Passionate about patients

2012-12-17 00:00

WHEN Dr Thandeka Mazibuko looks back on her life, she gets scared. She likens the memory to “walking out of a burning house and being the only survivor”.

Growing up poor, raised solely by her mother and being forced to quit matric and get married at the age of 17 are just some of the challenges Mazibuko had to endure. But these have made her stronger and more determined to make a difference and give back to her community of kwaNyuswa Village, Hillcrest.

Mazibuko works at Grey’s Hospital’s oncology department.

She said her passion for the community came from understanding the poverty she had come from.

Being raised by a domestic worker, life was not easy. Sometimes she and her younger sister would have to eat stale bread which they got from neighbours.

Despite the hardships, she found strength in prayer and believing in herself.

Her life took a different turn after her school burnt to the ground when she was in Grade 10 and went to live with relatives in Chesterville so she could continue her schooling.

But things didn’t go quite as planned. When she was in matric, at just 17, she was forced to get married.

She went back to school, but had to lie to her family who didn’t want her to study.

“They thought I was going to do my driver’s licence,” she said.

After passing matric, Mazibuko left home to study her BSc at the University of the North (University of Limpopo) before enrolling at UKZN’s Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, where she completed her studies through loans.

Her divorce was finalised while she was still at university and in her fifth year she founded Sinomusanothando, a non-profit organisation that aims to help individuals and communities realise their potential and enhance their ability to improve their health and quality of life.

Recently she opened up a cancer screening centre in her village, the first of its kind in KwaZulu-Natal. She has partnered with traditional healers in the venture.

“Patients in the rural areas face a lot of challenges. They are far from hospitals and they have no education [about cancer].

“I’m a doctor who is a product of this area. I come to the community and don’t wait for the community to come to me,” said Mazibuko.

This year she was named the regional business achiever “social entrepreneur” at the Business Women’s Association of South Africa awards event in Durban.

Mazibuko’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.