A “Resilient Heart:” M2M Student Takondwa Inspires to Overcome Challenges Faced in Covid 19 and Beyond

Covid 19 has brought disappointments and stressors into lives throughout the globe. Jobs lost, plans cancelled, education put on hold, financial instability… the list goes on. In these uncertain and difficult times, we need inspiration to overcome, persevere, and find the silver linings. Medic to Medic student Takondwa is just that.

In this inspiring update, he quotes Godswill TK Mensah, saying, “Tough times makes tough men; rough seasons reveal robust personalities; rugged mountains fashion determined, resilient hearts.”

I started the year 2020 by writing the end of year examination. This was meant to be my last exam at College of Medicine as an undergraduate student. I was so excited that the toil is almost over, and soon I will see my long-awaited dream of becoming a doctor come true, soon I will start the lifetime service I need to offer to people in Malawi.

The whole excitement ended as soon as the results came out and I heard that I have to sit for a supplementary exam. Life seemed to take another course, different from the one I thought. My dreams and my hopes seemed crushed down.

For the first time ever, I thought life lost its meaning.

A Fresh Perspective

Talking to friends, family, my mentors, and [Medic to Medic CEO] Dr Tamsin has been one of the best thing that helped me cope up with the stress. A few weeks down the line I appreciated that sometimes what seems the “worst” experience may be best experience to have. 

I agreed with Godswill TK Mensah who once said “tough times makes tough men; rough seasons revel robust personalities; rugged mountains fashion determined, resilient hearts”. I truly understand and appreciate that the reward is worth the race, hence am willing to take the challenge.

A Pandemic

This was another hill to climb, but worth our patience. Regardless of the fact that this is a delay, I considered this as another opportunity. 

I re-strategized, started group discussions with friends and maintained studying. We were preparing for exams in May 2020. In the middle of our preparation, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic did not spare us. Schools were closed in the whole country. And we faced another reality. This meant that the day when the school will be opened has been prolonged. 

This was another hill to climb, but worth our patience. Regardless of the fact that this is a delay, I considered this as another opportunity. 

I intensified studies and also engaged with friends in group discussion. I planned to volunteer to do ward rounds in the hospitals to improve clinical skills but the risks and adverse consequences were considered too much by the department heads. This forced me to go back to my home village, Ntcheu. I also faced the same at my district hospital. Though it was hard, I learned how to study at home.

Keeping Busy and Silver Linings

Takondwa helping at home

Realising the importance of being knowledgeable with the evolving pandemic as a medical practitioner, apart from studying in preparation for exams, I resorted to do online courses during my free time. I got to know about the courses from Medic to Medic WhatsApp group and from other friends. 

Apart from all this, amidst stiff competition, I am one of the successful students out of 350 students selected worldwide to present research findings during the 27th international student congress of (bio)Medical sciences (ISCOMS2020). The admission to the congress not only brought joy to our research team, but I believe also brings joy to our College as well as Malawians that I will represent.

The closure of schools in the Malawi has brought together our family members. Since my admission at medical school, there has never been a time when my twin sister, my brother and myself meet at home. This has provided an opportunity to embrace the family. 

Apart from my studies, one of my exciting moments has been the times we spent hiking and nature appreciation spent with my family.

Nature appreciation with sister and brother


We wrote about Takondwa’s experience as ISCOMS2020 back in June, find that post here

To learn about our current Big Give campaign to raise funds to support students like Takondwa, check out this post

Please visit out website at medictomedic.uk.org

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