Nonhlanhla Nombuso Nkomo

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My name is Nonhlanhla Nombuso Nkomo. I am a 21-year-old female from KwaShikishela, Mtubatuba under the uMkhanyakude district. I'm currently doing my 6th year in medicine (MBChB) at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

I've dreamt of being a Doctor since I was a little girl. I come from a place where the nearest clinic is more than 40 km away and a nearby hospital is over 60 km away.

It all started when my grandmother died after she had a heart attack and we couldn't get her medical help immediately because there was neither a clinic nor a hospital close by. From that day, I knew I had to be a Doctor because I believe she could have been saved if there was immediate help.

Furthermore, I am so passionate about making a difference in my community. I've seen how my community struggle to get to a health care facility and, when they've gotten there, how they still get poor service. My goal is to make a difference by working as a Doctor there and through inspiring other young people.

My dad was married to two wives; he left us when we were little to go live with his second wife. I have 7 siblings (6 sisters & 1 brother). My mother had to raise us all by herself. She is illiterate and unemployed. In 2014, when I got to medical school, the only income we had at home was the social grant for my two younger sisters which they don't get anymore. Now, she's a vendor in a local school and that's our only income at home.

Aspen has helped me a lot financially, if it wasn't for them, my dream of becoming a Doctor could've never come true. They pay for my tuition fees, I get a book allowance to buy books each semester and they also give me money for meals every month. On top of that, they also pay for equipment like a stethoscope and for things like uniform (lab coats, scrubs), etc. They've been doing this since 2014.

I'm truly grateful to Umthombo for everything they've done for me. I'm going to be a Doctor soon and it was all made possible by Umthombo. I am thankful that Umthombo believes in us and raises money from organisations like Aspen for our support.