Student aims to find cure for disease that killed his parents

2013-11-20 00:00

A YEAR after Bahle Tshoba’s (19) life took a turn for the better when he was awarded a full-time bursary to study medicine, he is more determined than ever to succeed.

And after losing both his parents to Aids- related illnesses in his early teens, the Inanda youngster has set the bar high for his own achievements — to find a cure for HIV/Aids, or at the least more effective treatment.

Tshoba’s grit and determination to become a doctor started with his attaining six distinctions in matric at the Inanda Newton Comprehensive High School.

This impressed University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Vice Chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba so much that the university offered him a full bursary.

“By the age of 13 I had lost both my parents — my father when I was nine and my mother when I was 13. They both suffered with the disease and eventually died. I told myself that I would not let others suffer the same fate and therefore I felt I had to do something about it, and wanted to join the medical field,” said Tshoba.

He and his sister faced many challenges — sometimes going to bed without a meal for the day. They were eventually taken in by an aunt who provided them with their basic needs. Since being awarded the bursary, Tshoba has moved to the university residence, but stays with his aunt during the holidays.

“My aunt does not have a job but she supports me in any way that she can. Right now I am only living off the money supplied by the bursary,” Tshoba said.

He added: “Being an orphan and having to face these hardships forced me to focus more on my schoolwork, which was difficult since I only lived with my sister and we sometimes used to go to bed without any food. However, God had answered my prayers and had awarded me with six distinctions in matric.”

Tshoba said his devotion and belief in God had got him through all the challenges.

“I was adamant about studying in the medical field but I could not afford the registration fees or the yearly fees. My story was published in a newspaper, with Professor Makgoba coming to my rescue.

“I am currently in my first year at medical school and the journey has been tough, but I am proud of my achievements of passing all my tests for the year. The only troubling subject for all first year students, including myself, in the field is biochemistry. I believe it will take a tremendous amount of hard work to achieve all the goals I have set.

“To everyone who has a dream they wish to achieve I say never let your dreams die. Never give up and always fight against all odds.”

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