Mail&Guardian 200 young South Africans selection

03 Jul 2017
03 Jul 2017

Marvin Jansen

Health science education lecturer

Growing up amid gangsterism and poverty in the Cape Flats means a life of struggle is something you are all too familiar with, but Marvin Jansen shows that this does not have to determine your lot in life.

From when he was young, Marvin always wanted to make something of his life through education. Initially having wanted to study medicine at UCT, he instead opted to train to be a paramedic as there were no funds for him to study. He is a qualified life support paramedic and worked as one for four years before deciding to make the switch to academia.

“I changed careers because I left like I was doing the same thing over and over again and I could not shake this nagging feeling that I could contribute more to society through education,” he says.
As a paramedic student, he was uncomfortable with practicing on “real-life” patients and so decided to focus his research on medical assimilation. He completed his master’s in emergency medicine and is now completing a PhD in health science education.

His UCT dream has finally come true and he now works as a lecturer in health science education, a position he has held for the last two and a half years. He is also a first generation graduate in his family.

“I see myself as being in a very fortunate position — I am fortunate enough to be teaching medical students and I am in such a rich and valuable learning and teaching environment,” he says.
In the spirit of paying it forward, he is also very involved in community upliftment projects such as Project Smile. 

— Slindile Nyathikazi


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