Reaching for the stars

2016-01-14 06:00
Ecstatic Shaili Govender who finished ninth in KwaZulu-Natal. Photo: darshan rangai

Ecstatic Shaili Govender who finished ninth in KwaZulu-Natal. Photo: darshan rangai

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TONGAAT resident Shaili Govender is on track to reach her dreams after finishing ninth in KwaZulu-Natal in the 2015 National Senior Certificate exams.

Still excited with her achievement, she says she is proud of her accomplishment which saw her achieve 7As with an aggregate of 94 percent. Shaili also got an eighth A for advanced programme mathematics which is an IEB subject done at university.

"I'm very happy and excited with what I achieved. I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I have," said Shaili.

She said that she was very nervous during the last few days before the results, but now she is excited for the future.

The mathematics and science enthusiast plans to pursue her dreams of learning all she can about space and will be studying astro physics at the University of Cape Town.

"I want to be a scientist and learn everything I can about space," said Shaili.

"I want to do something that's going to interest me for the rest of my life."

Shaili attended Northlands Girls High and Maidstone Primary School where her passion for science and space began.

"When we started learning about space and the planets I knew this is something I wanted to do," said Shaili.

Shaili received her first telescope when she was 10 years old and it has become almost a family tradition to stay up late at night to watch different space phenomena together. Her parents said they are extremely proud of their daughter’s achievements.

"Shaili has worked hard from the start and our whole family is happy for her," said her father Selvan Govender.

Govender said he was happy his daughter is pursuing a field which she has loved throughout her childhood.

The degree will take four years to complete, but Shaili plans to also pursue her doctorate which will take another four years.

Her hard work has seen her attain a bursary from Square Kilometer Array to help her achieve her dreams.

Shaili urged future matriculants to work smart and be organised while using resources like the internet to access past year papers and other resources. One of her keys to success, she said, was being balanced with learning and fun. Shaili said she enjoyed reading all the time and watching her favorite science fiction series once her studying was done for the day.

"If you work well and consistently from the start, at the end you won't be stressed and it will be more enjoyable,"said Shaili.

Shaili thanked her parents and family for their support and her teachers at both primary and secondary school level for inspiring her and helping her towards her goal of of becoming an astro physicist.

"The sky is not the limit," said Shaili.

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