At only 25 years old, Yvet Turugari is a young woman who strives to leave her mark in the world through her love for medicine and education.
Born in a family of 6 in Masvingo Province in south-eastern Zimbabwe, Yvet’s potential was always destined for more than the small ward of Chikuku where she grew up. With both parents as teachers by profession, Yvet grew up in a family that valued the great importance of education in securing future success. Throughout her primary and secondary education, her father and brother motivated her to strive for excellence in her studies, resulting in her being amongst the top achieving students in the schools she attended.
As her parents could not afford to take her to boarding school for her secondary education, Yvet received her secondary education at Gwindingwi High School where her father was an A’Level Accounting teacher. It was this proximity to her father that enabled her to study and pass A’level Accounting while an O’Level student, as he used to make her do A’level Accounting questions after school every day.
After passing her O’level examinations with 9 passes (5As 4Bs), Yvet chose to do Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Despite not shining in those subjects during O’Level, her hard work and belief in herself enabled her to embrace the challenge and put her best foot forward.
During the course of her A’levels, Yvet received career guidance by the Higherlife Foundation Team and this was a turning point in her life. “Something changed in my life that day and I was really motivated to do the four subjects to get the scholarship. That career guidance really changed my life,” expressed Yvet.
Her hard work and new focus paid off as she achieved 18 Points (the best in Masvingo Province), after taking up Accounting as a fourth subject and teaching herself the entire syllabus before the examinations – something not many students can do in their lives. Yvet then received the Joshua Nkomo Scholarship to start her tertiary education at the University of Zimbabwe.
Under the scholarship, Yvet pursued her degree in Medicine and recently graduated in 2018 with flying colours. She is currently working at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) as a medical doctor and describes the job as a surreal experience where she gets to help people and make a difference in their lives every day.
Being a young woman who aspires to make a difference in her community and inspire other young people by her journey, Yvet founded the Neo Innovation Trust together with her brother and two other medical doctors during her third year at the University of Zimbabwe. The Trust has a broad focus on wellness through four pillars – First Aid Training, Addiction Programs, Clinical services and Telemedicine; Screening of Non-Communicable Diseases and Health education.
“There was no first aid training in our curriculum during medical school, so inspired by this gap we came up with a project through the Trust that teaches first aid to medical students through a partnership with Red Cross Society. From there our work has expanded into other areas,” added a proud Yvet.
Along the Trust’s journey, Yvet and her team met many setbacks and rejections but a firm believer in not giving up, working hard and staying true to oneself, Yvet did not let the challenges diminish her belief in their work and products. Today, Higherlife Foundation is the Trust’s first wellness client and the Trust is also opening a wellness centre this year in one of Harare’s affluent suburbs of Chisipite. “Challenges will always be there. It is a matter of understanding there will always be hardship in life regardless of where you are, so face them head on,” expressed Yvet.
Through a partnership with Zimbabwe Telemedicine Network where she serves as Operations Manager, the Trust recently launched the MYCPDZW a mobile application – an Integrated online medical education platform which provides continuous professional development tools to healthcare professionals in Zimbabwe. “Through the app, healthcare professionals can attend a conference through livestreaming on the platform, allowing them to catch up with their continuous professional development. Nurses in Uganda and Tanzania are already on board using the app,” stated Yvet.
On top of all these amazing achievements plus a busy schedule, Yvet started “Be that girl” – an initiative that supports girls in accessing education. “There are schools with 0% percent pass rate for grade 7 and it affects girls more than boys, and I wanted to change that,” she added firmly.
As a Joshualite alumnus, Yvet had these words to say to current Joshualites “The Joshualite program made me realize my true self and my leadership qualities, and I am forever grateful for this life-changing opportunity. I would have this advice to all youth – be true to yourself, keep dreaming, work hard and opportunities will come your way.”
Looking at Yvet’s life journey and her achievements, it is clear that Yvet Turugari is one young lady who will leave her mark on the world, and we are excited to see what more she will do.
“Knowing that people had not given up on me keeps me going. My mantra is: keep Fighting for what you want, and that is what I do.”