An impressive academic performance at UKZN in 2018 resulted in Mr Ricardo Aaron Pillay being one of the top five first-year undergraduates in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science who each won a Malegapuru W Makgoba Scholarship.
After breezing through his primary and secondary education, Pillay received the approximae accessit award at Greenbury Secondary School in Durban for being placed second in Grade 12.
He enrolled at UKZN last year and is now in his second year of a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Computer Science and Information Technology.
‘I am humbled and truly grateful to be a recipient of this scholarship award,’ said Pillay. ‘I feel good to be relieving my parents of financial pressure and am motivated to continue excelling, because my hard work and dedication towards my studies are being recognised by the University.’
After completing his BSc degree, Pillay plans to be a software developer in a reputable company and to make an impact on society.
‘To me, UKZN maintains a high standard. I feel inspired by the dedication and care of the lecturers. I appreciate the easily assessable and well maintained facilities such as the computer labs and library,’ said Pillay.
Extremely grateful to his donors, he stressed that the support motivated him to perform at his best.
He also acknowledged God for giving him the inner strength and guidance throughout his studies and was also thankful to his ‘amazing parents’ for always being the pillars of support in his life. ‘They are my biggest fans and I love them dearly,’ said Pillay.
‘The Discipline of Computer Science is proud of Richardo’s achievements,’ said UKZN’s Academic Leader, Computer Science, Professor Serestina Viriri. ‘His accomplishment is a testament to his hard work and dedication. We trust that he will continue excelling – we have high expectations for Ricardo.’
Grade 12 Life Science Educator at Greenbury Secondary School Mr K Govender said Ricardo had done well throughout his schooling years, making all of his teachers proud. ‘His cool and calm personality keeps him level headed and focussed on the goals he sets. His determination is unbelievable and he deserves every bit of help to take him to the highest level of his career path. Well done, Ricardo, and all the best in your career.’
Words: Leena Rajpal
Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal