Nick Dall

Underground Explorer

Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa

Keneiloe Molopyane

Curator of the Maropeng and Sterkfontein Visitors centers at the Cradle of HumanKind

“My friends call me Bones.”

Her other nickname is Ariel, because she used to excavate bones underwater in Cape Town shipwrecks. And there’s the red hair. 

Bones is intimidatingly cool. She’s wanted to be an archaeologist from before she could pronounce the word, and has navigated her way through some tricky spots to get to where she is today. In life as well as physically: she was part of the Underground Astronauts in the Rising Star Project – the famous group of ladies who dug up the bones of Homo Naledi. The hole in the ground she had to fit through was 18cm wide. 

“You have to make peace with the fact that if something goes wrong, you’ll have to live down there for a while.” This woman is hard core. 

Today she is the curator of the Maropeng Museum at the Cradle of Humankind visitors’ centre. She hopes to inspire more kids to pursue science as a career, especially young girls.  

Making our shared human heritage relevant to the non-scientific community is always an important project. Not only did we all possibly come from Africa, but we are all the same thing – one species. Keneiloe makes me proud that I belong to hers.

Instagram: @maropengsa @keneiloe

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maropengsa/

#SterkfonteinCaves

#WhereItAllBegan

#CradleOfHumankind

#WorldHeritageSite

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