While growing up in a township called Jane Furse, situated in the Sekhukhane area in Limpopo, life was not perfect for Dr Ephraim Kgoete. His enthusiasm and tremendous confidence, however, played an essential role in becoming a successful doctor and being known for changing lives.
Kgoete is currently based in Tzaneen, where he is an independent general medical practitioner in Morutji Village. He also runs a mobile practice called Khayalami Medical Solutions where he offers services.
Speaking to Health For Mzansi, Kgoete reflects on how he has always wanted to become a medical doctor for as long as he can remember.
With only one sibling, Kgoete was raised by his supportive mother as a single parent. He spent most of his childhood being raised by his uncles and grandmother because his mother was not always present due to studying and working. Regardless of his father’s absence in his life, he says it made him strong and motivated him to push further to pursue his career.
Learning and earning
After a few university application rejections, he finally got accepted at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Ga-Rankuwa, which was previously known as the Medical University of South Africa (Medunsa).
“Wanting to become a doctor started in grade 4 when we had to cut and paste what we wanted to be when we grew up. I would say my teachers played a role by continuously asking this question. That is how I started developing my passion for becoming a doctor.
Kgoete did his internship in 2016 at the Polokwane/Mankweng Hospital complex and thereafter did community service at Van Velden Hospital in Tzaneen as a medical officer. After working as a medical officer for two years, Kgoete started his own medical practice in 2021.
“I was very passionate about going independent. To achieve this, I researched why other doctors take the independent route and realised it is something I can handle. I have also experienced working in a toxic work environment, which led to mental problems and pushed me to do my own thing.
“The first year, 2021, was very challenging. I had to market my brand and build my name, which cost more money than initially planned. Finding clients was a very difficult task, but all the challenges were worth it in the end.”
Kgoete was recently praised after again offering to assist a man with facial cysts by performing a facial surgery free of charge through his surgical drive. It was a very emotional and life-changing event for the man and many others he assists who experience numerous stereotypes and hurtful experiences.
“I started a surgical drive where I randomly identified people in the streets with facial cysts or any other abnormalities to help. I approached them and explained the entire procedure, found out their confidence levels and helped them regain their confidence. Those I approached believed that I am god-sent rather than someone coming to ask for a free service.”
Going above and beyond the call of duty
Kgoete is currently running a free circumcision drive for the entire year of 2023 for any males aged 15 and above.
He explains that he also does health talks, educates people and raises awareness about certain conditions, and does school drives, where he motivates students.
Recently, he did a campaign on mental health awareness for men where he encouraged men to speak out and not bottle things up. They participated in a walk from Polokwane to Pretoria; some endured pain during the journey, so he assisted them medically.
“To me, helping people is a calling. I call myself doctor ya batho (the people’s doctor). Changing lives is something I want to be remembered for giving my love for people. I am planning on having my own private hospital someday, one that is different and will allow access for those who are less fortunate.”
Facebook handle: @Dr ES Kgoete Inc
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