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Change the world

26/06/2023

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Mandela University’s Dr Zithulele Tshabalala, 35, senior lecturer in human anatomy at the Medical School, has been announced as one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans for 2023.

 

With the theme “Celebrating South African visionaries” Dr Tshabalala was named in the Education category, one of more than 15 categories in the project.

The youth are South Africa’s key to reaching greatness, and the project recognises and rewards youth who have created resilient, entrepreneurial and robust solutions.  

These young people are actively shaping South Africa and play a pivotal role in building its future. 

Zithulele moved to Mandela University because of the medical school in Missionvale, as it was an opportunity to serve the community by training primary healthcare-oriented doctors.

Creating an academic environment of inclusion and social awareness is a critical focus of his developmental process.

“It’s not enough to be the first to do it, it is your responsibility to create healthy environments for those joining you to achieve their best selves.

:Be the master key for the doors that people do not have the strength to kick down themselves”, Zithulele says.

He started as technical assistant after completing his PhD at the University of Pretoria in 2019 and advanced to teaching anatomy within the health science faculty.

This exposure gave him a range of knowledge on teaching health sciences students and how to best align knowledge, in preparation for the interdisciplinary nature of their careers, for the best care of their patients.

He was the first anatomist at Mandela University and at the forefront of starting the Human Anatomy section. As acting HOD, he now guides his 14 members in the fields of human anatomy, integrated pathology, medical biochemistry, pharmacology and physiology.

Zithulele believes giving students access to resources will not only help them excel in their studies but also reveal clinically relevant resources, exposing them to all aspects of understanding the human body using virtual dissection tables, AR and VR.

He holds a PhD and MSc in Anatomy (cum laude), BSc (Hons) in Macro-anatomy and BSc Medical Science, all from the University of Pretoria. He received the JM Boon prize for Best Achievement in Anatomy research at Masters and Doctoral level, among others.

His advice to the youth is: “Please remember to take care of yourself. Do not let the pursuit of wanting to be the best take everything from you. Time will show you that your being is worth more than what you can prove to others. You may not like to hear it, but your light is incredibly bright, allowing people who find warmth in it to appreciate you. My Guy, celebrate yourself … O lepanstula la nnete.

Regarding South Africa in the next five years, he says: “I want to see a South Africa where the descendants of those that willingly or unwillingly contributed to medical education with their bodies truly benefit from a health system that was not initially made for them. A South Africa where organs of justice and prosperity are transplanted to bodies that will uplift our country, which has an ACL tear (one of the most common knee injuries)".  

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160
elma.dekoker@mandela.ac.za