A group of young women who are best friends have qualified as doctors from the University of the Free State, South Africa.
“We are prepared for anything and everything; our MBChB prepared us for the worst. We are confident that we will be able to handle whatever comes our way,” said Tshepang Motete, 24.
Motete, originally from Marquard in the Free State, said she was proud to be the first person to become a doctor in her family.
Despite being born and bred in a rural area and being raised by parents who were not professionals, Motete said she was determined to make her dream a reality.
(Front) Moliehi Mareka, Mahlatse Mothiba, Tshepang Motete (Back): Thato Mosehle, Toni Motseoile, Lungile Mkhungo and Lijeng Lefosa have all qualified as doctors.
“The fact that I wasn’t born in a family of professionals really played a huge role … because I took a decision to say I’d push against all odds,” she told TimesLIVE.
The group started off as classmates and ended up as friends in 2015.
“In our class there were probably 130 students, with only nine black girls, so we grew closer because we could relate to each other,” said Motete.
“It wasn’t easy to adapt to so many changes, for example, we had to use technological devices a lot. Staying at the university’s residence really made a difference because senior students were there to help us,” she said.
Thato Mosehle, 23, originally from the North West province, also said she was the first one to qualify as a doctor in her family. She expressed no fears for the future, but does have a concern about patients’ mindsets.
“I believe our programme prepared us for anything really. However, I am just concerned about stereotypes among our people,” said Mosehle.
Friends share their collective achievement after qualifying as medical doctors.
“There are patients who would prefer an older (nursing) sister over a young doctor. There are males who prefer to be attended to by other males, but I am strong enough to handle all that.”
Mosehle said she was shocked when a social media user commented on her picture, saying: “Congrats on Seven female friends qualify as medical doctors in South Africa qualification, I hope you will treat us like white doctors.”
Asked about the future, the friends said their mission was to make a difference in the health system.
“Giving back and serving our communities is something really close to us,” said Mosehle, who got a car gift from her parents three days ago.
The group will officially graduate on December 6.