Dr Nomusa Shezi, 32, is the first black woman to graduate in KwaZulu-Natal as a neurosurgeon.

Dr Nomusa Shezi, 32, is the first black woman to graduate in KwaZulu-Natal as a neurosurgeon. Here's her message of encouragement to this year's matrics:

Firstly congratulations on having made it to this point in your journey!!

It is no small feat to begin and complete your matriculation exams, many of you under very trying situations.

This is not the end though, This is the beginning of YOUR definition of what your life will be like. You will decide how hard you will fight to get what you want and deserve. You will learn that life is unfair but also can have pleasant surprises along the way.

There is no sage advice to success that guarantees results, there is no formula to achieving your goals. Both failure and success will have to be your teacher and you the student of it and as long as you understand the class is not meant to kill you but to actually move you to the next grade towards your goals. You will do great!!

Create a plan for your life, write a road map and plan it out: 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. See yourself running that Fortune 500 company, owning the company, creating ways to heal patients that are groundbreaking, finding alternative source of energy and making history. Plan it, rehearse it, draw it down and map it out: all the possible challenges. If you do not create a clear picture of the finished product, you will be distracted by the many shiny objects along the way.

There is value in whom you surround yourself with, an eagle soaring high is usually alone, but their view is magnificent. A chicken has many friends and is never lonely, but lives within the confines of the group.

If you want to change your world and achieve beyond your wildest dreams, the company you keep cannot be by accident. You have to choose who you surround yourself with for they will either drag you down or push you up when you are most vulnerable.

Finally, there is no great success worth having that comes easily, whether you want it or not, sacrifices will have to be made. Either you will sacrifice your future for present comfort or sacrifice your comfort for your future. The choice is yours:)

Kind regards

Nomusa Shezi (Dr N Shezi, MBCHB, FC Neurosurg)

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