Radiyah Saloojee is living proof that an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving not only serves as a road marker on the journey to success, but also a stepping stone to accomplishment.
For this 24-year old alumna of the Vanderbijlpark Campus of the North-West University (NWU), each day represents a new opportunity to excel and in doing so, make the world a better place.
During the recent Autumn Graduation Ceremony of the Vanderbijlpark Campus Radiyah was awarded the coveted Excellent Academic Achievement Award for her overall best performance within the BEd Foundation Phase degree course. During her four years of study she obtained 55 distinctions and maintained an average of 83.38 percent.
What makes Radiyah’s achievement even more remarkable is the fact that she has had to endure challenges pertaining to her health in addition to the pressure associated with university studies. “Throughout my life, I’ve been in and out of hospitals and I’ve faced many challenges – but what fun would life be without them? Each of these challenges has made me stronger and wiser,” says Radiyah.
Her good academic performance ensured her membership to the Golden Key International Honour Association and in 2015 she won one of four coveted Scholarship Awards as well as the prestigious Chapter Award.
In Radiyah’s matric year at the Roshnee Islamic School – where she was the Chairman of the school’s Youth Forum, she fell ill just before writing her trial exams. Doctors found ulcers and open wounds in her throat all the way down to her stomach and she was subsequently hospitalised for the duration of the exam. “It was then – thinking of how I would cope without having written a trial exam, that I realised that through hard work, determination, perseverance, faith in the Almighty, and selflessness everything is possible,” says Radiyah who – through her faith in God and the support of her family, achieved five distinctions at the end of her matric year. Her good results also saw her taking her place on the stage as one of the top achievers in the Sedibeng Education District.
Asked why she decided to study towards becoming a teacher, Radiyah says that teachers shape the world and contribute to the upliftment of the youth. “I want to be a change maker and I believe that teaching is a labour of love. Every day teachers from all corners of the world are doing their bit to make the world a better place by believing and inspiring each new generation.”
Radiyah’s road to success is not only one of perseverance, but also of servant leadership. In 2010 she was selected to represent South Africa at the international People-to-People Leadership Summit in the USA. In the same year she appeared on the popular SABC television programme “Big Up” as part of the programme’s Inspirational Youth segment.
Together with a group of about ten other individuals (aged between 20 and 40 years), Radiyah founded the non-profit organisation (NPO), Purple Bandage.
“As a devoted Muslim, my religion encourages me to always give back to those less fortunate. The beauty of community work is that it makes you intensely aware of how blessed you are, despite your own challenges. By helping others you get in touch with your deeper purpose on earth,” says Radiyah.
* Radiyah is currently furthering her studies through Unisa, focusing on mathematics for intermediate and high school education. – NWU News Office