“My name is Mzomhle Kiza. I was born and raised in a township called Mfuleni, in Cape Town. I am currently serving the OR Tambo District in Eastern Cape as a medical doctor at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital.
Life has been a journey, a sad and exciting journey. Having been brought up in a shack by a self-employed single mother meant that I could not have things that kids my age had. It meant that I had to think and act like a grown-up from a young age.I had to grow up and realize that the world does not owe me anything. I knew that the only way I would get out of my situation was to educate myself — that would open a window of opportunity for my family.
I attended Manzomthombo Secondary School, which is one of three public schools in Mfuleni. Like many public schools, my school suffered from a lack of resources, educators and science laboratories. This all made understanding Mathematics and Physical Science very challenging for me, so much so that in grade 11 I was faced with the fear that I would not qualify to apply for the medical degree that I wanted to pursue.
During the June holidays of grade 11 I was invited to attend TRAC’s winter school program at Stellenbosch University. During my time there I had the privilege to be in a Science laboratory for the first time. I received study materials and attended lectures to help understand challenging Mathematics and Physical Science concepts. TRAC took it upon themselves to educate us on the different career options available at a tertiary level. My understanding and appetite for Physical Science improved dramatically and my results started reflecting as such. With my Physical Science grades improving slowly but surely I began to believe that perhaps I had a chance in getting into medical school.
During my matric year, I got invited to attend the program again which helped me get good grades in both Mathematics and Physical Science and ultimately I got accepted to Stellenbosch University for medicine. Through TRAC’s practical approach to difficult and challenging scientific concepts my Physical Science grades saw a drastic increase from 66.7% in June to 94% for my finals. I also had an opportunity to meet other wonderful pupils from various public schools in our district during my time at TRAC. Some of which have become very close friends of mine.
Looking back, one of my highlights about the program was going to Stellenbosch University to attend classes. It did not only motivate me but it helped me to mentally prepare for what university was going to be like, and getting out from the township, even for a short while, was a bonus.
It is not a secret that if you do not get good results in both grade 11 and matric, then getting into university will be very difficult. If it were not for TRAC’s Mathematics and Physical Science program, I would ultimately not have been accepted at Stellenbosch University to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor.
TRAC’s Mathematics and Physical Science program really helps learners from previously disadvantaged backgrounds realize their true potential and achieve their dreams. It is my wish to see the program grow and develop to accommodate more learners and schools throughout the country.”
A mere four years ago, Mzomhle wrote: “I know I still have a long way to go. I still live in the same shack but I look to the future with faith, hope and trust that the Lord will carry me through and help me to one day reach my destiny. My name is Mzomhle Kiza – I will be a doctor very soon. That is my dream and everyday I’m grateful because I was given the opportunity to make my dream come true.”
Today Mzomhle is a medical doctor. We salute you, Dr. Kiza.
Mzomhle sharing his Physical Science knowledge with TRAC learners