National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Thiven Padayachy

Thivenis from the Northern Cape and is currently studying medicine at the University of Stellenbosch. 


“Be goal driven, disciplined and motivated. Don’t procrastinate and put off what you can do now.”

When did you realise you enjoyed science and mathematics more than your other school subjects?

As a child I enjoyed science and I loved to take toys apart and build things. My physics teacher in high school instilled a love for this subject. Maths was just a by-the-way and I cannot say that I had any love for this subject. In Grade 10 I looked up to a student by the name of Jiten and he excelled in Maths and I wanted to be as smart as he was.

Tell us a bit about your school.

I attended Northern Cape High School which is a dual medium school in Kimberley. There are approximately 1500 pupils at this urban school. Sports and culture was an integral part of schooling and there was much competition in these arenas. The diversity of the school made it special.

Why did you choose the course you are studying now?

I have a keen interest in the health sciences and having been witness to much medical complications amongst close family members, I decided to pursue this degree.

Anything else you would like to share that would be helpful to learners in Grades 11 and 12?

Never forget where you came from and focus on the journey ahead. Keep in mind that great work is memorable and leaves an impression in the minds of others and in society whereas good work leaves room for improvement. It is important to strike a balance between work and play and know that education is more than just a degree.

Did you encounter any challenges at school that made it difficult for you to achieve good marks in maths and science? If so, what did you do to overcome these challenges?

Yes, the greatest challenge was not understanding and following through and I always sought help if needed or made an extra effort to sacrifice my time to go over the work on weekends. Being Head Boy was a constraint on my time because I had to arrange lots of social functions and fundraising projects.

Who inspires you? 

Nelson Mandela inspires me because, despite all the adversity he encountered in his life, his determination and forgiving nature enabled him to become an astounding and respectable leader, one whom many people look up to.

Where do you see yourself five years from now, in terms of your studies/career?

Completing my 6th year in medicine.

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