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9 April 2021
My Journey from Disempowerment to empowerment
What a privilege and honour it is for me to be writing this condensed memoir - a life that started out on the Cape Flats in Cape Town, South Africa and now, playing itself out several years later in the UK. I had no inclination to move abroad. Had it not been for my family’s sacrifice, support and encouragement I would not even have had an association with UWC, which set my dreams in motion. Had it not been for my faith, my achievements, my passion and my sense of purpose, it would have remained an unfulfilled dream.

My journey to personal, professional and academic achievement was shaped by my false sense of self, my false identity, propagated by the apartheid regime. It very subtlety left me believing that I was not good enough; I was not clever enough, and I could not achieve at a higher level.

But God only knew that he would call me out of Africa to discover and uncover my true identity. UWC would be instrumental – my undergraduate degree in dietetics – in setting me up to undertake a pioneering doctorate in sickle cell disease.

As such, as a dietitian in the UK I wrote the first-ever Nutrition Standards for Sickle Cell Disease (nationally and globally). I also wrote the first-ever ‘nutrition in sickle cell’ articles to be published in the British Dietetic Association’s professional magazine, Dietetics Today.

After this, I was able to speak at national and international sickle cell conferences – becoming the ‘go-to person’ in this subject area in the UK and abroad.

Furthermore, my destiny encounter with leadership in 2008, saw me undertake a master’s degree in Healthcare Education and Clinical Leadership, and develop a Personal Empowerment Framework.

I have since published three articles on personal empowerment. I have just been inducted as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK), with distinction. I developed a Leadership Behaviour Empowerment short course for new graduates. This I hope to share with UWC.

Today, I am very grateful to my alma mater, UWC – your legacy lives on in my achievements. It does not matter how you started. What matters is how you purposefully choose to finish your race, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my debut book, Overcoming Disempowerment. If I could do it, then you can do it too. Proudly UWC!