UKZN’s Dr Zama Dlamini is the winner and Dr Sphindile Tini the runner-up in the inaugural Bongani Mayosi Medical Students’ Academic Awards for the class of 2020.
The awards recognise final-year Medical students who epitomise the academic, legendary and altruistic life of the late Professor Bongani Mayosi.
UKZN was one of several universities that participated in the competition where final-year MBChB students select a classmate who in their opinion is skilled in balancing academic excellence, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and social accountability.
Dlamini won R6 000 and Tini R4 000.
‘I feel honored especially because Professor Mayosi was such a great leader, academic achiever and a supportive person who I respect,’ said Dlamini. ‘I am humbled to be viewed by colleagues as an individual who possesses the qualities required to win the award. It serves as an incentive for me to continue developing myself to be a better person for the benefit of the community.’
She aspires to be a great leader and an exceptional doctor promoting health as well as ‘treating everyone with a caring heart’.
Born in Umzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal, Dlamini yearned to help the sick after seeing family and community members dying from diseases such as HIV/AIDS, asthma and cancer. Studying medicine gave her the opportunity to ‘change the world and heal the sick’.
Said Tini, ‘I am really honoured by the award. To me it confirms that I have done well and people have taken notice. In life, we should try to be the best we can be regardless of the circumstances we face. Along the way we make mistakes, we stumble but when you get such recognition, it’s really a pat on the back and you know you have done something right and left your mark.’
Growing up in Inanda, Durban, Tini always wanted to help people, be influential and make a difference in the lives of others. She believes the best way to do that is to alleviate suffering and bring about hope through medicinal practices.
She aspires to further her studies after community service and specialise. She trusts God to guide her and show her the way.
‘Coming from a township, being a woman and being Black I’ve always had to work twice as hard to get what I wanted. I was hell bent on changing the narrative and inspiring others. Through Prof Mayosi, I have learned that your race and your economic situation should never limit your dreams. You can be all that you have ever wished for, you just have to believe in yourself and be prepared to work hard.’
Words: Lihle Sosibo