Prosper Maposa is our personality of December
By Fabrice HUMURA, Regional Media and Publications Officer.
Trust me, the name Prosper MAPOSA is not new within IPSF, particularly in the AfRO region where we saw him take the lead on various platform. He could spared some time with us and AfRO media and publication officer could interview him. So here is how it went!
As we start our interview, tell us who Prosper Maposa is.
Hello I am Prosper Maposa and in short, we could say I am a passionate pharmacist with interests in Global Leadership. I am part of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers community. I have post graduate training in Procurement and Supply and I am currently pursuing further studies in Health Economics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Everyone has a specific story of how they partook pharmacy, what is yours? Was it out of the blue? Share with us on that
It’s actually a funny story. I had always been a fan of making things (translating ideas into products that people find useful). So I was going to do engineering in South Africa, I got my placement but was not sure if I wanted to spend six years away from home. I then decided to apply to a local university for fun, after getting all the grades, I then decided to apply for pharmacy. Since then, I have always dreamed of inventing a cure to HIV one day.
While in pharmacy school, what was your favorite lecture?
Pharmaceutics was always interesting! It gave me an opportunity to imagine what happens to medicines and what they do to the body. I went further with it and most of my research has been in nanotechnology for which our team received grants and awards.
What leadership positions did you hold while still in school? (Prior IPSF positions)
I used to be the convener of our local student conferences, coordinator of national public health campaigns and I sat on the board of the Pharmaceutical Society of Zimbabwe to represent students. I was also the President of the Zimbabwe Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (ZPSA)
You are known to have led in various IPSF platforms starting from AfRO chairperson, how did you catch the bull by its horns and emerge as leader to such great level?
Well this was one of the most exciting and adventurous period of my life. It was filled with a lot of personal sacrifice for the greater good. I had to save a bit of money and apply for grants and support. This allowed me to travel for conferences, workshops and trainings and presented a platform for me to network with pharmacy leaders globally. In IPSF I managed to learn the official documents and leapfrog for changes that ensured the empowerment of our region. My journey in IPSF started with me being a Contact Person and Official Delegate for Zimbabwe, I was then elected to the position of AfRO Secretary then AfRO Chairperson then IPSF Vice President then IPSF Advisor and lastly, I worked tirelessly with the team that brought the IPSF World Congress to AfRO for the first time in over two decades.
Pharmacy is a demanding career which needs complete dedication, sometimes while studying. How did you manage leadership and studies?
I owe most of the gratitude to the soft skills trainings that I got whilst I was in IPSF. It is not easy as I sit in a couple of boards, volunteer for the profession, have a full time job and also go to school. The key is self discipline and learning the honest art of saying no when you genuinely know that you can’t deliver on certain opportunities.
This year we are celebrating 10 years of AfRO existence, how do you rate AfRO’s performance so far?
AfRO has grown and evolved and I am proud of the achievements the subsequent teams have been carrying forward. I hope we keep the momentum as a region and develop more sustainable and repeatable projects with committed partners.
Could you Share with me some of the great memories you had while you were chairperson?
Great memories were the times I met old friends and also the making of news ones at events. I am proud as I look back at people who I saw being new to IPSF, those I have personally worked with and are also on their way to becoming iconic leaders in the industry and globally. I have worked with a couple of executive committees and AfRO Region Committee, and a lot of young pharmacists have become family! We go to each other’s weddings etc. Becoming a global citizen is amazing.
You have been travelling in many countries meeting different people from all works of life, how have you been seeing the Pharmacy career in terms of opportunities and improved practice?
I think travelling is important for exposure however it is what you do with the exposure that matters more. The profession has been evolving and the need to integrate emerging technologies is even critical in Africa to maximize use of the available resources. Opportunities are there but I would like to pose a challenge so that we can create more of them through innovative thinking.
What advice can you offer to young upcoming pharmacy professionals?
The future is bright and it needs for you to start positioning yourself now. Volunteer and learn, try new things, don’t wait to become a professional start now because your life is not a rehearsal it is the real thing.
We are almost done with our conversation, but before departing I’d love to hear your parting message.
Let us enjoy the world whilst making it a better place. Always remember that we owe it to the future generations. If you and I are committed in what we do success is imminent through learning, collaborating and innovating.
Thank you Maposa for your time and great insights.