From township scholar to leading South African medical researcher, Dr Carol Hlela’s rise to the top of the medical profession has been meteoric.
Despite this she remains a humble, sincere individual who is determined to help sick children above all else.
“I was an ordinary girl growing up in the township of Kwa-Mashu near Durban and this certainly brought with it a number of challenges,” admits Dr Hlela. “For one thing women weren’t expected to get ahead in the world and conditions at home made it difficult to focus on learning.
I am grateful that I was able to overcome such obstacles, and hope that my success in becoming a Dermatologist and medical researcher will provide inspiration to other township youngsters to become everything that they can be.”
Asked whether she had always wanted to be in medicine, Dr Hlela said she had first entered the field largely because it was one of the options available to those who were strong in maths and science at school.