Top Bachelor of Optometry Graduate Pays Tribute to her Grandma
Family and friends of Ms Philisiwe Ximba ululated when she graduated as UKZN’s Best Overall Final-Year Optometry Student, winning a Genop Holdings - Stephen Hugo Award for the achievement.
Her grandmother dug deep into her pension funds to support Ximba’s first-year fees at UKZN after she had matriculated from the King Zwelithini High School in Eshowe. ‘I was fortunate and thanked the almighty when I received a provincial Department of Health bursary at second-year as it allowed to me focus on my primary goal which was my studies and finishing my degree,’ said Ximba.
Ximba worked hard, receiving 14 Merit Certificates, a Dean’s Commendation, and an award for Excellent Work Ethic. She was also named Best Dresser at a Student Christian Fellowship function.
‘I am honoured and astonished to graduate as the top student in Optometry,’ she said. ‘It came as a pleasant surprise to me and in all honesty I didn’t expect it. Achieving my degree means a lot to me because I can now inspire the youth back home that everything is possible when you work diligently regardless of where you come from.’
Ximba said she was determined to pursue a masters and a PhD in Public Health. ‘I chose optometry because I always wanted to know more about the eyes as we all know they are the windows of our souls. My dreams keep me going.’
Ximba said she has learned that there are no short cuts in life. ‘If you want to achieve something, let nothing stop you no matter the circumstances. Hard work, focus and sacrifice will bring results.’