Women’s month may be behind us but we believe that incredible women should be celebrated every day. Doctor Thandeka Ngcobo, who is a University of KwaZulu-Natal graduate, is one such woman!
Having grown up in rural KwaZulu Natal, at Hluthankungu, a small village outside eXobho to be specific, she would walk for many kilometres to and from school due to a lack of transport. Although she says that she was not the brightest of learners, her dedication and hard work propelled her towards her dreams.
“Growing up in a rural area wasn’t easy and even though we were not poor and neither a well off family, I always wanted to succeed and change the environment we lived in,” Dr Ngcobo said.
The 24 year old says that even though she is the second member of her family to graduate, she is forever grateful to her older siblings who (after Grade 12) had to look for employment in order to help pay for her studies.
“Because I was really inspired by what my siblings did, I wanted to work hard so that our parents can have peace of mind knowing that we have a good education”, she added.
Going through university wasn’t easy for the young doctor as she became a mother in her first year. Due to this unplanned pregnancy, Thandeka took a knock academically but cites her mother as her anchor through it all.
“I’m very grateful to my mother because she took care of my baby and I was able to continue with school; and because I had accepted Jesus Christ as my saviour I received a lot of support from my church,” said Dr Ngcobo.
— Thembinkosi ngcobo (@Tnngcobo) September 8, 2017
Ever since she started working as a Medical Doctor at the Mafikeng Provincial Hospital in the North West, one of the major challenges they come across is teenage pregnancy. Having been in a similar situation, Dr Ngcobo is able to relate to the circumstances young mothers face, and consequently make it easy for her to advise and encourage them.
Besides saving lives, an initiative that this resilient doctor is also passionate about is the Godisanang Youth Empowering Foundation (GYEF) which she joined after the organization approached her on twitter a few months ago.
“Because GYEF is based in Mafikeng they invited me to be one of the key speakers at their HIV/AIDS awareness campaign and it was exciting because they already had a well established working relationship with my brother – S’boniso from the Ngcobo Empire,” she said.
Thandeka further explained that her future endeavours include forming her own foundation that will focus on teenage pregnancy, but for now, she continues working with organisations that are already tackling such issues and more.
“There is a poem that says life without a dream is like a bird with broken wings. I always encourage young people to work hard and start dreaming big and work towards their dreams with dedication. Hard work doesn’t start at university. It begins at primary school level”, she highlighted.
Dr Ngcobo’s graduation ceremony took place at UKZN Westville Campus on the 7th of September 2017. Visit our GALLERY to view more of her photos with family and friends.