Twin brothers, Wandile and Wanele Ganya from Khayelitsha township in Cape Town, who are both graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree respectively from Stellenbosch University, epitomise a classic case of rising above difficult circumstances to achieve greatness.

The 23 year-old twins, “come from a family with six children in Khayelitsha and had to survive on their mother’s meagre income as a domestic worker,” according to Stellenbosch University.

Wanele reportedly contracted tuberculosis during their matric year at the Centre of Science and Technology and Wandile helped to look after him and ensured that he didn’t lag behind.

Wandile, right and Wanele Ganya of Khayelitsha will graduate with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees respectively at a ceremony at Stellenbosch University. Photo: David Ritchie

Despite the challenges, the twins pursued an opportunity which may have once seemed impossible to them, and they have achieved that in absolute style.


The  twin brothers, who are the first people in their family to study and graduate from the universitysay they “immensely” benefitted from the assistance they received from Stellenbosch University. They received The Rector’s Award, for their academic excellence and excelled “in the face of adversity”.

The medical training continues for Wandile and Wanele, they have been placed at the Ngwelezana Hospital in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, where they will continue pursuing their dream, telling IOL: “We look forward to this new chapter in our lives, but we will be missing home. We will be calling home every day”.

Source: IOL and Stellenbosch University