Vuyane Mhlomi

Vuyane Mhlomi grew up with his single-parent mother in a household of 10 children in Khayelitsha, using Sunlight soap to brush his teeth, wash his shirts and as deodorant. Now 25 and a doctor at Chris Hani Baragwanath he has come a long way from those difficult days. He struggled to get into medical school and then his mother suffered a stroke as he was studying for his final exams, and his books played second fiddle to looking after her. Despite these setbacks he graduated third in a class of 171 students. He was awarded the Dr Helen Brown Prize for the second-best final year student in clinical medicine and was on the Dean’s Merit List and Medicine Honours List — no easy feat. His main interest is hypertension and he was primary researcher, investigator and first author of a research project with the president of the Hypertension Society of South Africa. When he has completed his internship he plans to apply for a Rhodes Scholarship to pursue a doctorate in Cardiovascular Medicine. Concurrently with his medical internship he is studying law through Unisa in order to understand better the legalities of medical practice. When he is not studying he is something of a thespian, having appeared in the film Madam and Eve and a few foreign films, and a play he wrote won the award for best script in the residence festival at the University of Cape Town. He is currently assistant director of a South African short film soon to go into in production. With friends, he founded the MH Foundation, whose mission is to see every disadvantaged child become an outstanding scholar, by providing the resources and tools to enable children to follow their dreams. — Ilham Rawoot