Detour after painful loss leads Samukelisiwe to dream career

​Sister Samukelisiwe Shezi (35), a professional nurse at Thoko Mngoma Clinic in Marlboro, Region E, is a woman rooted in culture and devoted to the word of God. A detour led her to her most fulfilling profession, and she never looked back.

Her story exudes courage and bravery. Samukelisiwe hails from Mthalume, a village on the South Coast in KZN. In high school, she excelled in economics and accounting, and considered a field of study in finance. In her final year as a BCom student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, her mother passed away, and it felt like her entire world imploded.

She was meant to continue her final year in 2010, but she was grappling with grief and approached a social worker on campus. This is where she developed an immense love for the service and healthcare industries and started doing research on the variety of fields. It was nursing that sparked her interest.

“I had this need to work with people directly and help people. When I saw nurses in the street, I’d be like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I want to be a nurse so bad’,” says Samukelisiwe.

After choosing nursing, her career trajectory was reborn. In 2012, she enrolled at Ann Latsky Nursing College. In 2016, she started working as a qualified nurse, and in 2018, joined the City in her current role.

She says she is proud to be a nurse as it enables her to interact with patients. “You establish relationships with patients. You see the mom from pregnancy to birth, and you see the baby growing up. That’s how bonds are formed with patients,” she shared.

From speaking to her, it’s clear that she’s a calm and patient person, and serves her patients with a smile. And the best part about her job is seeing patients recover from illnesses. She says a scripture that’s close to her heart is Ecclesiastic 9:11. “…but time and chance happen to them all”.

It gave her the strength to get back up and pursue a different field of study after her painful loss.

 “Sometimes I think of my life as the story of Joseph in the Bible. Something bad happens, but it births something good,” added Samukelisiwe.

She says she is sure her mother would be proud. She was raised by her grandmother while her mother worked in Durban. She remembers her childhood as being surrounded by cousins and filled with love. She grew from humble beginnings, but her family was rich in love.Her grandmother is 108 years old and the biggest lesson she learned from her is the virtue of respect.

For leisure, she dines out or spends time doing fun activities. She is engaged and mother of a boy and a girl and loves the privilege of motherhood.​ Her parting shot is: “Be the brightest you can be, let people around you feel the warmth and share the light.”

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