EH!WOZA and its various programmes engage adolescents and young adults from areas with high rates of HIV and TB (and recently COVID-19) to participate in workshops with high-impact biomedical research. Participants are invited to reflect on the individual, social, and emotional cost of disease through creative workshops providing technical skills, equipment, and conceptual guidance, and leading to the production of documentaries, poetry, and music videos. Media is disseminated digitally, through local news partnerships and in-person screenings.
Dr Anastasia (Tasha) Koch co-founded of Eh!woza together with conceptual artist Ed Young in 2013. The Cape Town-based organisation operates at the intersection of public engagement, youth advocacy, science communication and skills develop to merge the biology of infectious disease with its social impact.
Tasha graduated with a PhD from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2015, and in 2017 was awarded a Carnegie Corporation DEAL fellowship to use genomics to understand the pathobiology and transmission of M. tuberculosis under the mentorship of Prof. Digby Warner in the Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit (MMRU) lab at UCT.
In 2020, facilitated by a Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award in Public Engagement to establish Eh!woza as an independent NPO, Tasha shifted focus to work on Eh!woza full-time while maintaining a part-time position in the MMRU lab as an Honorary Lecturer.
Tasha has a strong interest impact assessment models for public engagement that can be applied locally and translating complex biomedical concepts into relatable media that can effect meaningful change. Her work with Eh!woza was selected as a Falling Walls Engage winner in 2021.