Durban — The newly-graduated doctor Lindani Mkhabela is a proud recipient of the prestigious Bongani Mayosi Award, which he received for the active role he played as an academic mentor and tutor for internal medicine, and to third-year students transitioning from laboratory to clinical medicine.
Mkhabela hails from Hluhluwe in northern KwaZulu-Natal, recently graduated with the MBChB degree from UKZN.
“I am very humbled to receive this award, given the level of excellence that Professor Bongani Mayosi demonstrated in the medical field and in academia,” he said.
The Bongani Mayosi Foundation was established to commemorate the life of this remarkable South African and international scholar, and to advance his vision to “lift as you rise”, and ensure that his work continued through successive generations of medical graduates and clinician scientists.
The award recipient, who is voted for by final-year MBChB students, should be a student who, like Mayosi, balances academic excellence and humanity.
The award factors in academic achievement, emotional intelligence and social responsiveness.
Mkhabela received a R10 000 prize, which he formally accepted at the Bongani Mayosi Foundation Gala Dinner, held in Cape Town in January.
He said he was overwhelmed by the warm reception and future prospects for his career proposed at the event.
Mkhabela was involved in a number of student activities and societies, including the Medical School Christian Fellowship, where he served as Leadership Forum Co-ordinator.
The fellowship conducted seminars to help fellow students acquire skills such as improving emotional intelligence, strategic planning and money management skills - ordinarily not included in the academic curriculum.
Mkhabela was also part of the Surgical Students Society in 2018, and the Clinical Laboratory Programme in 2022.
“I was lucky to pass the interview together with Dr Shivana Jugernath,” Mkhabela said.
He described his journey at UKZN as “absolutely amazing! It has been a long journey full of obstacles, so graduating is testimony of resilience, not only for me but for my colleagues also”.
Mkhabela said he was motivated to persevere in his studies by his late language teacher and pastor, Thembi Mjadu.
“She was my pillar of strength and I was saddened to hear of her passing when I was in my fourth year. My family is very proud of my achievements. Most of my friends are now medical doctors and some are newly qualified engineers, so we share the same sentiments,” he said.
Mkhabela said his passion lies in internal medicine and paediatrics.
“I am looking to specialise in one of them, depending on where I obtain a registrar post, then sub-specialise in cardiology. My decision to study medicine was largely influenced by my late teacher Mjadu at Mduku High School. I wouldn’t mind going back to UKZN for my postgraduate studies,” he added.
There is more to Mkhabela than medicine.
“I love cooking and music. I have cooked for media personalities, and now that I have four wheels, I enjoy driving big time,” he chuckled.
Mkhabela was a top achiever in the class of 2016 in Hluhluwe’s Big Five Hlabisa Municipality, and received the Mayoral Award for his achievements.
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