The Life And Times Of Medicine Student Karolina Iishi

02 Feb 2016 11:00am

By Bela Bento
OSHAKATI, 02 FEB (NAMPA) - “I look and feel like a zombie, but it is always worth it,” says the young doctor as she knocks off from her night shift at the Katutura Intermediate Hospital in the capital.
Karolina Iishi, 26, is doing her internship at that hospital, and is anticipated to graduate with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in May this year.
Iishi is the fourth of six children raised by her mother in Oshakati after her father past away when she was just 10 years old.
She was born in Oshakati on 15 April in 1989, and growing up she always had a passion for medicine; nothing else. Iishi attended the Oshakati Primary School from grades 1 to 7; and matriculated from the Negumbo Secondary School in the Uukwambi village of Onaanda.
In her quest to follow her dream – practising medicine – Iishi commenced a nursing course at the Oshakati Nursing campus in 2008, and in her third year of nursing she decided to quit and take up studies in medicine. She became one of the first 60 people to enrol for the Medicine programme at the University of Namibia when it was introduced in Namibia in 2010.
Without looking back, Iishi embarked on her journey to become a doctor and today, the single mother of a four-year-old daughter has less than four months left before she graduates with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery.
Iishi will then be able to officially practice as a medical doctor.
Although the six-year course has not been at all easy, she has managed to stay focused, describing how working with patients is a job for a patient person. She does it confidently and proudly, because the “feeling of knowing you have saved a life or two is phenomenal”.
Isihi is one of 35 students from the first intake of medical students to have come this far. She describes how she owes all her achievements thus far to hard work and sleepless nights.
Her mother, Loide Paulus, is her biggest role model and describes her as a brave woman whom she is thankful for. She said that although her mother was unemployed, she always provided for them by selling fat cakes and cooked mealies to earn an income.
It has not always been smooth for the young doctor though, a dark cloud hung over her in 2013 when she lost the father of her child in a tragic car accident. Iishi describes that as one of the lowest points in her life, but says she could not let it get her down too much - she had to be strong for her daughter, Grace Ndapunikwa Mangudu.
“It was not an easy time, but with the help of the almighty and the support of family, I managed to make it through,” said Iishi.
Her daughter is her inspiration, “I feel she is a little mini-me, I see myself in her, so strong and hardworking.”
Isihi goes through each day trusting God, working hard and being nice to people, “these are my strongest traits”.
While she is afraid of the dark, she does not let it keep her from doing what she loves. She is stubborn too, she says, “making it very difficult for myself to give up on achieving something I really love.”
“I love cooking, and I cook when I am happy and when I’m stressed,” she says, laughing out loud.
On her days off, Iishi would watch a movie or read a book. She also loves travelling and wants to travel to Guiana Island of Antigua and Barbuda in North America. “I always dream of travelling to an exotic island and I feel like this place is the one.”
“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t sown, so work hard, pray hard and believe in yourself; that’s how you win,” she advises confidently.