Kesentseng Jackson Mahlaba


Kesentseng Jackson Mahlaba
Kesentseng Jackson Mahlaba

My vision is to enlighten the youth about public health issues they are faced with on daily basis. Engage not only individuals but also include organizations as part of our stakeholders in order to not only create awareness, but to come up with key challenges that we can analyze together and end up with measurable smart results of how we can improve systems. Not only will this increase PHASA and JuPHASA but the advocacy of raised issues as well. On the academic level I would work with the team and all public health schools to come up with common research topics that can be carried out country wide. This would increase the integrity of the studies and way a greater impact on to policy makers.


I am originally from Hammanskraal, but also lived in Mamelodi. Currently I am staying in Soshanguve with my fiancé of 6 years who is a pharmacist assistant but currently doing 3rd year in bachelors of pharmacy and my one year one month daughter. Due to lack of financial support to study further, i ended up working as a shop assistant/cashier in one of South Africa’s big retail companies after my matric. What a blessing in disguise.
This is where I was later introduced to the pharmacy profession when it was being incorporated into retail outlets in South Africa. Because of the passion i put in my work, my dedication, and hard work, I was recognised by my manager, regional manager and managing director and given an opportunity to study pharmacist assistant through the company at their expense and work it back upon completion. The company later awarded me a certificate of service. I worked there till I resigned as a qualified pharmacist assistant in 2012 when I was going to study for a pharmacy degree, by this time I was also managing one of companie’s dispensaries administrations.
During my second year of study as pharmacist assistant I was already being advised by my managers, colleague and patients/customers to go study pharmacy due to the dedication and passion I have for helping people. It was during this time when I upgraded my mathematics with Tshwane North College in order to be able to apply for pharmacy at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University then known as University of Limpopo, Medunsa campus. I applied and was accepted.
This was the beginning of a long short four years of my life. I became the vice class representative in my second year and also received a certificate of regulatory affairs from one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in South Africa. Then I went on to become the class representative in my third and fourth year. I also receive the best student in Inventory Management award during my fourth and final year.
In my final year of BPharm I was introduced to research as part of the curriculum, this is where I was stimulated more to work on coming up with solutions to problems. I realised that research was the right platform that I could use to impact positively to bringing change to the health systems of South Africa.
I feel very proud and humbled by this journey that has seen me evolve from being a cashier to a junior lecturer affiliated with organisations like the PSSA, SAAHIP, and PHASA /JuPHASA. Currently perusing a master’s degree in Public Health Pharmacy and Management has proven that ones’ background does not define one’s future.
Being nominated to be part of a team with a vision aligned with my aspiration and believe couldn’t have come at the better time, a time when South Africa needs all the help it can get for its people.


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