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Heroes of Groote Schuur honours the story of Charmaine Kiewiet, who is retiring from the maternity ward after 47 years of helping moms and babies.


Cape Town, South Africa (06 July 2022) – Heroes of Groote Schuur is a Facebook page dedicated to highlighting the amazing people who work or visit the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.

The page highlights all the incredible work being done by the staff who keep everything running smoothly. Heroes featured on the page often have the most interesting jobs; Charmaine Kiewiet retired from her job in the maternity ward after 47 years of service.

Charmaine knew she wanted to be a nurse for her whole childhood. She studied hard at school, and when she was old enough, her aunt helped get her a job at Groote Schuur Academic Hospital. Charmaine is deeply loved by her colleagues, and while she will miss them all dearly, she is looking forward to switching off her alarm clock.

“I finished school on the 4th December 1974, and four days later, on the 8th of December I started working here as a nurse in the maternity ward. My aunt was working here, and she got me the job. I was 17 years old.
My first job was in the nursery. I was feeding the babies, bathing and dressing the babies and showing mothers how to breastfeed.

Even though I was young, I knew how to look after babies. When I was nine years old my mother was very sick and she went away for a whole year. I had to look after my six younger brothers and sisters on my own. My daddy would give me his wages and I would go buy food for the pot to cook supper, pack lunches for my family and iron my brothers’ and sisters’ clothing for school.

Eventually, I left home and got married when I was 31. I met my husband in Shoprite. I was looking at the clothing and I saw this man looking at me. My colleague knew him and he asked her for my number. We have one daughter who is 29 now. My daddy is 83 and he lives with me now, I am taking care of him.

I always wanted to become a nurse, ever since I was in primary school. This is like my home now. I love everything about my job; the environment, the patients, and all the staff. I am going to miss them all very much.

One thing I’m looking forward to about my retirement is sleeping late. I wake up at 4h50 every day and take transport to be at the hospital by 7. From next week I’m going to turn off that alarm. I also want to spend time knitting and cooking and working with Christian people in my community of Hanover Park.

Last Friday they threw me a farewell party here. Even the professors came. And everyone spoke about my friendship and they said I was a shining light. My tears were there.”

Sources: Heroes of Groote Schuur
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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