Imagine how many people would lose their lives hourly if there were neither doctors nor nurses, yet their services and commitment sometimes go unnoticed and unappreciated. Twenty five year old professional midwife specialist Lorraine Nkwinika recalls why she wanted to become a nurse in the first place.
“Since high school I loved working with people. I fell in love with people and their different personalities. Everything about humans just fascinated me. It’s a nice occupation because you interact with people from different walks of life,” says the Soweto-born poet, who now resides in Limpopo.
Growing up in Soweto had its own challenges but Lorraine some you’ve to make something out of what you have.
“I grew up in a crazy environment and fast life of Soweto with my mother, granny and other siblings. I have a fun and loving family. Soweto is a place where you dream and achieve. You exposed to a lot of bad things but the decision to participate on those things is rested up on you.”
Pen was the only tool that Lorraine armed herself with against the social ills of Soweto.
“I started taking my writing serious back in 2005. I’d play alone in class and write whatever came to mind. I’d file them up and give my classmates to read them. As an aspiring writer, I always wanted to explore anything that could improve my writing and that’s how I got exposed to FunDza.mobi where I got to share my poems.”
FunDza wasn’t the last platform to publish Lorraine’s work, she attracted international publishers from the UK.
“I am a published author of a poetry book titled Drawn in Words published by Xlibris in the UK. The book is not yet available in South African book shelves but it can be found on TakeAlot.com. I’m currently planning on a book signing and selling in a mall as I do get people who enquire about the book a lot.
“The book draws all kinds of emotions in a manner that is not normative generally. It’s a way in which it explains everyday challenges we face, emotions we feel, and how deep I see things more unlikely than the rest of the popularity,” reads her entry on Amazon.com.
Speaking about her profession, Lorraine says it found her.
“I’m a professional nurse with specialty in midwifery and I’m also studying counselling psychology at UNISA. This job teaches you how to treat other people, because you ask yourself how you would want to be treated if roles were reversed. It’s amazing when you see someone coming back into life because you saved them. As a midwife, we obviously deliver babies and that too is a great feeling when you help bring someone into life. I love and enjoy it.”
Just like any profession, nursing comes with its own
“When a patient dies after you’ve tried to save them. Some patients tell us their backgrounds and stories they’re going through. You get touched because you put yourself in their shoes and wish you could do something to help.
“Sometimes you won’t even be able to eat or go to bed because of a patient’s condition. And also the way we get treated makes things harder. We’re always on the wrong some patients even threaten to beat us once they’re discharged. We also get blamed for not doing enough by patients’ relatives.”
Passion picks you up when everything else shoves you down.
“At the end of the day your passion pushes you even people are not grateful for your work. We do make our mistakes, we’re humans and sometimes we say stuff we shouldn’t be saying. My mother taught me to be strong and merciful towards other people,” she says.
Lorraine attributes her success to pretty much everyone she’s come into contact with.
“I’ve this powerful group of life that help each other. I appreciate their support. I go through a lot of breakdowns but I have people that push me and make look forward to another day. My mother and partner have particularly been very helpful”
As someone who’s had a good support structure, Lorraine extends her advice to the young generation and weighs on the importance of education.
“Be persistent and disciplined and know what you want. There’s always going to be pressure and things that derail you but keep on going. I read a lot of success stories about celebrities and you realise we all come from somewhere. Discouragement is always there. People always used to say I’m wasting time because people my age are doing this and that. Look up to people who’re doing great things,”
“Education teaches us to be human beings, tolerant, patient and acknowledge people. It allows better interacting with people and being reasonable. You empathise with others. It helps us to help others,” she concludes.