She’s a bundle of energy, love and laughs! Dr Sindi van Zyl, our new Health Hour host, has so much more to her than her 9-5. We sat down with our little Superwoman and this is what she had to say:
How old are you?
Born 3 April 1976 so I am 38 and hurtling towards 40!
Where did you grow up?
Born and bred in Harare, Zimbabwe. My mother was from KZN. She moved to Zimbabwe in 1974 and left in 1995 so that I could follow my dream of being a doctor in South Africa
Tell us about your family…
I love my family! I have 5 cousins that I grew up with. They stopped me from suffering from ‘only child syndrome’. My aunt is the closest thing I have left to my mom. I love her dearly. Marinus – the significant other – is the smartest man I know. We call ourselves Top Deck and our two kids The Caramellos. Nandi is 6 years old and Manie is 3 years old.
What’s the greatest value you’d love to pass onto your kids?
Respect. I want The Caramellos to respect people.
What drew you into the medical field?
I wanted to help people. I knew at age 4 that I was going to be a doctor. So my childhood dream has come true. I have a lot of other things I want to do – I am “multi-passioned” but medicine is my first love. Radio is my second love.
What’s one of the biggest life-changing moments you’ve had while on duty?
I turned 30 walking down a corridor at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. A baby needed a blood transfusion and I had gone to fetch the blood at the lab. At midnight, I stood still, looked at my watch and said to myself, “I am 30. Oh okay”. That is when I truly accepted that I was in love with medicine. Like seriously… who is on call when they turn 30? I vowed then that my future birthdays would rock. My 39th birthday is going to be amazeballs but my 40th is going to ROCK! I am only inviting 40 people to the party so it is going to be small and intimate.
So with that said, what do you think of Grey’s Anatomy?
I do not watch “medical” shows. I can’t. The most medically accurate TV series is CSI. I love it and House does try … but the rest of them are hogwash!
In terms of life in general, what has been the best and worst advice you’ve ever received?
Best advice – “just do you” on Twitter. That piece of advice came from @shakasisulu
Worst advice – don’t ask about salary in the interview
We know you LOVE Twitter, given that you even have two different accounts (@sindivanzyl; @docsindi) so who are some of your favourite people to follow on Twitter?
@MadamAfrika, @G_XCON, @LesDaChef and @unDEANiable
The Twitterverse aside, who would you love to invite over for dinner?
Bra Hugh Masekela. I met him in December after his concert in Pretoria. Meeting him was the last thing on my bucket list. I loved every moment I spent with him and I would love to chat to him further!
What do you hope to achieve with the Health Hour?
Informed citizenry! I want people to learn about all things health – formal and informal – so that people can manage their lives better. Gone are the days when your doctor spoke and you jumped. The internet has changed everything and I am leveraging my love for medicine and social media to help people.
Click PLAY below to hear some of Sindi’s previous Health Hour shows