A cum laude Bachelor of Physiotherapy Honours graduate’s interest in the profession was sparked after her uncle was hurt in a car accident and needed treatment by a physiotherapist.
Said Ms Andiswa Nzimande – one of three physio honours students to graduate cum laude from UKZN: ‘I feel really honoured to have achieved marks I never thought I was capable of. It has made me realise that I have potential and I should stop under-estimating myself. I am really proud.’
Nzimande, who is from Estcourt in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, said finances had been one of her biggest worries. ‘Life forced me to grow up at a young age. There were times when I had to give my share of my NSFAS allowance to my mom to buy food. I knew it was never enough and I wondered how she managed to feed our family with so little money.’
Nzimande says the challenges strengthened her and helped her achieve academic success.
She thanked everyone who has supported her over the years.
Currently doing her community service at the Dr Malizo Mpehle Memorial Hospital in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape, Nzimande plans to study for a PhD and then open a Physiotherapy practice.
Mr Sunvir Lakhan, who graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in the discipline, said his interest in studying the human body motivated him to enrol for the degree. ‘Physiotherapy was ideal for me as I wanted to understand how the body works and how to restore functioning in the body without invasive procedures.’
He says the support he received from his lecturers, family and friends, made his journey at the University a very enjoyable and relatively trouble-free one.
Currently working as a community service physiotherapist at the Benedictine Hospital in Nongoma, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Lakhan hopes to get a permanent physiotherapy position and continue to help patients in need, especially those in ICU and with Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) conditions.
Lakhan enjoys drawing, gaming, playing soccer, exercising and reading.
The third Physiotherapy top achiever was Mr Asmathullah Yumina.
Words: Mandisa Shozi
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan