He is one of Manenberg’s first doctors, but not too long ago he dreamt of becoming a garbage collector or a taxi driver. And many know the 29 year old Randall Ortell as Doc, as he treated many of them at GF Jooste hospital. He studied medicine at the University of Stellenbosch and is currently also studying occupational medicine. “Occupational medicine fascinates me,” this coming from someone who as a young boy dreamt about becoming a garbage collector or a taxi driver.
“But it was when I received a bursary to study at Rhodes High School in Mowbray that my life changed drastically. I thought that I was a clever kid, because I always received high marks, but at the new school they had much higher standards. After matric I decided that I wanted to become a doctor and have not looked back, since. When I look around in Manenberg, where I still stay, there is still a lot that can be done. Our young people are so talented, but they seem to feel hopeless. This is what I want to change and that is why I regularly do motivational talks at schools. I also took students to the biology lab, and they enjoyed it very much, even the naughty kids. It showed me that there is hope for our young people. This is my way of ploughing back into my community,” he said.
Ortel currently works at Cape Town clinics where he is still serving his community. But it was at GF Jooste Hospital which people frequently visited to see Manenberg’s very own doctor. “I felt like a celebrity,” he said.