PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa’s former personal veterinarian on his wildlife far, Dr Terrence Thovhakale, 26, is making great strides in his work at the Wild Coast Vet in Chintsa West.
“While I was doing my masters degree, I got a call from Cyril Ramaphosa who was looking for a vet for his farm in Bela-Bela,” he said.
“At first I thought it was a prank by one of my friends. “But weeks later I had an interview with him [Ramaphosa] on his farm. He showed me around the farm and convinced me to take the job.”
The University of Pretoria graduate said that he decided to leave the job on the farm after receiving a job offer from a clinic in Wales in the UK in December. “The reason for leaving the job was more of a life and professional growth decision than anything else. It was a beautiful job and he [Ramaphosa] is a great mentor who really supported me in any sort of procedures that I wanted to do,” Thovhakale said.
“Although he had quite pricey animals in the farm, he was willing to let me learn.”
Thovhakale, who had about three months to complete the paperwork in order to finish the move to the UK, decided to travel the whole of South Africa before leaving.
“I then came to the Eastern Cape and I fell in love with the sea and the atmosphere. I was looking for local clinics closer to the sea and I found the Wild Coast Vet and fortunately they were looking for a vet. I tried my luck and I got the job,” he said.
“The job is much more than animal disease prevention, treatment and control. There is a huge element of client education. I have always had an affinity for animals, it’s almost a bit of a cliché as every vet will say they’ve always wanted to be vets as long as they can remember but it is quite true.
”I’ve always wanted to be a vet, even before I knew it was called a veterinarian I’ve always wanted to be an animal doctor.”
The adventurous vet said he had found a new home in Chintsa. “It has been such a long complex journey and I needed to recentre myself. Chintsa seems to be the perfect place to do it,” he said.
Dr Roger Davies of Wild Coast Vet said: “The veterinary sector is fairly traditionalist so it is exciting to see an element of transformation. We are so proud of the type of veterinary work that we do! Our mobile veterinary service allows pets to be treated in the comfort of their home environment, and takes (some of) the stressors away for pet owners. This mobile work links in with our clinic. This means that vets and support staff all have to work together as a team, communicate really well, and be super organised . We needed a dynamic and organised individual to continue to grow our business and so we are delighted that we have found Dr Terrence,”.
The Wild Coast vet opens from 7.30 – 4pm from Monday to Friday. The vet is also available to treat emergencies after hours as well as weekends.