Most people who know me would tell you that I can be very direct. As a matter of fact, I can be very blunt, especially if I am pissed off. On occasions, I can be very insultive in my unique way. Words always my weapon. But most importantly, they would tell you that I never give up. As a matter of fact, if I set my sight on a goal, I would never give up despite how impossible it may seem.

So why I am this way? I honestly don’t know if it is nature or nuture. To hopefully provide answers, I will share with you some of my life challenges that are likely the foundation upon which my determination was built. Firstly, I was not born with a gold spoon in my mouth. As a matter of fact, I was’t born with spoon. A single of mother of five young boys who unfortunately died when I was 8yrs old. The nature of her death made me determine at a tender age to become doctor. The nature of her death mentally affected us all. We witnessed her death. As kids. My aspiration of becoming a doctor was viewed as a fantasy, by the wise adults. Why? We were in the ghetto. No ghetto child aspires to be a doctor unless he is delusional. I was told, when I was older that the chance of that becoming a reality was 0.00001%. My view is that percentages mean nothing. Determination and how much I want it, is what I live by. And wanted it I did. A promised I made to my mother when I was old enough to understand the finality of death.

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I easily achieved the grades for medical school but later found out that life is a bitch. A nasty bitch. We were without potable water. No electricity. Many nights we went to bed hungry. I studied under a street light. To compound that, the reason I am convince that life is a bitch, I also had to battle mental illness in a country where mental illness is viewed as a curse to be cursed. My symptoms I kept a secret right through medical school. Bipolar affective disorder. A full plate of troubles and pains. Despite that, I never doubted myself. Self doubt not in my DNA. Believe I did.

The academics of medical school was the easy bit. Relatively easy. What was playing out around my teenager life and early twenties was the real battle. Hunger. Walking miles to university because of poverty. Battling inner and outer demons. Highs and lows. To deal with the tsunami, which was my life , I compartmentalised. I had to. It was too chaotic to deal with all at once. Way too many.

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My first day of medical school I remember very well. It feel like yesterday. Five years of hard study awaited me. 1,825 days approximately. That 1,825 number was too big in my opinion. I reduced it to months. Thirty days. This is what I did. I armed myself with a book in which every month I would write from 1-30. On occasions 1-31. Leap year 1-29. When I got home, I would delete one day from that book. One day closer to my goal. A numerical depiction of my aim. And I tell you this, even my textbooks were reduced to bitesize. I refused to walk with large voluminous textbooks. The chapter I walked with depended on the lecture of the day, provided I slept well the night prior. I literally ripped the chapter out of the book, stuffed it in my pocket and saunter off to classes. My way of adding structure to chaos.

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Why am I sharing this? For you. Who ever chooses to read it. Never give up. Always believe regardless how difficult the journey may be. You will get there. We will get there. We, APNU+AFC family are here to support each other. Soldiers? Yes we are. We will will never leave a brother or sister behind. We got this. I am serious. We got this. I can only tell you. I can make you believe. Chins up.

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