‘Behind every adversity is an opportunity. If you lament over the adversity, you will miss the opportunity.’
This quote by entrepreneur and investor Ajaero Tony Martins proved inspirational to graduate Mr Shealtiel Narainsamy, who was awarded his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Information Technology summa cum laude.
‘From a very young age I found myself drawn to technology, more specifically computers,’ said Narainsamy. ‘During high school, I chose to do IT as a subject and this sparked my love for programming and learning new languages.
‘From then my passion was cemented and I knew exactly what I wanted to pursue after school. University allowed me to dive into something I loved and to turn my passion into a fully-fledged career.’
Joining UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science was a natural choice for the maths and science guru, whose dream was to become a software engineer.
Narainsamy said what stood out for him during his studies was the exposure he received to various programming languages as well as getting to work on incredible projects. ‘I worked on three major projects. I built a functional e-commerce store; an online booking and reservation system for a trucking company; and I used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recreate the Game of Nim with two computers playing against each other.’
The ultimate high was to learn that he had passed summa cum laude. This more than made up for the ‘extreme deadlines and cramming sessions’ which, he says, were a feature of the three-year degree.
Narainsamy had the following advice for students who wanted to do well: ‘Study something you are passionate about. When you have passion for the work you are doing you will find it is easier to absorb, and even when that is not the case, you will find yourself delving deeper and finding understanding. You won’t mind sitting there for hours on end figuring out a problem because you will find great satisfaction when you make the breakthrough.’
He thanked his parents, saying: ‘Without their constant support, encouragement and sacrifices, I would not have achieved the success I have today.’
Narainsamy, who enjoys researching, reading, gaming and fitness in his spare time, is currently working as a software engineer. His future plans revolve around revolutionising and contributing to the software world.
Words: Sally Frost
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan