Case Study

Ifeoma Chikwukwa: How a Teacher became a Nurse!


Ifeoma Chikwuka comes from a big middle-income family, she was born and raised in Enugu, Nigeria, along with her 7 siblings. Her parents ensured they provided the basic necessities she and her siblings needed. 

Ifeoma moved to South Africa in 2006 equipped with her first degree in Education which she had obtained at the age of 24.

“I tried getting employment when I arrived, it was difficult and the only available job was under the governing body of schools which was a short-term post and the pay was nothing to write home about.” Ifeoma

While working at the school, Ifeoma researched various qualifications which would place her at a better opportunity of earning a decent living.

“It was then that I discovered that I could study and work as a Nurse.” Ifeoma 

Changing career paths was not an easy decision for Ifeoma, as a mother of 4 and a wife, she still had the basic needs of her family to think about. She took the leap nonetheless. In 2011 Ifeoma enrolled to study Home Based Care.

Longing to empower herself, Ifeoma registered with S.MAB, a medical employment agency. She immediately started working as a carer for one of S.MAB’s clients, Mediclinic. She also began her studies to become an Enrolled Nursing Assistant (ENA). Ifeoma qualified as an ENA in 2012.

With hard work and perseverance, becoming an ENA was just the beginning. In 2013, Ifeoma enrolled for her Staff Nurse course which she completed in 2015.  Through S.MAB, Ifeoma could study while she worked during her off periods. She eventually qualified as a Registered Nurse in November 2018!

Ifeoma attributes her career growth to the availability of compliant employment agencies such as S.MAB and how they are facilitated. 

“S.MAB helped me achieve all my qualifications by offering me temporary employment through which I was able to pay my school fees and some of my bills and still get to study.” Ifeoma 

Not only did S.MAB provide employment for Ifeoma, but she was also kept motivated by the assurance that would continue being treated equally and fairly at work. 

“The Cape Town Manager, Mr. Peter Solomon would regularly come after office hours to see the workers and see how we functioned and he would always encourage us to inform the office if we were not happy. The conviction that the agency cared about my well-being motivated me to give it my best.” Ifeoma

South Africa has one of the highest rates of unemployment, citizens could benefit a great deal from Employment agencies and Temporary Employment services. Lack of finance is never a barrier to pursuing qualifications in various fields while accumulating the necessary experience. For more information, visit  

Ifeoma’s current goal is to complete a specialist course in neonatal ICU. “There is no stopping me!” Ifeoma.

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This edition

Issue 58