APPEARING in front of a classroom filled to the brim with eager faces ready to take in whatever she had to say, former Girls High School old girl Dr Nomusa Shezi addressed some of her former teachers and new Girls High pupils as the first black female neurosurgeon ever in KwaZulu-Natal. Humbly admitting that she felt as though she had not acquired enough wisdom in her short life to be addressing the pupils, Shezi said that she was privileged to speak at her former school. “Today I want to speak on how to navigate through the real world as a woman of colour,” said Shezi. “My plan after school was to manoeuvre through a male dominated world and not only survive but to succeed in it and it wasn’t ever easy.”Shezi said that getting to where she is today and coming from an all-girls school going into the real world after studying was a shock. “I was very naïve at first thinking that I would be judged solely on my academics until I realised that to succeed I could not be ignorant about my gender or skin colour,” said Shezi. She said that being a woman in a male dominated board room had its pressure but she remained true to herself and made sure it was known that she was a female. “You realise just how real sexism or racism is when your peers who are friends with people of colour or have daughters and wives display racism or sexism when appointing staff,” warned Shezi.Advising the gathered in the classroom, Shezi said the world needed strong women who realise they needed to prepare themselves to face certain battles alone. “You need to change the world and not allow the world to change you,” said Shezi.