“I had told myself that my socio economic conditions were never going to stop me from achieving my dream of becoming a medical doctor. However a major stumbling block to my dream was lack of finances”
I grew up in Soweto and matriculated at Morris Isaacson high school in 1994. When I went to university in 1996 both parents were pensioners. It was always my dream to become a medical doctor. In 1996, I was accepted to study towards a Bachelor of Science (Bsc) Degree at Medunsa. My plan was to complete a Bsc Degree and later enroll to study for medicine. Growing up in Soweto in the 90s was a struggle. The schools were dilapidated; there was political violence, gangsterism and poor culture of learning in general.
I had told myself that my socio economic conditions were never going to stop me from achieving my dream of becoming a medical doctor. However a major stumbling block to my dream was lack of finances. My parents managed to raise R1500.00 registration fee but not the tuition fees. Upon registering for Bsc 1, the finance office at Medunsa provided me with NSFAS (then TEFSA) application forms.
My application for NSFAS was successful. This meant so much to me as I did not have to worry about how will my pensioner parents pay for my studies. With tuition fees and meals covered by NSFAS, I focused on my dream of becoming a medical doctor. I passed Bsc1 with distinctions and I was accepted to year 2 of medicine, The Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBCHB) Degree. NSFAS continued with funding my studies up to the fourth year of my degree, where I received scholarships/ bursaries from other organizations. I have been working as a medical doctor for 16 years and 15 of them have been spent working at Taung Village. I work at TB & MDR-TB units at Taung District Hospital and at 4 local clinics, and also running a private practice.
Without NSFAS paying my tuition fees and meals, my dream of becoming a medical doctor may have not been realised. Maybe I could not have achieved distinctions to get to second year of medicine, even worse I could have dropped out of university. NSFAS has played a major role in my life and words cannot describe how grateful I am for funding my dream. All my contribution in the South African Health sector could not have been a possibility had I dropped out of university due to lack of funds