influences to determine my limitations! This approach to life has sustained my passion, which led me to the fortunate position of being able to always wake up in a good mood and being afforded opportunities that many Masters candidates could only dream of. Currently, together with Suzy, Dr Costa Georghiou, Prof Jo-Ansie van Wyk (UNISA) and Vicky, I am working on several academic projects which promise to yield some insightful and impactful results. Despite all that I have achieved in my life, I am most proud of the fact that I eventually learnt to tie my own shoelaces at the age of 13 (another impediment brought on by my CP), something many around me never thought possible and took for granted. As my career as fledgling academic and knowledge generation architect continues, I can impart the following advice: • Avoid saying ‘no’ if you can help it. You will open up doors for yourself that you never knew existed. • Choose your mentors and
Left to right: Costa, Suzy, Sven and Vicky attending the 4 th Annual Conference of the South Africa-Russia Dialogue Forum in Johannesburg in 2016.
Left to right: Esther, Sven and Anna-Mart attending graduation in 2019.
confidantes wisely and remember to show your
gratitude to them whenever possible. Never take them for granted. • Always think outside the box; our world is built by those who push boundaries. • Accept that sometimes, your biggest critics can also be your biggest supporters. Listen to your mentors and then choose your own path! • Always strive for impact, and success will follow. I have been tolerated, sustained and motivated by, in addition to family members, Gillian, Vicky, Anna-Mart, Esther, Costa, Suzy and Jo-Ansie and by no means last, Kate Lormier (my former political mentor). You have all given me so much. I hope to one day be able to influence someone to the same degree to which you have all influenced me.
Africa as women and young girls continue to occupy imperative roles within various terrorist groups across the continent. I have published two academic articles, several book reviews, and continue my work as a associate at the Centre for African Studies at Leiden University. I also occupy a seat on the National Expiative Council of the South African Association of Political Studies (SAAPS), and chair the SAAPS Research Committee on Early-Career Research, which I established. By now, it should be evident that I enjoy pushing the boundaries. I instinctively feel that this characteristic is rooted in my drive to overcome challenges imposed upon me by my disability; I have never (and will never) allow other
academic journal for early-career researchers, an ongoing project that has yielded much interest in the South African academic space. I went on to graduate from Monash as a Summa Cum Laude student, and my achievements and efforts have not gone unnoticed by Monash University, which has awarded me both the Gershon & Rose Hasen Prize and The Sir John Monash medal, both of which are highly prestigious accolades for an undergraduate student. Following the Paris Attacks of 2015, I turned my attention to terrorism and counter-terrorism. Now, as a postgraduate in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), under the stellar supervision of Suzanne (Suzy) Graham, I have narrowed my academic focus to gendered counter-terrorism in
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