Witsie graduates against all odds

ALL that Wits graduate Sisanda Msekele, 23 wants to see when she gets her eyesight back is herself and all the people that matter most to her.

Despite losing her eyesight from Stevens Johnson’s syndrome when the medication she was prescribed damaged her cornea she has triumphed over adversity by graduating.
Coming to Wits University was a challenge for Sisanda, she had just turned blind and suddenly had to adapt to a university environment as “everything was new and overwhelming”. It was a difficult transition, after being in high school where everybody else was blind. Sisanda came to Wits and had to learn how interact with people who could see.

When Sisanda was in Matric she had applied to do medicine and was in the process of being accepted. Her hopes were dashed after losing her sight, when she had to enrol into a special school where she had to change her subjects and consequently her dreams of being a doctor. “ It’s a challenge, competing with people that can see…You never always get what you want, but you can work something out, it’s all about what you make of it,” Msekele said

When she started Msekele failed her 1st psychology test and her major essay and was ready to give up. Although pursuing psychology was not her first love, Sisanda now has dreams of being a neuro psychologist, she says although the chances of her being a neuro psychologist are slim, she’d like to get into clinical psychology in the mean time.
Mseleke said that she wasn’t excited about the graduation on March 25, but when she got onto the stage she realised what a great achievement it is when she received a standing ovation from students and Academics.
“Accomplishing something yourself is great, but when other people acknowledge you, it’s amazing,” she said.
Msekele now has plans to continue her honours and Masters degree, only this time, there is a chance that she will complete the courses with her eyesight, as she is preparing to undergo a life changing operation that could restore her eyesight.

Msekle remains positive that she will be able to see again, but expressed fear that it might not happen. “It’s scary, if it (Surgery) doesn’t work, I have nothing to lose, I have high hopes of being able to see, but what if it doesn’t happen?”
With all the excitement, Msekele said that she has to be positive, but also realistic.
If the operation goes well, Sisanda will open her eyes, look into a mirror and see herself as a triumphant Wits graduate.

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