Dr Mamphela Ramphele on her father’s illness

By Drum Digital
26 May 2017

Dr Mamphela Ramphele on how she was told her father is ill

South African politician and businesswoman Dr Mamphela Ramphele opened up to TV host Anele Mdoda on SABC3’s Real Talk with Anele about how she found out her dad was dying of cancer. She adds that the way she was told of his illness was one of the most cruel things anyone has ever done to her.

"When I decided I wanted to be a doctor, this white man who was a farmer Bochum in Limpopo where I grew up said; 'What? You black woman wanting to be a doctor? My own daughter could not make it, she is just a nurse. Who do you think you are to be able to do that? And by the way, your dad is dying'. He said that and that's how I realised my father was very sick," Dr Ramphele explained.

The anti-apartheid activist’s father had cancer of the oesophagus and when she was told she didn't know. "I knew he was ill and he was in and out of hospital, but it's only when that man told me that I knew how serious it was," she added.

Dr Ramphele said what made her upset the most was that she was a child and how she was told was not a good way to tell a child.

"After he told me that I looked at this guy and I was like to myself; 'I am going to show this character and I cried until I was a few blocks from home and I didn't tell my mother," she said.

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