Prof N Mbambo-Kekana
Prof Nonceba Mbambo-Kekana originally comes from Cape Town. She matriculated from Langa High School in Cape Town and subsequently joined the Medical University of Southern Africa (now Sefako Makgato University) to train as a physiotherapist. She obtained her Master’s degree in Physiotherapy Education from University of Pretoria and her PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand. Both her postgraduate degrees were focused in education generally and in student learning and academic performance specifically.
Subsequent to qualifying as a physiotherapist she worked at Groote Schuur Hospital and was involved supervising 4th year physiotherapy students from University of Cape Town in the clinical area. Later she move to East London to work at Frere Hospital. She moved into the academic sector, working for the University of Western Cape as a clinical supervisor at Conradie Hospital with spinal injured patients and a lecturer of biomechanics. She joined the Medical University of Southern Africa as a lecturer and within a year was appointed as Head of Department. This was to be the start of her experience in academic management and leadership.
She was recruited by the University of the Witwatersrand in 2002 as a Head of Physiotherapy Department and later joined the University of Limpopo in 2010 employed as Director of the School of Health Sciences. Having been recently appointed as the Executive Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Mbambo-Kekana realizes the mammoth task ahead to ensure that the health professionals trained within the Faculty remain relevant to the health needs of the country but also be globally relevant. The new School of Medicine brings both an excitement and a challenge. An excitement in that it is a ninth Medical Training facility in the country thus presenting the university with an opportunity to bring new innovations in Medical Education and a challenge in that all eyes will be on the university to see if the university will succeed. It is for that reason that Prof Mbambo-Kekana believes that all hands should be on deck in preparation for the start of the MBChB programme and that given the support of all relevant university structures, there is no other way but to succeed.
As an academic in physiotherapy her expertise has been utilized by HPCSA for accreditation of foreign physiotherapists and accreditation of physiotherapy training institutions. She has also been an external assessor for universities of Western Cape, Pretoria, Witwatersrand and Free State. She has successfully supervised 11 Masters students and is currently supervising 3 PhD students. Her role as Director of School of Health Sciences presented a challenge for her academic career in that physiotherapy is not offered in the School of Health Sciences. However, it presented an opportunity for her to learn about other health professions, an experience which will prove valuable in offering leadership in the Faculty of Health Sciences and its diversity of professions.