A young Bonteheuwel woman who was raised by factory workers is now a qualified medical doctor.
Shanel Hendricks, 25, will begin her journey as a junior doctor next year when she starts her internship, after obtaining a degree in medicine at Stellenbosch University.
She says it was a bumpy road but her home circumstances kept her motivated.
“I matriculated in 2014 and started studying at the Stellenbosch University in 2015 to be a GP in seven years.
My dad sadly passed away as I was still studying but my mom witnessed me become a doctor,” she explains.
“It was quite a tough seven years but I made it all worth it in the end.”
She adds she has always known that she would be a doctor.
“I wanted to be in a field where I will be able to help people. I knew from a very young age that I would be where I am and even when I was studying my family kept me going.”
Shanel is the first doctor to come out of her family.
“My parents were factory workers. It was difficult to get bursaries but I eventually did.
I am fortunate that I didn’t have to pay anything towards tuition fees for all the years,” she says.
“I feel like I am in a position where I can motivate other people to do the same as me.
I had so much support for this to get to where I am, the entire community was behind me.”
She adds: “At the moment I am not thinking about specialising yet, but I might change my mind.
I can’t say that I won’t open a surgery in Bonteheuwel but at the moment I want to gain experience.”