Health 2018

Andile Mthombeni (25)

Andile Mthombeni (25)

Research co-ordinator at Wits psychology department

“I am an evolving, God-fearing, intellectual young woman, who is a product of mentorship,” says Andile Mthombeni. Her job as a research co-ordinator came about as a result of mentorship. In the second year of her undergraduate degree, Mthombeni attended a psychology...

Sanele Lukhele (26)

Sanele Lukhele (26)

Nurse and lecturer, University of Johannesburg

Nursing is in Sanele Lukhele’s blood. Her grandmother is a retired theatre nurse. One of her aunts is a neonatal critical care nurse specialist and the other is a paediatric nurse. “It therefore did not come as a surprise when I decided that I would like to follow...

Avuyile Mbangatha (20)

Avuyile Mbangatha (20)

Third year medical student, Stellenbosch University

Born in KwaZulu-Natal and raised in King William’s Town, Eastern Cape, Avuyile Mbangatha grew up in a community where socioeconomic and health issues were rife. Since he was a young boy, Mbangatha has always been motivated to find innovative solutions to address these...

Simphiwe Zanele Mthimunye (28)

Simphiwe Zanele Mthimunye is a phlebotomist who has already been recognised in her field as excelling in her line of work and her commitment. She was the first black woman to receive the award for Excellence in Phlebotomy by the Society of Medical Technologists in...

Buyani Mxolisi Phakathi (30)

Buyani Mxolisi Phakathi (30)

Safety, health and environmental specialist, South African Airways Technical

The most fulfilling part of Buyani Mxolisi Phakathi’s day is when his South African Airways (SAA) Technical family go home safe and healthy after a long day’s work. In his role as a safety, health and environmental specialist at SAA Technical, Phakathi shoulders the...

Stephanie de Rapper (30)

Stephanie de Rapper (30)

Lecturer, department of pharmacy and pharmacology, Wits University

Stephanie de Rapper is an academic at the department of pharmacy and pharmacology at Wits and has a reputation for hard work and inspiring others. She co-developed an initiative known as INVEST — a pharmacy career mentorship programme that exposes undergraduate...

Itumeleng Tsatsi (26)

Itumeleng Tsatsi (26)

Lecturer, Occupational Therapy department, University of the Free State

Growing up with her four siblings in a single-parent home in Lebowakgomo township, north of Polokwane, Itumeleng Tsatsi explored her creative side, making paper gift bags and clothes for dolls, which she sold. She once organised a beauty pageant, collecting R5 from...

Stephanie Redinger (29)

Stephanie Redinger (29)

Occupational therapist, MA student and author

Stephanie Redinger is a postgraduate student studying her master’s in Medical Science in Paediatrics at the University of Witwatersrand. What makes her stand out, however, is that she was the lead author on the publication of a journal article — an outstanding...

Julia Turner (31)

Julia Turner (31)

Medical adviser, Right to Care

Julia Turner first thought about becoming a doctor as a teenager when she encountered a man who had been attacked by an elephant during a trip to Zimbabwe. “I desperately wanted to help him but I didn’t know how to,” she says. “I hoped that (by becoming a doctor), the...

Dr Thandeka Ngcobo (25)

Dr Thandeka Ngcobo (25)

Doctor, Mafikeng Provincial Hospital

Dr Thandeka Ngcobo is a medical intern doctor at Mafikeng Provincial Hospital, an executive board member at the Godisanang Youth Empowering Foundation and a corporate affairs officer at Ngcobo Empire. She hails from a small village called Hluthankungu in...

Keaton Harris (23)

Keaton Harris (23)

MBChB student, Stellenbosch University

When Keaton Harris cried after finding out that he had not been accepted to study medicine, his mother (who is his best friend) had this to say to him: “One day you will see why God doesn’t want you to study medicine now — but trust me when I say that one day you...

Dr Boitumelo Phakathi (33)

Dr Boitumelo Phakathi (33)

Specialist surgeon and consultant, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital Breast Unit

In 2014, Dr Boitumelo Phakathi was the youngest surgeon in the country at the age of 29. “I was initially told I wasn’t going to last longer than three months in surgery, a then male-dominated speciality,” Phakathi says. Surpassing the expected period, and at that...

Kim Buchholtz (35)

Kim Buchholtz (35)

Physiotherapy lecturer, University of Cape Town

At the age of just 26 Kim Buchholtz started a private physiotherapy practice in Plumstead, Cape Town. She completed a postgraduate certificate in Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapy in the same year, following this up with a Master of Philosophy in Sports...

Michael Van Niekerk (28)

Michael Van Niekerk (28)

Medical doctor

Michael van Niekerk is a committed advocate for health in South Africa and globally. He made the decision to become a doctor at a very young age, and by 16 he was an ambulance assistant, an opportunity that allowed him to experience death as a process and therefore...

Motlatso Refilwe Rampedi (25)

Motlatso Refilwe Rampedi (25)

PhD candidate (demography), Wits University

Throughout her life Motlatso Rampedi has encountered young women who have had to delay their dreams of finishing school and seeking employment due to unplanned pregnancies. In fact, she herself was born when her mother was still a university student, but fortunately...

Mvuwo Tshavhungwe (29)

Mvuwo Tshavhungwe (29)

PhD candidate in Neuroscience, University of Cape Town

As a scientist, Mvuwo Tshavhungwe enjoys learning about old and new discoveries. “Scientific research enables me to contribute to the body of knowledge and trigger a rethink in an ancient disease that continues to kill many, especially in resource limited settings,”...

Nandipha Magudumana (29)

Nandipha Magudumana (29)

Founder, Optimum Medical Solutions

“If you do what you love you will never have to work a day in your life,” is the saying which inspired Dr Nandipha Magudumana to pursue a career in medical aesthetics. “Medical aesthetics is a career path for people who are truly passionate about what they do, because...

Nicolette Comley-White (32)

Nicolette Comley-White (32)

Physiotherapy lecturer, Wits University

Nicolette Comley-White was drawn to the health sciences field, even as a child; she has always been fascinated by the idea of helping people to walk again after injury. Not surprisingly, she opted for physiotherapy as a career. She is based at the physiotherapy...

Nikhat Hoosen (34)

Nikhat Hoosen (34)

Researcher, Centre for Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Research, University of Cape Town

Nikhat Hoosen already holds three degrees — a BSc in Biological Sciences, a BSc honours in Biological Sciences and an MSc in Molecular Biology and Systematics — all from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is currently completing a master’s in Public Health,...

Dr Nirvana Morgan (34)

Dr Nirvana Morgan (34)

PhD student, lecturer, psychiatrist and researcher, Department of Psychiatry, University of the Witwatersrand

Growing up Dr Nirvana Morgan was very close to a person with a mental illness. This made her question why people with mental illnesses are stigmatised and also sparked an interest in psychiatry. After completing her medical degree at Wits University in 2007, she chose...

Nkateko Mnisi (28)

Nkateko Mnisi (28)

JUDASA National Council

Nkateko Mnisi chose to study medicine because of her passion for working with people. “It allows me to interact with people from different walks of life — crossing barriers like age, race, gender and occupation. And it would also allow for me to make an invaluable...

Paul Letsatsi Potsane (30)

Paul Letsatsi Potsane (30)

Provincial HIV prevention co-ordinator, Right to Care

During the days of Aids denialism, Paul Letsatsi Potsane watched his aunt suffer with HIV. “Being a black woman with no source of income, she could not access antiretroviral treatment from private pharmacies,” he recalls. To Potsane his aunt represents the thousands...