TWIN brothers from Khayelitsha, who refused to let their circumstances stand in their way, will be celebrating their success today when they both graduate as medical doctors from Stellenbosch University.

Wandile and Wanele Ganya, 23, grew up in Khayelitsha’s J-Section, and the family relied on the wages of their mother, Sylvia, a domestic worker the Cape Argus has reported.

During their matric year at the Centre of Science and Technology in Khayelitsha, Wanele contracted tuberculosis and Wandile helped to take care of him and ensured that he didn’t miss out on any school work.

“I think that is part of the reason why we became doctors, but we also saw so many people from our community and our school doing extraordinary things and that inspired us,” said Wanele.

Wandile was one of the Western Cape’s top matriculants in 2009.

He said financial and other support the pair had received from Stellenbosch University had helped “immensely”.

Both have been recipients of the Rector’s Award for Succeeding Against the Odds.

Wandile said his message to teenagers growing up in similar circumstances was to believe in themselves.

“Just know that you can achieve whatever you want. There is something worth displaying to the world that is inside you.”

Wanele said their proud parents, Sylvia and Michael, would be present today when they receive their Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees.

“They are feeling so overwhelmed. They are really over the moon for us.”

The brothers, who have been staying in residence at the university, will continue working together next year.


They have been placed at the Ngwelezana Hospital in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal.

“We look forward to this new chapter in our lives, but we will be missing home. We will be calling home every day.”

The brothers are one of three sets of twins graduating with degrees in medicine from the university today. The other two sets of twins are Manja and Gys Neethling, and Annika and Jannika Kemp.

The Neethling family has close ties with Tygerberg and Stellenbosch University. Their parents and older brother and sister, also twins, studied at Tygerberg.

The Kemps are first generation Maties.

More than 5 000 Maties will be receiving diplomas or degrees at the university this week. A total of 127 doctoral degrees will be awarded.

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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