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Dr Ncumiso Jilata, The Youngest Neurosurgeon in Africa

There are a lot of success which attest to the fact that age is just a number. The case of Dr Ncumiso Jilata is a clear example of this.

At just 29, she has achieved what she desired. Emboldened and driven by her passion for neuroscience since she was a kid, she is now living her dream. Dr Ncumisa Jilata completed her Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree at Mthatha’s Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in 2009. Her completed fellowship for the Council of Neurosurgeons of South Africa in 2017 means she is now the youngest neurosurgeon in Africa, and one of only five black female brain surgeons in South Africa.

Jilata said neuroscience first drew her attention when she was at Mthatha High School.

“I was already in Grade 11 when I decided I want to be a doctor, but at the time I wasn’t doing biology, so when I got to matric I had to do three years of biology in one year, in addition to the subjects I had already selected from Grade 10.

“During that period I discovered the concept of a neuron, which is amazing, and the fact that society as a whole is influenced and controlled solely by the existence of this structure, intrigued me.

“That’s when I knew I wanted to be a neurosurgeon.”

“I worked hard to break through barriers of patriarchy in the field, and to pave the way for other young women, to give them someone to look up to.”

Her success is an amazing one, and one that ought to be celebrated.

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