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Class of 2018: Nuzhah Adams, Educator Extraordinaire

Author: Aidan van den Heever & Nicklaus Kruger

Nuzhah Adams did not let Keratoconus stand in her way of achieving her dreams - she earned her Bachelor of Education summa cum laude, and plans to be the best Maths and Science teacher she can be.

Class of 2018: Summa Cum Laude BEd student graduates against all odds

Nuzhah Adams recently graduated from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) with a Bachelor of Education degree in Mathematics and Natural Science - subjects of particular importance in South Africa, and in a globalized world of ever-changing technology. And she did it with the highest honours, summa cum laude. And she didn’t let her Keratoconus disorder stand in the way of achieving her dreams.

“I worked extremely hard, never accepting mediocre results,” she recalls. “I always push myself in order to excel in my studies.”

Keratoconus is a disorder of the eye which results in progressive thinning of the cornea - which may result in blurry vision, double vision, nearsightedness, astigmatism, and light sensitivity. Adams however, did not let her condition stand in her way and graduated with a Bachelors in Education with the highest honours.

Nuzhah hails from Woodstock, and her decision to enroll at UWC came about because of her parents. 

“My parents lived close to UWC but could not afford to attend,” she says. “But they always encouraged me to pursue tertiary education, and made sure I knew I could achieve my dreams.”  

Nuzhah initially enrolled for Dentistry - but in her second year, while doing her Interdisciplinary Health promotion at schools, she discovered her love for education and learners; so she changed her course to education to follow her passion. 

“My high school teachers, Mr Seale and Mrs Boer, inspired me by always going the extra mile for their learners,” she says. “I realized I could do that for others - inspiring and helping them to achieve their potential.”

Now that she has graduated she plans to become the kind of teacher who makes a difference. 

“My dreams are to become the best teacher I can be,” she says. “One thing that I learned is that you have have all the knowledge in the world but it means nothing if you can’t impart that knowledge to others.”

She’s not giving up on her own education, though. 

“I hope that in ten years I will have my Masters degree in Education. Education isn’t just for school learners, after all.”

UWC’s 2018 Autumn Graduation ceremony ran from Wednesday 4 April through to Wednesday 11 April - a full week of celebrating amazing graduates who’re going out to make their mark in the world. More grad pics can be viewed on Flickr. ​

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