Former Cape Flats grass cutter receives PhD

(Cape Town) – A PhD graduate, who once worked alongside ex-convicts as a grass cutter for the South African Navy, says his high school teacher motivated him to rise above his poverty-stricken community.

GOOD NEWS: Riaan Cedras receiving his PhD in marine biology from UWC: News24.

“If it wasn’t for a teacher who told me in Grade 10 that I could do better academically, I probably wouldn’t be here today,” Riaan Cedras told News24.

“He sort of made me feel special. He recognised the potential in me, where as at home and in the community, I never got that kind of recognition. You know when someone from the outside looks at you and say: ‘I believe in you.'”

Cedras, 33, received a PhD in marine biology from the University of Western Cape (UWC) on Tuesday for his work on copepods in the south-west Indian Ocean.

Copepods are microscopic crustaceans found in the ocean which make up the diet of many large fish and whales.
‘I was teased all my life’

Growing up in Lavender Hill in the Cape Flats, Cedras said excelling academically was never considered the popular thing to do.

“I was teased all my life – I thought I was going to go crazy. It made me perform poorer in subjects because you don’t want to be known as a sort of nerd,” he said.

For the full story: News24.