School of Chemistry & Physics

Applied Chemistry cum laude graduate, Ms Mariam Hajee.

Applied Chemist Gains Distinction Despite Diabetes

It was a proud moment for Ms Mariam Hajee when she was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Chemistry, cum laude.

UKZN’s BSc Applied Chemistry degree is more structured than the generic BSc as it specialises in chemistry’s application in industry. The degree covers a wide range of chemistry from organic, inorganic and physical to environmental analysis as well as material sciences.

Hajee’s love for chemistry meant that this degree was a natural choice. ‘In Grade 12 when we were introduced to organic chemistry I realised that chemistry is all around us and I wanted to learn more about the subject and how it is applied in real life,’ she explained.

‘Chemistry is involved in our everyday lives, from the food we eat to the clothes we use and manufacturing processes. It is important as new technologies enrich our lives by producing new solutions to problems,’ she said.

Hajee has her sights set on master’s study at UKZN in the future. ‘UKZN is rated number three in South Africa and the School of Chemistry and Physics has the best laboratory facilitates to ensure that students gain sufficient practical knowledge to use in the world of work. This makes the University a natural choice for me,’ she said.

She thanked her parents, who always believed in and motivated her even when she doubted herself. ‘I am a diabetic and sometimes I believed that I was restricted due to this condition; however, I have proven myself wrong!’

A homebody, Hajee enjoys building puzzles and spending time with her family when not pursuing her studies.

Words: Sally Frost

Photograph: Supplied