In her Tutu Talk, 2015 Tutu Fellow Dr Kopano Matlwa Mabaso talks about the importance of enabling those around you to for meaningful change. The South African public health physician and novelist says it is possible to make a difference by showing up and being the best you can be, being honest and working with integrity.
TutuTalks are a series collaboration between the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and the African Leadership Institute, and it is a platform for African leaders who embody the values and ethics displayed by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu throughout his life of service.
Kopano says in her talk that growing up during Apartheid, both her parents studied part-time for degrees and she saw first-hand the power of education as being transformative and how it could create access, be a life-changing factor in helping people reach their dreams. She said that as a doctor, she has seen at the bedside all of the ills of society and the things that a country gets wrong, because it manifests in ill health.
She said that seeing the impact, medically, of what is happening in communities led her to seek sustainable solutions, which led her to public health. Releasing a baby back into circumstances, for example, in which there is no safe drinking water will result in that baby being readmitted again and again with diarrhoea. It was these types of dynamics that she wanted to help change. The quality of life and ill-health is tied to inequality and the country's colonial past. The challenges posed by public health led her to study further as a doctor in the field, and she has a PhD in this field.
The Tutu Talk is below.