On Monday night, Farah Sader graduated with a BA Honours in Media and Cultural Studies after overcoming a long battle with tuberculosis. Her Honours research, entitled “Constructing a South African Identity: A textual analysis of Die Antwoord’s music video Fatty Boom Boom,” aimed to explore a form of identity in post-apartheid South Africa; but her success came on the back of years of fearless determination and struggle.
Originally, Sader began her studies as a Fine Arts student in 2009, but in early 2010 was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis, and was forced to deregister from her Fine Arts degree. She told us that her “TB recurred 6 times; basically I had it for two and a half years”.
“I was on the highest dose of medication and was often too ill to attend varsity, especially having to be in and out of hospital and undergoing numerous surgical procedures”.
“Eventually my doctors gave up and told me it was either going to kill me or they would have to remove my diseased lung”.
Miraculously however, Fader began to respond to her medication and did not need to have her lung removed. Six months later, she was TB free.
“All the while I continued to study, with just the bare minimum of two modules a semester,” Sader added.
Sader commended her peers, tutor and lecturers for her motivation “I owe my entire career to the support of my peers, Mr Shaylan Janneker, Ms Desirey Viney, Ms Sandra Pitcher and Dr Nicola Jones, who supported and encouraged me throughout the times I struggled.”
Asked about her future, Sader said that intends pursuing something “in field of graphic design and public relations, as well as to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, as I would like to teach at a later stage in my life.”
* We’d like to thank Merusha Naidoo for her work in writing this story.