Firdous Hamid, one of our Matric “Ruthies” (and a scholarship winner in 2012) recently swept the boards at the January prize-giving, receiving the Loveday prize for the highest academic aggregate in Grade 11 as well as subject prizes for Physical Science, Life Sciences, AP Maths and Life Orientation.
In addition to her outstanding academic record, Firdous is head of Crassula house (winners of this year’s Flower Show) and a member of the Public Speaking Trophy Team. She is a self-described perfectionist who is dedicated to doing her best. From age 5, her ambition has been to study medicine. A career as a doctor appeals to her as she would like to help others, while being independent and able to work in her own practice and maintaining a work-life balance. She already has her application in at Wits University and plans to apply to all the medical schools in the country to ensure that she can achieve her dream.
A highlight for Firdous of being a Ruth First scholar has been the opportunity to meet famous people, including Justice Albie Sachs, Dr Frene Ginwala and Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. She has relished being exposed to people who speak their minds – and speak out about what is going wrong in the system. For her, Jeppe High School for Girls has been a foundation, which has prepared her for university and the world out there. The school motto, “Nothing is too difficult for the brave” resonates with her and is part of her personal brand. She has also been inspired by Ruth First whom she describes as a brave woman who was determined and never gave up, – and many of the old girls who have spoken to the Jeppe girls at assemblies over her time in school. She remembers with particular clarity the speech made by Pelonomi Moiloa, head girl in 2010 and now a civil engineer, who spoke about gender stereotypes and how she had met and crushed them, head on in her years at Wits and in the workplace.