Two exceptional SMU female professors are taking the lead in their areas of specialisation

Professor Dikeledi Mokone and Professor Nozipho Nyakale.

Professor Dikeledi Mokone and Professor Nozipho Nyakale.

Published Jul 21, 2023


Dr Dikeledi Mokone becomes SA’s first African female Professor of Surgery

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) recently announced Professor Dikeledi Mokone as the first female African to become a Professor of Surgery in South Africa.

Prof Mokone is a well-respected academic in the field of breast oncology in South Africa and abroad among her peers. Her commitment to teaching both undergraduates and post graduates students is legendary. She is a dedicated clinician and academic. The university’s Dean of the School of Medicine, Professor Nathaniel Mofolo, has described this as a historic moment, given that worldwide surgery is a male dominated area of specialisation. “In the South African context, the problem has been particularly severe due to apartheid and its legacy,” said Mofolo.

Prof Mokone completed her undergraduate studies and went to specialise as a general surgeon at SMU, where she further trained as a sub-specialist breast surgeon. She is currently Head of the Breast Unit at the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital (DGMAH).

Her research interests are in the area of breast pathology, particularly as it affects the indigent population of South Africa. She has published widely in the field of breast surgery. Her current responsibilities include teaching of both undergraduate and post graduate students and patient care.

She is also supervising several Master’s students.

The university has congratulated Professor Mokone for this momentous achievement.

Prof Mokone is a strong leader and SMU is proud of her achievements.

Nozipho Nyakale is now Associate Professor in Nuclear Medicine

Prof Nozipho Nyakale is one of the only two black female Associate Nuclear Medicine professors in the country, and the first black female to be promoted as Nuclear Medicine Head of Department in this academic standing. She has now been promoted to Associate Professor in the department of Nuclear Medicine and is the head of the department of Nuclear Medicine at the SMU/DGMAH complex.

“Our focus as a department has always been, and continues to be, ensuring that our

department is on par with the best. We offer teaching and service that will create scholars that can survive and excel worldwide. We strive to offer a comprehensive service that gives our people access to what could otherwise be deemed exclusive diagnostic and therapeutic services; and teaching that allows our students to get exposure to almost everything that is needed for them to be with the best in the field,” said Prof Nyakale.

She further stressed that they continue to progressively improve their research output and ensure that this is done in collaboration with the rest of the institution, national and international community and produce outstanding work in the area of nuclear medicine.

“This is the mandate I hope to continue with to ensure that we continue to grow together in the department. I believe I am naturally hard working and always strive to do the best I can in spite of the resources available to me and the team,” she said. Nyakale further expressed gratitude to the great mentors who patiently guide her in multiple aspects of her career. “I avail myself to serve where I can and always hope to make a difference. The achievements are simply validation of your efforts in providing the purpose and service that you are called to,” she concluded.