UKZN Bids Farewell to ‘Living Legend’
UKZN’s HOD of Surgery and ‘living legend’, Professor Thandinkosi Madiba, has retired from both UKZN and as the Head of the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital’s (IALCH) Colorectal Unit.
Madiba has since been appointed as an Emeritus Professor.
After qualifying as a medical doctor in 1976, Madiba completed his internship at Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg where he later became a Medical Officer. This was followed by a stint in private practice in Durban.
‘I have always loved surgery,’ he said. ‘But I rotated through a number of specialties during my internship and when I was a Medical Officer, the objective being to make sure I chose the right discipline to specialise in.’
When he qualified as a surgeon, he had an option of becoming a private surgeon or surgeon in academic practice. He chose the latter, joining UKZN’s Department of Surgery as a Lecturer in 1987 after obtaining his Fellowship in General Surgery.
The celebrated Professor obtained an MBChB, MMed, LLM (Medical Law) and a PhD from UKZN, a Diploma in International Research Ethics from the University of Cape Town as well as a Fellowship in Surgery and Colorectal Surgery from the College of Surgeons of South Africa and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.
‘In 1994 I realised I had an interest in the diseases of the colon, rectum and anus,’ he explained. In 1999 he went to train as a colorectal surgeon in the UK. ‘In 2000 I started a colorectal practice and in 2005 I established the Colorectal Unit at IALCH.’
All is not lost though! ‘I will continue with my on-going research projects and with the supervision of students and other junior researchers. I will also continue to lead the newly established Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Centre.’
Madiba was rated in the Top 30 researchers at UKZN from 2008 to 2010 and is rated as a C+ Researcher by the National Research Foundation.
His achievements include 11 book chapters and over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. He has participated in more than 300 international and national congresses, giving invited lectures and scientific papers, and still does reviews for many international and national journals.
Madiba advises his former colleagues to follow their passion and never allow material things to be motivating factors. ‘That way you will be happy in your job and you will be able achieve great things. But, if you allow materialism to rule your life, you will never be happy.’
He is married to Puseletso and they have two sons and three granddaughters. I will now spend more time with my family and have more opportunity to play with my grandchildren. I’ll also have time for long walks on the beach and spending more time at the gym.’