Jeanne-Mari graduates against all odds

Belinda Bantham -- Thu, 04/04/2019 - 09:15

Jeanne-Mari graduates against all odds

Graduations are memorable milestones in the lives of students who have put in the late nights, time and energy to move one step closer to their dreams and Jeanne-Mari Viviers has proven to be an inspiration for all.

Jeanne-Mari has been blind since she was just six years old. Her eyes had to be removed as a result of cancer, but she hasn’t let that stop her from completing her LLB degree. On the 19th of March she proudly joined her fellow students at their graduation ceremony.

The room erupted with applause and cheers when Jeanne-Mari and her guide dog Ebba appeared on the stage during her graduation ceremony. Her father, who was beaming with pride, also joined her on stage.

Jeanne- Mari says that it was a beautiful day and she was very proud of her achievement. “I didn’t really participate in student activities, because I had to work twice as hard as the other students, but I will definitely miss the NWU atmosphere,” she says.

Jeanne- Mari also obtained her a business diploma through Unisa before joining the NWU in 2015.

A faithful companion

“Ebba has been with me since I was about six years old and we have formed an unbelievable bond,” she says.

Ebba accompanied Jeanne-Mari to all her classes and now also accompanies her to work too. “I would not have been able to do this without Ebba – I am extremely grateful for her.

She is currently serving her articles at the firm Du Toit, Smuts and Partners in Mpumalanga, but says she will definitely be back after a year or two to pursue her master’s degree in estate law.

“I am very proud of this achievement and I feel like a celebrity now. Perhaps I should quit my job and just do interviews every day, “ she jokes.

“I am a firm believer in living life to the fullest and grabbing every opportunity you are given – that is part of the reason why I achieved what I did. Never let anything stand in the way of your dreams,” emphasises Jeanne-Mari.

Jeanne-Mari Viviers was accompanied by her father and her guide dog Ebba.With them is dr Bertus le Roux

Photo: Bertus Le Roux