On a mis­sion to help soften oth­ers’ dis­tress

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD - TANKISO MAKHETHA

IN­SPIRED by his grand­fa­ther who suf­fered from de­men­tia, Nor­man Mulla, a Mpumalanga pupil, hopes his good grades will pro­pel him to­wards find­ing a cure for the ill­ness.

Nor­man was one of 23 pupils who were cel­e­brated yes­ter­day dur­ing a break­fast with the Min­is­ter of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Angie Mot­shekga.

“I wanted to study medicine from a young age be­cause my grand­fa­ther had de­men­tia.

“I re­alised that it’s not only the pa­tient who suf­fers but also fam­ily mem­bers and friends who suf­fer,” the ma­tric­u­lant said.

He said that by help­ing peo­ple who strug­gled with de­men­tia he was hop­ing to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of those who sup­port and care for them.

“To cure one pa­tient will even­tu­ally help so many other lives, and to be in a po­si­tion that takes me one step closer to that dream is a true priv­i­lege,” he said.

The Hoërskool Rob Fer­reira pupil said he was hum­bled to be among the top achiev­ers.

Nor­man is one of the top three pupils in the coun­try in science and math.

“I’m re­ally ec­static. It’s re­ally shock­ing that I have made it so far. I’m re­ally glad, and feel priv­i­leged and hon­oured to be here to­day,” Nor­man said.

The 18-year-old, who pur­sued a science stream, said be­fore the re­sults were an­nounced that he was ex­pect­ing to at­tain dis­tinc­tions for the seven sub­jects he stud­ied.

“I’m ex­pect­ing dis­tinc­tions for all seven but we’ll see what the re­sults look like when they come out.”

Nor­man said he in­tended pur­su­ing a de­gree in medicine at Wits Univer­sity.

De­spite the chal­lenges he has en­coun­tered, the ma­tric­u­lant said he was able to per­se­vere through all of them.

His fa­ther, Shamshud­din Mulla ex­plained that one of the chal­lenges he ex­pe­ri­enced was keep­ing Nor­man mo­ti­vated.

“We al­ways stood by him as far as sup­port is con­cerned.

“We mon­i­tored all his ac­tiv­i­ties – at school and at home – and en­cour­aged him to do things that would be ben­e­fi­cial for him while dis­cour­ag­ing him from do­ing things that wouldn’t pay off,” he said.

Cur­ing one pa­tient will help many oth­ers

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