Lindiwe Dim A South African-Nigeria Changing The Recycling World
Lindiwe Dim, a South African-Nigeria, is a 28-year-old influencer changing how recycling is perceived. Guardian Life catches up with her to speak on why everyone should embrace recycling, “Message In A Bottle”,and turning lemons into lemonades.
What would you say about your childhood, particularly as a science nerd and as a South African-Nigerian?
Joyful. I was always surrounded by love from both sides of my family, and I grew up with the majority of my aunts and uncles surrounding me and my three siblings. I was also an overachiever who enjoyed learning. This delighted my father, and I honestly wouldn’t change anything about my childhood.
We are quite familiar with influencers in the beauty, and fashion space, but you are on a unique journey. Did you choose recycling or it chose you?
I believe we chose each other. I’ve always been fascinated by nature and was drawn to natural science. Despite having a degree in Environmental Management, I have no experience as a scientist, so I’ve been looking for ways to put my knowledge to use. Working with PETCO PET Recycling on its educational documentary series provided me with an excellent opportunity to do so, allowing me to continue learning while also helping communities and the environment.
The “Message In A Bottle” campaign by PETCO tells the stories of inspiring people in the recycling industry. How did you become acquainted with this project?
I auditioned for the role because it resonated with me: a young black woman who relates well with various types of people; is comfortable in front of the camera and has an interest in environmental matters and sustainability. Moreso, when I read the brief, i was in disbelief because the recycling industry is traditionally perceived as a male-dominated one, but in reality, many remarkable women and women-run businesses are making waves in it.
How important do you think recycling is and how do you intend for your project to make an impact on the environment?
Recycling and cyclical living are paramount in ensuring our existence as human beings do not destroy the planet any further. Recycling is a way to make use of our waste, so we leave our environment better than we found it. It also creates employment and innovation opportunities. The only way people can start to care and make efforts to change is through acquiring knowledge and I believe the series reached that goal of enlightening people about recycling and its possibilities.
What is one thing that the Nigerian government can learn from South Africa with regards to waste management?
Definitely education. Issues relating to the environment are treated in a lackadaisical manner in Nigeria. If people know and understand the importance of living sustainably, their mindsets can change. If they know plastic has value, they will learn to recycle. Sustainability needs to be made a priority and we can start by teaching it in schools.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
My entire life journey. I can’t reduce my life’s experience to any one thing. I believe all that I’ve overcome and learned to get to this point, all of it together, is my biggest achievement.
You started studying acting but Covid unfortunately hit. How did you feel at that time and what should we be expecting from you?
I was truly heartbroken. It felt as though I had given all I could and still got a ‘No’. It has taken a while for my spirit to recover, but you can expect more authenticity, growth, and a wiser version of me. That will translate into all my endeavours including entrepreneurship, modelling, acting and photography, as well as collaborating with more organisations such as PETCO that truly care about the environment.