Meet Dr. Thakgalo Thibela, a 21-year-old woman who is the youngest doctor in South Africa today.
Glamour South Africa was the first to draw the world’s attention to this remarkable woman when it was revealed that Dr. Thibela was on South Africa’s frontlines during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She received her bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery from the University of Witwatersrand, located in the northern part of Johannesburg.
Currently, the youngest doctor in South Africa calls the Helen Joseph Hospital — also in Johannesburg — home. Priscilla Sekhonyana, the spokeswoman for The Health Practice Council of South Africa, confirmed that Dr. Thibela is the youngest doctor on the IN register today.
But Dr. Thibela always seemed destined for greatness. According to News24, she skipped seventh grade and was bumped up to high school. Once she got to Lehlasedi High School, she skipped yet another grade.
Ultimately, she graduated from high school when she was just 15-years-old. Coming from a rural area in South Africa, Dr. Thibela said that just having the ability to matriculate early was enough of an accomplishment for her family — but that it was more important for her to become a doctor and fulfill her lifelong dream.
“As a black female from a rural area, this a huge thing for me and for my people back home. It’s a reminder to all the young girls that we are capable of being whatever we want,” she said to Glamour South Africa. “Violetbank is a rural area that’s still facing a lot of challenges. That was all I knew and because of the sense of community we have, it was a good place to grow up. I hope I am able to inspire others in my community to chase their dreams.”
Congratulations are in order, then, to the youngest doctor in South Africa!