Ms Nomzamo Msomi always wanted to be a student and earn a degree from UKZN, even during her years as a learner at Silver Heights Secondary School in Durban.
Her dream was realised when she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Chemistry during a ceremony on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.
Msomi is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Chemistry and hopes to continue on to do doctoral research in her chosen field of study.
‘I fell in love with research especially since one gets to concentrate more on one project and gain practical skills in the world of chemistry,’ she said.
Msomi’s honour’s project focused on natural product research in which she isolated compounds from one plant (Hilliardiela aristata), identified the compounds and then tested them for possible antimalarial activity.
‘I truly believe there are possibilities to eradicate diseases by providing new compounds from nature, from plants that can be used as medicinal drugs,’ said Msomi.
The gutsy young graduate draws her inspiration from her mother who encouraged her to be the best she could possibly be and motivated her to excel in all aspects of life.
‘When I think about it I am still shocked by how much I have achieved so far,’ said Msomi. ‘I want others to know you can achieve anything you want to when you put in the work.’
Words: Ntokozo Dladla
Photograph: Supplied and Itumeleng Masa