- Nhlanhla Khuzwayo is a step closer to achieving his dream of becoming a medical practitioner
- The 24-year-old was among 126 University of KwaZulu-Natal students who studied medicine for five years in Cuba
- Dr Khuzwayo opened up about the tough time he had in the foreign country and how he pushed through to become a doctor
At the age of 24, Nhlanhla Khuzwayo is a step closer to achieving his life-long dream of becoming a doctor. But, his journey to success was far from easy and Dr Khuzwayo had to fight for his dream till the day he qualified.
According a report by The Citizen, Khuzwayo hailed from Nongoma, a rural town in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The now-24-year-old dreamed of becoming a doctor while he was still in high school and he would get teased over his aspirations.
"In high school, I used to write a name tag that said Dr Khuzwayo, and people would laugh at me because the environment I grew up in was a rural area and people never thought a doctor would come out of this area," he said.
On top of that, Khuzwayo was left orphaned at a young age and he had to live with other relatives. However, his late brother and a British couple in his church financially supported him and Khuzwayo was able to chase his dream after completing matric.
Briefly.co.za gathered Khuzwayo was one of 126 University of KwaZulu-Natal students who participated in the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro medical student training programme.
The programme enabled the students to study medicine in Cuba for five years. However, Khuzwayo said the time abroad was far from a walk in the park.
He revealed the food was one of the hardest struggles to overcome, but another Mandela/Castro alumni motivated him.
On top of that, Khuzwayo said the discrimination they faced in Cuba was an eye-opener.
"[After being a foreigner in Cuba] I will never abuse someone because they are a foreigner again. Just walking in the streets people would discriminate against us. There were some lovely Cubans, but there were also some who had an attitude," he said.
Despite missing Mzansi's food and the discrimination in Cuba, Khuzwayo pushed through and he worked hard towards his dream.
He said: "whenever I encountered difficulties I used to tell myself that nothing will stand in the way of my success."
Khuzwayo and his fellow medical students will complete the last stretch of their studies at the UKZN College of Health Sciences.
He is set to qualify as a doctor next year October.
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