Hi, my name is Genevieve Shahnaz Yasmine Gani, a 4th year BSc Physiotherapy student at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
I choose to always be greater than my social, environmental and financial context.
According to paper, I am defined as a Coloured-Indian female born into a time where my country/ my people have been freed from oppression, 1995. I am a born-free, privileged through the sweat, tears and death of my forefathers and mothers.
Born in a small town in Newcastle, Kwa-Zulu Natal, I was a miracle baby. I have faced chronic disease from childhood which I am still managing with the support of my family. Therefore I am not myself without explaining my family.
I am my mother, who never allowed the Eldorado Park gangsterism, poverty nor oppression to silence her voice, fight and spirit. I am resilient, strong, and brave, I am a warrior. I believe in empowering my community, in the knowledge I have acquired through physiotherapy but more so the way of thinking it has allowed my brain to grasp. To empathise with my fellow brothers and sisters, to acknowledge people of all walks and to love people in a way that they value their worth.
I am my father, who never allowed educational formality or “the system” to hinder his mind and actions. I am a leader, a pioneer, I am the future. We have learnt to understand what it is to be poor and rich of heart, as well as to be wealthy and be rich of heart, and that is because of the values, morals and strong foundation my family has set and built together.
I strive to seek the beauty that is in the world, which means looking in all the places where beauty is considered to be absent. I have the tenacity to love when there is none, and joy to find purpose when it seems hopeless. Physiotherapy has helped me to explore this through the holistic and patient orientated method of training at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
My love for people is so strong, and my love to help people to overcome or manage physical deformity or pain is one that grows every day. Physiotherapy allows me to become an ambassador for my passion and bring those skills to help others, to help themselves. Physiotherapy has been a career I have wanted to pursue because of my family and community. To see the people I love in pain and not being healed, because of the money made business physiotherapy had become infuriates me.
My mother is my main influencer towards physiotherapy. Due to a severe sporting injury my mother was in a position where she needed surgery; the mistake of a physician’s intervention left her unable to return back to her activities of daily living which included her sport.
I have seen the effect of pain, of injuries, of disability in people I love, and that sparked a passion to learn how to prevent or manage what I have seen. I have a love for physiotherapy because of my deep love for people, and to help people physically is my passion.
This is why I choose to be greater each day and to learn more each day.
Therefore I am and always choose to be greater than my social, environmental and financial context.