Sakhile Nkosi came to work in rural Mpumalanga and was not assigned a supervisor when he first arrived, forcing him to figure out for himself how to remain professional and ethical, despite a lack of experience and supervision. He is now servicing three hospitals, clinics, and disability centers that are attached to his catchment area. Before he arrived, there were absolutely no audiologist services in the state hospital facilities, and only one audiologist in the private sector, but most of the patients live in the rural areas where unemployment is high, so they rely on public services.
He offered the service within his job description, but went above and beyond in terms of getting assistance devices. In government, budgets are limited, but Sakhile went to the extent of collaborating with universities, and hearing aid companies that helped the community by donating hearing devices to patients treated at the hospital.
Sakhile has proven himself to be a devoted audiologist whose aim is to improve access to hearing services which can dramatically change the outcome of hearing loss, a silent epidemic in South Africa. As most people don’t have access, it was significant that he managed to run two well-attended workshops in Witbank and Middelburg to raise awareness. He has also put forth a community service programme for audiologists. Furthermore, he represented Audiology in South Africa at a group put together by the President to explore rehabilitation services for healthcare.