‘Do what you love, love what you do’
IT WAS an emotional moment for Zakia Salod when she graduated with a Master’s degree in medical science (MMedSc) specialising in medical informatics.
For Salod, this means she is a step closer to realising her dream of working on medical research and contributing towards helping save people’s lives.
“I am extremely proud and humbled to have accomplished my Master’s degree after a lot of hard work, perseverance, hardship, struggle, and both tears and joy.”
Salod, 30, of Verulam, said Dr Yashik Singh, her supervisor, introduced her to medical informatics during her information technology (IT) Honours degree at the university in 2011.
This was when she realised her true calling – to help people.
Medical informatics is the intersection of information science, computer science and health care. This field deals with the resources, devices and methods required to optimise the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of information, in health and biomedicine.
Salod lives with her mother, three aunts, a cousin and her cousin’s husband.
“My parents got divorced before I was born and I never knew my dad. I came to know that my dad passed away two years ago. Despite this evident hardship, I have always been a determined, focused, motivated and driven individual who always gives of my best in every endeavour. This is done with the sole purpose to please my most beloved creator, the Almighty Allah.”
She is not working but hopes to secure a job in the medical science field.
Salod said she hoped that one day her research would be able to help people diagnosed with incurable illnesses, such as cancer.
She said to achieve her Master’s degree was a feather in her cap and added to the long list of achievements she had accomplished so far.
This included having achieved first position overall in her IT Honours degree, at UKZN, in 2011. She was also the top research IT Honours student in 2011.
Last year, Salod was recognised as one of the Top 15 Young Geeks in South Africa by the company, Geekulcha.
She also won the Minara Chamber of Commerce national professional achiever of the year award.
Her biggest lesson in life was that no matter what happened, always have a positive outlook.
“In life, there will always be obstacles, hardships, trials and tribulations.
“However, despite all of that, one should always be humble, patient, determined, persevere and live with gratitude and, most importantly, focus one’s mindset on one’s beloved creator, the Almighty.”
Her advice to those still studying is: “Do what you love. Love what you do. Always try to find your calling in life and strive to work towards it, for the betterment of the world and mankind.”