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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

21-year-old African lady bags Medicine degree, sets record as country’s youngest female doctor

A 21-year-olf African lady named Thakgalo Thibela. has bagged a Medicine degree at the University of Waterwitand in Sounth Africa. She also made history as the youngest ever medical doctor in South Africa.

Thibela, from Mpumalanga bagged her bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Waterwitand in South Africa. She made history by becoming the youngest female practicing medical doctor in South Africa at age 21 according to Women Africa.

She stated that she was initially accepted to study nuclear engineering but she declined because she had always wanted to become a doctor since her pre-school years. Thibela started first grade when she was six years old,  was promoted from Grade 6 to 8 and from Grade 8 to 10 because of her academic excellence.

“I started school at the same age as everyone else, so I was six years old in grade 1, but I had a very competitive spirit in primary school. My high school teachers were very supportive, and I always wanted to be the best at what I did,” she said.

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Thibela stated that finishing school earlier than most of her peers and going to university at an early age did come with obstacles, however, she never allowed any obstacle to be a discouraging factor in her journey.

At the age pf 16, she received a bursary from Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and got admitted to the University of Witwatersrand, where she enrolled for a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, since my pre-school days. Although I’m still trying to figure out which kind, I’ve just had this desire and passion to help people that I believe God placed in my heart, and ever since then, I’ve never seen myself as anything else but a doctor,”she said.



She said being so young has not been challenging, and it is not even something she thinks about or that comes up a lot, nor has she been treated differently because of her age. “It is only when a patient or staff member asks how old I am that I remember that I’m younger than some of my colleagues,” Thibela said.

”When patients question me, it’s never from a place of concern. I’ve had a few say they are proud of me and my achievements and that they will tell their children or grandchildren about me as a way to motivate them,” she added.

She mentioned though a career as doctor can be demanding, stressful but it is rewarding. Thibela stated that some of the challenges she is the facing is being deprived of her social life which has affected relationships.

She also mentioned that there are times she will have mental, emotional, and physical breakdowns but she loves being a medical doctor.

Thibela attributes her success to her family especially her mother’s support, She stated that her mother taught her to always talk to God and let him do what he does best, which she did.



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