Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) Registrar in the School of Clinical Medicine at UKZN, Dr John Kutsukutsa, has joined the ranks of the few specialists in this field, following his graduation at the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa in Cape Town recently.
A supernumerary from Zimbabwe, Kutsukutsa passed his finals on his first attempt. He is the first supernumerary in ENT in Durban to qualify and did so before completing his stint as a registrar. In his time with UKZN, he has had three publications in different international journals.
Otorhinolaryngology involves the assessment, diagnosis, and management of diseases and conditions of the ears, nose and throat. It encompasses tumors of the head and neck, airway (voice box), balance and hearing as well as nose and sinus problems.
Kutsukutsa completed his undergraduate medical degree at the University of Zimbabwe in 2005 and worked in Bulawayo before joining the ENT department in Harare as a registrar in 2015. He joined the registrar programme at UKZN’s ENT Department in 2016 and completed his Master’s in Medicine (MMed) research module in 2017. His recent admission as a Fellow clears his way for MMed graduation at the next UKZN graduation.
‘God has been graceful and has led me all the way. He has never failed. Helping others and making a difference brings me satisfaction,’ said Kutsukutsa. He added that growing up poor taught him to make the best of opportunities that come his way.
His journey was not always a smooth one. He encountered financial challenges and found it challenging to be in a faraway land, away from family support. He is grateful to his teachers and everyone, including strangers, who offered their support.
The proud father of two daughters has organised two successful World Hearing Day awareness campaigns at the UKZN Medical School and King Edward Hospital VIII. These were meant to raise awareness about the growing and expensive problem of hearing loss – a problem he encounters every day.
Kutsukutsa’s long-term goals include pursuing a PhD, completing a Head and Neck fellowship and providing an ENT service back home in KwaBulawayo. He wants to venture into academia and hopefully become a professor in 10 years’ time if all goes well.
‘Success is a matter of attitude,’ he believes.
Words: Lihle Sosibo