- 7 friends at the University of Free State will graduate as doctors in December
- They had to overcame various challenges to reach this milestone
- The young doctors thanked God for their achievement and said they look forward to making a difference
After overcoming a host of challenges in their studies, seven friends are set to graduate as doctors from the University of the Free State.
Moliehi Mareka, Mahlatse Mothiba, Tshepang Motete, Thato Mosehle, Toni Motseoile, Lungile Mkhungo, and Lijeng Lefosa will graduate on 6 December.
Thato shared several photos of the group on Facebook along with the caption: "Glory to God!! We did it y'all! We proved so many people wrong, we've proved so many people right."
Although they met each other as classmates, they ended up being friends. The fact that they were among nine black students in a class of 130 played a role, Briefly.co.za gathered.
Speaking to TimesLIVE, 24-year-old Tshepang said she was raised in a rural village by parents who aren't professionals. She's the first in her family to become a doctor.
Adjusting to modern technological equipment during her studies was therefore a huge challenge. Luckily, older students were there to guide them, she said.
23-year-old Thato Mosehle is similarly the first in her family to qualify as a doctor. Her main worry is about stereotypes surrounding young, black, and female doctors. She explained:
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.
The lack of doctors, and more specifically black doctors, in her community motivated her to study medicine.
The group is keen to make a difference in South Africa's health system. They said they are prepared to work long hours in public hospitals and to be role models. Thato said:
Giving back and serving our communities is something really close to us.
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