23 years ago, the world welcomed a young boy into its midst – a boy who would one day become a man (as most, but of course not all, boys have a tendency to do, given the progression of time and whatnot, but not negating gender fluidity and with a deep respect for trans rights). That boy was named Mukhtaar Waja, and is both the subject of this biography, and the author of it. Please, hold your applause.

Me and my Ghostwriter

I’m currently doing an MSc Geography degree at Wits University, researching healthcare practitioner’s perceptions of the relationship between climate and mental health (read: I am so tired). The relationship between climate and mental health is fascinating, and research on this topic has presented quite compelling findings, suggesting that increases in temperature are to blame for increases in hospital admissions for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, neurotic disorder and mania. Increased hours of sunshine may also adversely impact bipolar disorder and suicide rates, while improving depressive symptoms. However, most of this research uses basic correlation to reach these conclusions and – say it with me – correlation does not equal causation. Mental health is complex, its manifestations influenced by socioeconomic and biological factors that may act independent of climate – and most of the existing research on this topic does not engage with these factors. My research examines how healthcare practitioners perceive this potential relationship, and if they have observed this relationship in the cases they have worked on. I am currently in the data collection phase of my research and, in my humblest of opinions, it is the best research to ever be done in the history of the universe. I’m kidding, it’s been alright; it’s going alright.

It is shocking to say out loud – though less so to type – but I have been at Wits University for five years now. I began my academic journey in 2018, majoring in Geography and Psychology. I had chosen Psychology because it seemed practical and useful, and I chose Geography because I absolutely loved the subject! My aunt was a geography teacher and she had tutored me in the subject all through high school, fostering in me a passion for the subject that teaches us how the Earth – that massive blue marble we call home – functions, with all its intricate systems working perfectly to create an endless cycle of erosion and creation, of destruction and… another word for creation. It’s a cycle we are a part of! A cycle we have actually not been good for. We’re a real problem.

During my second year of university, my aunt passed away, which was less than ideal for everyone involved. I remembered how proud she was that I was continuing with geography into university, and that I was one of the top geography students in my year – an accomplishment I completely owe to her. I owe my position as a Masters student to her. I would never have had the motivation to go this far if she wasn’t in my thoughts – all through Undergrad, all through my Honours year, and still now.

I am excited to venture further into that dark, dangerous world of academia, with all its many degrees, and unending application processes that never seem to work properly and always end up with me being ping ponged around the registration office with Olympic precision. There is so much to be explored in the field of geography, so much still to be understood about the planet we live on – and if anyone’s going to understand it… it probably won’t be me, honestly, but I’m going to try! And all the while, I’ll be blogging that journey – right here, with you, dear reader.

Anyway, with me fast approaching the word limit and you having other commitments to attend to, I bid you farewell. I hope you had a pleasant read, and I just want to say: you’re welcome. It is my greatest pleasure to be your new role model. See you in the next blog!

5 thoughts on “The Greatest Student to Ever Live: An Exaggerated Biography

  1. Coolest blog I’ve ever read. Can’t wait to hear more from you and your ghostwriter, who probably should take 100% of the credit for this masterpiece 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Coolest blog I’ve ever read! Can’t wait to hear more from you and your ghostwriter who probably deserves 100% credit for this blog anyway.


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