YOUNG, BLACK AND EDUCATED-SANDILE KUBHEKA
By: Litsa Masuku
Born on the first day of January 1994, 20-year-old Sandile Kubheka is not only young, black and passionate but he is making history and leaving a legacy behind.
The young and passionate doctor who is at present the ‘talk of the town’ hails from Newcastle in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. He recently graduated and was ecstatic to be the youngest graduate in his profession, and to have also attained a distinction in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
He was selected by his classmates to receive the Yashim Sham Bursary for having compassion and caring qualities, and for the Enid Gordon Jacob Good fellowship Prize for character and good conduct.
Kubheka began his formal schooling at the tender age of five and completed his schooling at Siyamukela High School at the age of 15. He then enrolled at UKZN’s Nelson R Mandela School of medicine where he served in the Rural Development Club, in the Happy Valley Clinic and in the Medical Student’s Representative Council.
Kubheka volunteered much of his time, providing free medical treatment and advice to rural communities attending the Happy Valley Clinic and Madadeni hospital. The young man enjoys giving back to the community and this is what he had to share;
“I love working especially with the disadvantaged that often don’t have easy access to medical treatment. I assisted in registering the Happy Valley Clinic as a Non-Profit Organisation during my student years and will continue to work with disadvantaged communities in the future.”
“I’ve had a very humble upbringing and my mom has greatly assisted in keeping me grounded. She raised me on her own as well as my four siblings. I am the first to qualify as a doctor in my family. I wouldn’t have made it this far without my mom who has always been there to give me guidance and wisdom, whilst growing up I had other interests in computer engineering but my mom is the person who has helped me realise my true abilities”.
They say dreams come true for those who believe, albeit with their fair share of challenges along the way that require emotional and physical stamina. At the heart of his story Kubheka reveals that he has had to face his own ‘demons’, and fight for his dream.
“There are always naysayers who don’t believe in you and your dreams, but I believe these people made me stronger and taught me to believe in myself. I did not forget to remain focused on the passion I always had for medicine”.
Kubheka believes that the term ‘free generation’ means we are all liberated from all the struggles of the past. We can now chase our dreams, using the opportunities our parents did not have.
Kubheka is serving his internship at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg and hopes to eventually register for a Masters of Medicine degree, specialising in Internal Medicine and to super specialise at some stage in Endocrinology.
“My medical school classmates and I are currently in the process of launching a Trust fund which will focus on mentorship and giving scholarship to learners that come from under-privileged backgrounds.”
He was voted by the class of 2013 at his school as ‘the next Minister of Health’ that South Africa should be on the look-out for.
Dr Sandile Kubheka is proof positive that youare never too young to become the master of your own destiny.