BACKSTORY: Dr Nkuli Boikhutso
We question acting CEO at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Dr Nkuli Boikhutso
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
You need to make your money when you enter a deal, not in the middle or at the end of the relationship.
What was your first job?
I took part-time jobs with a products promotions company to earn tuition money as a medical student.
How much was your pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
It was just under R8,000 and I used it to start paying off my student loans.
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self to impress them?
You will surpass all your expectations and your dreams, so dream even bigger.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Nothing is cast in stone; it is okay to change your mind. You are not stuck with a career you chose in your teens when it no longer brings you fulfilment.
If you could fix only one thing in SA, what would it be?
There is plenty of focus on traditional tertiary education in SA. But there is benefit in post-matric internships, entrepreneurship, and a maker culture. This provides a more agile point of entry to economic development.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I survived a retail store bombing and cancer all before I was 16.
What is the hardest life lesson you’ve learnt so far?
Do not trust anyone who does not have skin in the game. They often tend to give you the wrong advice.
What’s the worst investment mistake you’ve made?
Buying a property because I loved the area — without doing my due diligence. I still cringe when I think about that purchase.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made? And how much of it was due to luck?
I have always and will always invest time in my family. That is something that can easily be taken for granted but yields the greatest reward. It is more hard work than luck.
Was there ever a point at which you wanted to trade it all in for a different career? And, if so, what would that career be?
I would not change a thing; I absolutely love what I do. Being in the business of saving lives, especially young lives, is a privilege.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
We need to scale up the Covid vaccination programme rapidly to include younger age groups. The country needs to go back to some semblance of normality.
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