College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Chemistry Honours Cum Laude Graduate Hoping for Career in Pharmaceutical Research

‘Hard work is always rewarded and doesn’t go unnoticed,’ says cum laude Chemistry Honours graduate, Mr Shabaaz Abdullah.

Abdullah’s father, Ebrahim, instilled that ‘core life principle’ in him and now, almost like a prophecy, the words have become reality.

Pietermaritzburg born and bred Abdullah has excelled in Chemistry, although he originally registered for a Bachelor of Commerce degree before switching to the Sciences. Despite some discouragement from people along the journey, ‘the only person I needed to impress was myself,’ he said. Now his studies in Chemistry and Chemical Technology have paid off – big time!

Abdullah attributed much of his success to the encouragement and support provided by his parents, Ebrahim and Fahmida, as well as academic staff in the School of Chemistry and Physics at UKZN.

Abdullah is now studying towards a Master’s degree in Chemistry, investigating the use of radioactive compounds to target cancer cells. The combination of synthetic and applied chemistry as an innovative approach in the fight against cancer is what initially attracted Shabaaz to his current research and he is excited about the possible real-world applications it may have, hoping his studies lead him towards a career in pharmaceutical research.

With a cum laude honours degree to build on, he has made excellent progress towards achieving his goals.

Words: Pumla Dlamini

Photograph: Gugu Mqadi