*This article is from our 2020 edition of our On The Field CHW magazine and has been slightly edited.

When asked what he planned to do with the prizes he won, which included cash and a scale, Nkomazi’s top-performing Community Health Worker (CHW), Nhlanhla Mkhonza from the Ntunda team said he didn’t know yet.

Chance to network with colleagues

He said, however, that he was grateful that the awards presented an opportunity for CHWs from various parts of South Africa to come together and learn from each other’s experiences.

“I’m not sure what I’ll do with my prize, but for now I’m thinking of buying something nice for myself. The best part of the awards ceremony was that I got to meet new people. Sometimes we go to nearby villages and I meet people who have more information than me so that’s where I learn more. The ceremony was great because I got to meet my other colleagues and we all had a good day,” said Mkhonza.

Recognition for hard work

Mkhonza did not expect that he would be rewarded for his efforts at the Grow Great Champions (GGC) awards ceremony. He says he would not have achieved what he did had it not been for teamwork.

“When they called my name on stage, I was surprised and shaking. I wasn’t expecting to win anything. Winning all those prizes felt great. It made me feel that the work that I’ve been doing is finally paying off,” he said.

“My hard work and that of my team got me here. If it wasn’t for them, I never would have won. A one-man team never wins. I’d like to gain more experience this year, improve in what I do and learn new things.

Looking ahead

Mkhonza said he was determined to build his career in health. He would also like to improve the wellbeing of children in his community.

“I’d like to see myself working one day in the Department of Health and seeing children in my community go to school so that they can fulfil their potential. I’d like to see them all healthy. Stunting is the only thing holding them back and I believe that taking care of children will help protect them from stunting.”

GGC is proud of the work of CHWs like Nhlanhla. We wish all of them the best this year as they continue.