South Africa introduces her youngest black Female Cardiologist, Dr Viwe Mtwesi.
The 32-year old cardiologist is best described as a young woman of principles and a lover of hardwork. Most stunning is her humble and down to earth response to the praises of the people for attaining an indeed significant feat for women, young black natives and all South Africans.
She was born and raised in a small rural village in the Eastern Cape. Mtwesi did her matric as a teenager and went on to study medicine at Walter Sisulu University. To finally get to the point of being a certified Cardiologist, the young tenacious lady studied for 17 long and challenging years.
According to her, the much celebrated success is all “Grace and God’s timing”. She expresses her gratitude to God who she says she loves the most in the world.
“I am encouraged by and admire young people who are determined to succeed in life and in business [but] I thank God, whom I love the most.”
Dr Viwe Mtwesi graduated from Wits College of Medicine last week. She currently works as a cardiology fellow at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg. Mtwesi also runs a medical tourism company.
The black medical entrepreneur who believes “ambition also helps” owns a company called Rega Medical Tourism where clients who are diagnosed with a problem abroad can get help.
Also remarkable is the fact that she was among the medical team that treated Nelson Mandela in his last days. For her dedication, President Jacob Zuma honored her with a Mandela Medallion Gold Medal some years ago.
“I was humbled by getting an opportunity to care for a highly regarded world icon, who also made it possible for me as a black person to take my position in society with pride.”
In her work in the male-dominated field, Mtwesi admits there are still challenges in coping there. However, regardless of the gender-sensitive atmosphere, she insists on being the very best she can be.
“I’ve had good mentors and great support from people who are highly regarded in this field, and who have been willing to hold my hand. There are many but they include academics such as Dr Ferander Peters, who is a cardiologist, and Professor Colin Menezes.”
Dr Viwe Mtwesi’s ruling motivation/principles include:
1. Stick To What You’re Good At
Contrary to the popular gospel of following your heart, Dr Viwe Mtwesi proposes that you follow what you are good at and nurture that.
“You don’t need a high IQ or brains – all you need is hard work and determination. I was not the sharpest tool in the toolbox, but I made it. Stick to what you are good at, and not what you desire to be.”
Sharing her own experience, Mtwesi had always wanted to be an engineer. Sadly she was not so good in mathematics. The only option left was to build on her strong points which lead her to study medicine.
2. Having A Good Support System
Friend and family support matters for Dr Mtwesi.
In a case where you find yourself being stifled by the opinions of people around you, she advises that you take charge of defining your life. You may need to pull yourself away from people who drown your drive and energy to succeed.
It can also demand that you surround yourself with people who believe in you and motivate you to be better. Dr Mtwesi counts herself lucky to have a family that believes in her.
3. Grounded In Christ
In a radio interview, with Azania Mosaka, Dr Viwe Mtwesi emphatically says that her success is rooted in her faith in God.
“I only believe what God says about me.”
She describes herself as someone who is not title crazy and would prefer people except her patients to address her by her first name.
“We can have the biggest titles, be the biggest thing after chewing gum, but when we don’t have God we will always live empty lives; that’s my opinion!”
Mtwesi has plans to further her education overseas. She intends to focus on electrophysiology and her PhD. Gratefully the charming and warm doctor has a privately funded scholarship to bring the two-and-a-half-year training and academic programme come to fruition.