While other teenage girls were searching the internet for the latest beauty and fashion trends, Ms Kiosha Bhikraj was looking for DNA extraction kits.
Her enquiring mind led her down the path of success. Bhikraj graduated cum laude with her Honours in Genetics.
As a teenager Bhikraj’s curious mind of wanting to know how things function drew her attention towards the field of science. The area of specialisation was not clear at first but as she settled into university life and overcame the hurdles of moving away from home in Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal, and gaining her independence, her love for the field of genetics also grew.
‘A huge part of science involved understanding the genetics behind the way of life and using that to make improvements. By studying genetics, I am able to make a contribution to positive change in the world,’ said Bhikraj.
She believes that inspiring greatness is a responsibility and showing people around her that any task can be overcome through the art of hard work and perseverance, and that failure is part of the process of success.
Bhikraj hopes that other young women will look at her achievements and find inspiration to go after their own goals.
Bhika plans to pursue a Master of Science degree with a focus on conservation genetics where she can apply her molecular biology skills and knowledge.
Her advice to aspiring graduates: ‘Failure does not mean it’s over, don’t let it stop you from reaching your end goals. You need to believe in yourself even when nobody else does and try again. It all comes down to putting in hard work and the determination to succeed. Be assertive and know when to say no, even within your circle of friends. The key is to have a balanced campus life – study, exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep and have fun!’
Words: Swastika Maney