Dedicated, dynamic and multi-talented is how colleagues describe Dr Alma-Nalisha Cele, a medical doctor in the public sector, working in the department of anaesthetics at Leratong Hospital in Gauteng. Currently pursuing her postgraduate studies in pharmaceutical medicine, she has a strong interest in the socioeconomics of health, and dreams of making pharmaceuticals more orientated towards the disease burden that most affects African populations, by making them more accessible and affordable.
Cele is one of 700 young leaders chosen from sub-Saharan Africa to participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young South African Leaders in the United States during 2019.
She has also been invited to take part in this year’s Vedica’s global programme for women’s leadership in India. This programme will bring together 100 young women leaders from India, Africa and the Bay of Bengal community to host conversations, working sessions, field trips, and cultural immersion activities to provide authentic exposure to young women and prepare them for impactful leadership positions.
An entrepreneur at heart, she started her own tutoring and au pairing company during her studies at Wits Medical School. She also served on the executive for the Wits Surgical Society and the South African Medical Students Association.
An avid bibliophile who has been reading since the age of four, Cele is, in addition, cofounder of a popular South African literary podcast, the Cheeky Natives, which focuses on the review, curatorship and archiving of Black African literature, and aims to provide critical engagement about the work of Black authors. The podcast, which as an ever-growing reach into Africa, is not only playing a critical role in archiving Black literary voices, it is also creating interest in reading and critical thinking across diverse communities.
Together with the podcast’s cofounder Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane, Cele has been invited to participate in the second regional seminar of the International Publishers Association in Nairobi on a panel entitled ‘Developing Africa’s next generation of publishers, writers and artists.’ – Linda Doke