a gap that she needed to fill.
  • Tiwonge went on to obtain an MSc in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town on a Canon Collins scholarship and then a PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • In 2014, she won the IUCN/IRF Young Conservationist Award which helped highlight her ground-breakinging work to conserve birds in Malawi.
  • Tiwonge currently works as an Ornithologist at Museum of Malawi.
Greatest achievement: 

Having the opportunity to pass on the specialist skills I have learned to others.

Professional interests: 

Conservation, Ecosystem Management, Environmental Education

Current occupation: 
Ornithologist, Museum of Malawi