Optometry Student Shines
'This is a dream come true,’ said Ms Zaakirah Moola who was awarded a Bachelor of Optometry summa cum laude.
Moola believes that anyone can achieve good results with hard work and dedication and hopes to expand her knowledge in the field of low vision and eye care for the elderly.
‘My goal is to set up eye clinics for the less privileged so that they can receive the best eye care possible,’ she said.
‘My family members were challenged with extremely weak eyesight. Witnessing their struggles while being unable to understand why sparked my interest in studying Optometry.’
The COVID-19 pandemic, which hit during her final year of study, caused major disruptions as she could not attend lectures. ‘However I remained positive and spent more time self-studying and researching the more difficult concepts.’
She said it took some time and mental strength to adapt from a high school environment to university. ‘Apart from that, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UKZN. My lecturers were helpful and I had a wonderful group of friends.’
Moola believes it is inevitable that every student will be challenged during the course of their studies. ‘During trying moments, I prayed and constantly reminded myself that God (Allah) will help me get through it. My motto is “Always let your faith be stronger than your fear”. My parents’ support helped me overcome my obstacles. They always motivated me to do the best I can in any situation.’
Moola comes from a family of five, with two older siblings. ‘We are an adventurous family who love traveling and exploring. My hobbies include painting which I find really therapeutic especially when I’m under stress.’
Words: Nombuso Dlamini
Photograph: Rogan Ward