Black excellence

Dr S’thembile Ngidi, aged 31, is the first black female oncologist in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal and the country’s second

BREAKING BOUNDRIES: Dr S’thembile Ngidi

MEET DR S’thembile Ngidi, who, at 31, the first black female oncologist in KwaZulu-Natal, a coastal province in South Africa, and the country’s second.

As a sickly child, S’thembile used to marvel at how doctors could put a smile on the face of an ailing child in a few easy steps.

“That had such an impact on me,” she said. “I made up my mind well before my teens that I wanted to be in medicine.”

After graduating from the Colleges of Medicine South Africa, S’thembile set about making her dreams a reality.

Though she is proud of her achievements and success, S’thembile said her continued motivation comes from “breaking the boundaries”.

“I am not a typical person. I have always believed in breaking the boundaries. I don’t believe in limits. I always want to do what most people say I cannot do or that is not for women,” she said.

S’thembile, the daughter of a nurse and a farmer, works at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital and credits the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health for changing her life by awarding her a bursary to pursue her studies.

She attributes her success to nothing less than sheer hard work and the importance of devising a plan and sticking to it.

“It’s always good to know from the word go what you want in your life, because then you can chart your life. I picked my subjects carefully, and made sure I performed at a certain level, and made sure I got the points I needed to get into medicine, and exceeded that just to get in,” she explains.

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