Zikankuba Sijali grew up in the Mwanza region on Kome Island in Lake Victoria and was interested in animal health from an early age. After helping his mom with the cattle, poultry and spending time at a farm extension center when he was in primary school, Zikankuba decided he would one day become a veterinarian.
At the extension center, he learned about improving village livelihoods with professionals from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), the university where he recently earned his veterinary degree. Vet school offered Zikankuba the chance to pursue his long-term interest in wildlife as well as livestock. After courses in wildlife immobilization and treatment and learning more about wildlife and connections with people and domestic animals, he wanted to explore zoonotic disease at the human-livestock-wildlife interface.
Zikankuba’s dream to become a researcher led him to the HALI Project, where he is now coordinating the PREDICT Project and leading field activities for the VISHA project, focusing on diseases that can move from wildlife to people. He has received advanced technical training in disease surveillance, biosafety, safe animal capture and handling, molecular disease diagnostics, zoonotic disease transmission and wildlife conservation. Zikankuba enjoys living and working in Iringa, but he also loves the Lake Zone and coast, where he could always find his favorite meal, fresh fish with ugali. Thankfully, PREDICT is now also working in the Lake Zone!