Rebecca Manzou

A woman wearing glasses and a colorful jacket.
Acting Director of the Zimbabwe Meteorological Services and Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe with WMO

I come from a long line of successful farmers who used indigenous knowledge to understand the weather. I was intrigued from a young age by the role of meteorology in agriculture and this was also my key to success.

Ms Manzou thinks finding a good balance between family life and her career is one of her greatest achievements. She has supported her husband in his diplomatic career, accompanying him during his mandate as Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva. With a particular interest in WMO activities, Ms Manzou was later seconded by her Government to the WMO. While being passionate about her work in meteorology, she prioritized staying home to raise her two children and is now blessed to be a grandmother. 

Why meteorology?

Ms Manzou comes from a family of successful farmers. They used indigenous knowledge, combined with advice from extension workers, for seasonal forecasting. She was, therefore, intrigued from a young age by science and the role of weather forecasts in agriculture. When the university introduced the first MSc in agro-meteorology, Ms Manzou was delighted to be among the first students to take the programme and understand the connection between weather and farming.  

Overcoming challenges and key to success

As a young professional, Ms Manzou found it difficult to find role models in meteorology, which used to be a predominantly male profession. Her father was the one who encouraged her to persevere and supported her decision to pursue a career in this field. Her husband and children are equally supportive, which helps overcome challenges. Her passion for meteorology as it relates to agriculture was also key.     

Advice to young female scientists

  • Be focused
  • Find a mentor
  • Play hard and work harder.