Kegomoditswe Thibedi

RD, CDE Optifast Dietitian

Hi, I’m Kegomoditswe Thibedi, a Registered dietitian in South Africa . I obtained my bachelors degree in dietetics at the university of Pretoria.

I’m currently working for the government in Brits District hospital in the North west Province and I am based in the paediatric ward. I have a passion for breastfeeding and malnutrition, particularly severe acute malnutrition in children and I spend most of my days in the hospital educating moms on these topics. I also have a special interest for diabetes.

Working in a community whereby the majority of people are economically disadvantaged, has really taught me to be creative when it comes to giving practical nutrition advice to my patients because most of them can only afford the bare minimum, and some only depend on the supplements and donations handed out to them.

When I first told my family that I wanted to become a dietitian they were shocked, some even discouraged me because they believed that this degree is for white people and I wouldn’t fit in and prosper as a person of color. But they understood my love for health and nutrition, so they eventually supported me. So when I started university and the vast majority of our lecturers and fellow students were white, it really didn’t come as a shock. And sometimes as people of color we were invisible, other times we were too visible. There was never a balance. But with the years I am actually happy to see more people of color doing dietetics at the University of Pretoria.

I attended Model C schools all my life and I got to learn a lot about the modern world. And being born and bred from a small village, I completely understand the way of thinking, living and eating of my fellow black people and that is my greatest advantage because I can work well with, and deeply understand all my patients regardless of their ethnicity. That’s my superpower!

I believe that Food is more than just energy and nutrition. It is cultural, religious and social. Therefore, all accredited schools should have a compulsory ethnicity module so as to produce dietitians that truly understand and are able to properly cater for different groups of people.

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