Mark Shawa attended a boarding school at the age of seven in a rural part of Zimbabwe. Ever since, he has been independent from his parents. "My love for science came much later at the age of thirteen when I read a book about Sir Isaac Newton. His life story has had a huge influence on how I think about science and that is, "I may not be a genius but that shouldn’t stop me from trying to do great things." After that I became deeply interested in mathematics and physics and later went to study Physics at the University of Zambia. When I first heard about the Next Einstein Initiative, I was intrigued by the idea that there existed an institute in Africa (AIMS) that, from my perspective, promoted genuine creativity and vision. During my stay at AIMS I met many people from different corners of the planet and got an idea of what it means to be an academic, particularly the attitude required to be a leading mathematician or physicist. My time at AIMS helped me become a more focused thinker in almost every faculty of my life. The knowledge I acquired only made me hungrier for more knowledge and it’s for this very reason, I believe, I may be able to solve problems and in general do great things with my life. I will continue my studies in South Africa and hope that someday I’ll inspire young people to have the vision I was given at AIMS.”