First female black doctor in internal medicine seeks young followers

Reflecting on challenges in her profession, she said: “Finding a voice as a young female in a space that is dominated by males was one of the hardest things. It was even harder to navigate the space as a black woman.”

Nqebelele kick started her medical career in the year 2001 after she completed her medical degree with the University of Cape Town (UCT).

She attributed her success to mentorship, among other things. “When I enrolled at Wits, I was fortunate to have been mentored by professor emeritus Saraladevi [Naicker] who literally held my hand. 

“She dedicated all her life to mentoring young people and this is why I too want to mentor young girls,” she said.

Nqebelele said the environment in her profession had to change and wanted to see more young women pursuing careers in the medical profession.

“I want these young girls to have role models. As a young girl, when you see someone who looks like you doing something you love, you get inspired and actually believe that you too can do it,” Nqebelele said.

She had no plans of enrolling in any academic qualifications but ground breaking research.  

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