Where do you hail from/ where are you originally from (city, country)?
Limpopo, South Africa
Where do you currently live (city/country)?
Midrand, South Africa
What did you study after completing high school?
Bachelor of Surgery; Diploma in project management, Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Masters in medicine, and PhD Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Why did you choose to study that particular course/courses?
Wanted to become a doctor, because of my love for working with people and wanting to help people in need. Then I discovered I loved working in the labour ward, felt it was thrilling and rewarding. Eventually my passion for research inspired the PhD
Did you get any funding from an organisation cover your studies?
My PhD was funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the South African Medical Research Council
What was your first job?
I did my medical internship in Pietermaritzburg at Greys/Edendale and Northdale Hospital
Your current job title?
Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Director at the Wits Obstetrics and Gynaecology Clinical Research Division
Industry you work and a brief description of the function of your industry (if Industry is too broad i.e. Banking, please describe it in the context of your specific team)
Medical and research. I work as a clinician, I work with pregnant patients, deliver babies, I do caesarean sections. I work mostly with women with high risk pregnancies. I also head up research trials, with the aim of advancing knowledge in the medical field.
Are you a manager of people, if yes how many?
We work in teams and I am usually the senior person in the team
What is a key leadership principle you have learnt/applied over the years in managing people?
People want to know you care. People become loyal when they see your interest in their potential is greater than what you expect them to achieve for the organization. When they know you care, they start to care about your vision for the organization, and they usually help you work towards it
Describe a typical day in your life from the time you arrive at your office?
I arrive at the hospital, and I see patients, or operate in theatre. Then I spend a few hours in my office either reading literature, or writing a research document. I teach students (undergrad and postgraduate) and I attend a lot of meetings
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started your first job?
The difference between you and your peers is what you do in your spare time (reading, studying and investing). Ultimately that determines where you end up.
What challenges did you find along the way to where you are now in your career and how did you overcome them?
Balancing life, family and developing a career. It wasn’t easy juggling studies, work, marriage and children. Dealing with failures along the way was also tough, sometimes having to repeat exams, resubmitting research reports, and journals declining articles. But each time one learnt to keep pushing
Share your secret to success, what would you say has allowed you to stand out from your peers?
Not conforming to the norm, and going the extra mile
What advice would you give to your younger self?
What advice would you give to a young person who wants to break into your industry?
Find your niche and study all that is required to become an expert in that field. Publish, publish publish!