Beauty Queen and Senior Pharmacy Technician

Naima ShazmeenThe reigning Ms. Friendly North, Naima Shazmeen is the perfect combination of beauty and brains.  Advocating on antibiotic resistance, Shazmeen is a Senior Pharmacy Technician.

Shazmeen was born and raised in Tovata, a residential community located approximately five kilometers from Labasa Town.  Her father was a Police Officer and her mother looked after the family. She has an elder brother who works for Intercontinental Golf Resort and Spa.

She attained her primary education from three different schools, Saint Mary’s Primary School, Marist Convent and Shri Guru Nanak Primary School from 2001 to 2008.

In 2007, life became tough for her and her family when tragedy struck.

“When I was in Class Seven, my father went missing at sea. He was never found. This was a terrible moment for my family. Life became very difficult as my mother had to raise two kids by herself,” she said.

With the head of the family gone, they were faced with many challenges including financial constraints. Even then, they never lost hope.  Shazmeen strived and completed her secondary education at Shri Guru Nanak Khalsa College.

“It became very challenging for us. My mother was the only one providing for us, so now more than ever, I knew I had to work hard and be able to provide for her one day,” said Shazmeen.

“Keeping my goal in mind, I applied to study the Bachelor of Pharmacy programme at FNU and worked very hard to achieve the marks I needed to get accepted into the programme and to get a scholarship for it,” she said.

Not only was Shazmeen given a place in the Bachelor of Pharmacy programme, she was also awarded the National Toppers Scheme.

This was the first step towards achieving her goals.

Shazmeen began her studies at the Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences in 2014.

“Tertiary life did not come easy. I was far away from home and had to manage on my own. Studies were tough too but I had a lot of support from friends and family,” she said.

“Once I was settled in, I enjoyed my tertiary life. I was able to manage time well and take part in extracurricular activities such as the cultural night. I love to dance, so the cultural night was something I always looked forward to,” she said.

Shazmeen said she was able to make friends who are her friends for life now.  She graduated in December 2017.

“I credit my success to my mother who worked very hard to ensure we had the basic needs covered and achieved what we had aimed for. I know she is proud of me and I am happy that I am able to provide for her now,” she said.

She was posted to the Labasa Divisional Hospital as an intern in 2018.  As part of her internship programme she completed a research on Drug Use Evaluation.

In June 2019 she was posted to the Nasea Health Centre as the Senior Pharmacy Technician – a position she currently holds. Her role is to ensure the smooth running of the pharmacy department at the Health Centre.

“I like my job. My aim, however, is to be a registered pharmacist and I am working towards attaining a Pharmacy Registration License at the moment,” she said.

Shazmeen’s advice to students is to work hard and make their parents proud.  “Don’t lose hope and determination, give your best in whatever you do and never stop learning,” she said.