Women's Activism NYC

Dr. Nokukhanya Khanyile

1992 - Today

By: Jane Ambrose | Date Added:

Dr. Nokukhanya Khanyile works as a full-time medical officer in the pediatrics department at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, a career that has enabled her to empower young people in society. How? Through providing information and the tools they need to take care of not just themselves, but their communities too. According to Dr Khanyile, a young girl can get into medicine simply by working hard in school (particularly in math and science), then applying to a university that offers medicine. “Even if you don’t get into medicine straight out of matric, there are programs, such as the one at the University Of Witwatersrand – the Graduate Entry Medical Programme – that allows you to jump into medicine from third year after passing an entrance exam,” she says. Once you qualify, you’ll need to complete two years of internship and one year of community service. “In order to get into the internship program, you’d need to apply to the government with the options of where you would like to be placed and they will place you. From then on, you’re an independent medical practitioner and can do anything from specializing to opening your own practice,” she explains. A typical day involves seeing patients admitted to her unit and deciding on investigations to perform, medication to prescribe and various multidisciplinary team members to involve in their management. “I’m also involved with Mental Matters, an organization that aims to destigmatize mental illness in society (especially among the youth) through seminars with prominent guest speakers,” she says. Dr. Khanyile also uses her medical knowledge to answer frequently asked questions on various radio shows and in the print media, so she’s informing people about their health in the comfort of their homes. There’s empowerment in praying for all the people you work for/with in advance, says Dr Khanyile. “You don’t know what struggles people are going through and how your words may affect their day for the better,” she adds. We are leaders in our own rights, she adds, and we must always remember that, as leaders, we are ultimately servants with more responsibility. “The moment we forget to serve others and elevate ourselves above people, we lose the trust and respect of those around us.” Dr. Khanyile recommends reading the bible. “With guidance using a devotional that is focused towards whatever need you have. All of the lessons I’ve ever needed to know about leadership, love, relationships, work ethic, etc. have come from there, but I needed guidance to know how to understand its principles,” she says. Dr. Khanyile also prioritizes self-care, spending a lot of time praying and meditating, but her fave activity is working out with her personal trainer, boyfriend, or solo. “Completing a workout not only releases feel-good hormones, but gives me a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence,” she says.

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