Shaping the youth to become formidable African leaders is just one of the factors that set Dr Thandeka Ngcobo apart from her medical peers.
The charismatic doctor’s sphere of influence goes beyond the health sector, injecting into the world of youth empowerment and development.
Growing up in the rural community of Hluthankungu in KwaZulu-Natal, raised by a single parent and later becoming a teenage mother, Ngcobo has succeeded against the odds. Instead of being defeated by a teenage pregnancy, she matriculated as one of the top 10 students of the region and obtained a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree, becoming the second graduate in her family.
She is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and currently practises as a medical intern doctor at Mafikeng Provincial Hospital in North West province. Apart from being the Corporate Affairs Officer at Ngcobo Empire, an Afrocentric multimedia company that focuses on talent management and event broadcasting, Ngcobo aspires to be a community service officer in the coming year. The hard worker also has her eyes set on furthering her studies to specialise in paediatrics.
She recalled that her experience in the paediatric unit propelled her to love working with children, ever since she was a student doctor.
“At first I thought it would be a scary process but I just marvelled at the strength of a woman and seeing another human bringing life on earth. However, as time went by, I fell in love with paediatrics. Kids are the best patients ever and I enjoy working in paediatric units,” she said.
The 25-year-old works closely with already established non-profit organisations (NPOs) mainly in North West and Kwazulu Natal (KZN). In North West, she is actively involved in community building projects with Godisanang Youth Empowering Foundation (GYEF).
GYEF is a youth developing organisation which operates majorly in rural areas followed by townships. The aim of the organisation is to ensure they bring information and opportunities to the youth in the disadvantages so to provide them with a chance to escape poverty.
It hosts career guidance workshops, girl talks, and health seminars. In KZN, Ngcobo works closely with Phumlani M Foundation (PMF) where, similarly, they participate in career guidance talks and the remarkable “school is cool” campaign, which aims to encourage young people to make education a priority.
Information dissemination is of primary concern to Ngcobo, which is why she dedicates a lot of her time to ensuring that the young in rural communities are abreast with trends in developed global communities. Her message to every African child is, “It all seems impossible until it’s done and in essence, everything that you need for the journey ahead is in you and only you have the potential to unlock it.”