Triple the excitement as the Chetty family celebrates the graduation of 22-year-old twins Odell and Odette Chetty along with elder sister Yvette Chetty (29).
As they were born just three minutes apart, Odell jokes that Odette might be the older twin but is certainly not the taller of the two.
The twins have a charming synchronicity in their thoughts, laughter and smiles but when it comes to career choices they are worlds apart. Odell, who found her passion in Health Sciences, will graduate with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy today, while Odette is all set for the corporate world as she graduates with a Bachelor of Commerce Accounting (Hon) degree on 28 May 2021.
The twins say they look up to Yvette who is graduating with a PhD in Physiology today.
Since their mother Charmaine Chetty passed away in 2013, Yvette has taken on a motherly role, supporting her sisters through high school and university. “I’m sure my mum would be proud of all of us! I’m happy we supported each other, achieved our goals and can now give back to our dad (Krishnan Chetty),” said Odette, who is now completing her articles at KPMG and plans to become a chartered accountant, while Odell is enjoying a year of community service at Addington Hospital in Durban.
Odell, who says she always wanted to work in a profession where she could help people and is loving it, is very proud of her achievement as she found the course challenging, especially last year when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. “Throughout lockdown it was not possible for us to receive placement for fieldwork experience as usual and so we did telehealth as an alternative. Telehealth is a way of interacting with patients and conducting OT sessions via zoom.”
Yvette said growing up in Chatsworth where drug abuse and the use of ‘sugars’ (a harmful and addictive drug cocktail) was rife, inspired her to pursue her PhD study – investigating the effects of the illicit drug cocktail known as ‘Sugars’ on the brain and behaviour of animals.
The study revealed interesting findings with regard to memory and hippocampal mass following drug administration as well as the effects of these drugs on hematological factors and anhedonic behaviour. It also noted that, in some cases, withdrawal of the drug led to partial reversal of these effects. Since the cocktail was variable in composition, the results were diverse, but ultimately, they promote understanding of how it exerts its effects and re-enforces addictive behaviour.
“My goal was to finish my PhD before I turned 30, and I am ecstatic that I did so at 28. My future aspirations are to become a professor and establish a research niche,” she said.
Yvette is currently registered for a postgraduate diploma in Higher Education with the Independent Institute of Education and is currently lecturing at the University of Limpopo.