Dr Thendo Gertie Makhado, a junior lecturer at the University of Venda’s Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, has been honoured as one of the Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans for 2024. This recognition highlights the exceptional contributions of young South Africans aged 18-35. This year, over 4,000 nominations were received, and only 200 individuals were selected as finalists, making Dr Makhado’s inclusion a testament to her outstanding impact in the field of health and wellness.

The event took place on Thursday, 27 June 2024 at The Forum, The Campus Wanderers Sandton.
Dr Makhado is the first in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Venda to receive this award. In her twenties, she made significant strides in nursing education and healthcare research. Her primary role involves guiding nursing students in bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.Through her dynamic lectures and hands-on support in clinical settings, Dr Makhado ensures her students develop into competent professional nurses.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Dr Makhado is actively involved in community work and research. Her research addresses critical health issues, such as epilepsy, with the goal of enhanc-ing healthcare education and reducing the stigma associated with neurological conditions. She is dedicated to improving the quality of nursing education and advancing healthcare in South Africa.
Dr Makhado is also engaged in various initiatives aimed at improving healthcare outcomes. These projects empower and educate parents of children with special needs, promote inclusivity, and help children with learning disabilities achieve independence. Her commitment to these causes demonstrates her dedication to making a difference in her community. Reflecting on her journey, Dr Makhado emphasises the importance of the support she has received. She credits her success to her husband, Prof Lufuno Makhado, who is also her mentor.

She also expresses gratitude to her academic role model, Prof. NV Sepeng from the University of Pretoria, who nominated her for this accolade, as well as other mentors, including Prof. Rechael Lebese, Prof. Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele, and Prof. Nosisi Feza. Additionally, she is thankful for the unwavering support of the clinical team in the Department of Advanced Nursing Science, affec-tionately known as ‘The A Team.’
Dr Makhado’s recognition by Mail and Guardian as one of the top young women in academia un-derscores her remarkable contributions and the profound impact she has had on her students and community. Her words of encouragement to other young people in South Africa resonate with her belief in the power of mutual growth: “We grow by growing others.”
Dr Thendo Gertie Makhado stands as an inspiring example of excellence and dedication, and her achievements offer a powerful message of hope and encouragement to young people across the nation.
On behalf of the team at UNIVEN, the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Bernard Nthambeleni extended warmest congratulations to Dr Makhado for being recognised as one of the 200 Young South Africans. “Your dedication, passion, and hard work have not gone unnoticed, and your achievements are truly inspiring. Your contribution to society is invaluable, and we are proud to have you as part of this prestigious list. Keep shining brightly and continue to make a positive im-pact on the world. Once again, congratulations on this well-deserved honour”!

Issued by:
Department Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: 082 868 2218 / 082 868 1811

Skip to content