Years ago, a misconception existed that the profession of nursing revolved around sponge baths and bedpans. Generally, today’s public is more educated about the important role nurses play in the medical community.

Prof Eva Manyedi says to have a career spanning two decades in the field of nursing is truly a blessing.

Yet, unless you or a loved one has spent time in a hospital, you may not fully understand the breadth of expertise and knowledge that nurses bring to the table.


Prof Eva Manyedi, an associate professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ School of Nursing on the campus in Mahikeng, exemplifies the multifaceted role that nurses play in communities and in society as a whole.


Starting out


Born in Mokopane, Eva is the second eldest of six children. She completed her matric at Gojela High School and then, influenced by her mother, chose her life-long career as a nurse.


“When I was doing matric, my English teacher wanted to fund me to study social work but my mother, being a single parent raising six children, could not afford my other needs.


“She chose nursing for me because it was a convenient field where I could study without paying tuition. However, after qualifying I developed a passion for nursing, particularly psychiatric nursing.”


She completed her initial nursing training at Baragwanath Hospital and then went on to obtain other nursing qualifications, including Unisa degrees in advanced psychiatric nursing and community health nursing.


From nursing practice to teaching


Her first nursing jobs were at Bophelong Hospital and Mmabatho College of Nursing, after which she joined the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE), as the campus in Potchefstroom was formerly known.


“On 1 May 1999, when I started working for the university as a lecturer, I had just registered for my master’s degree in nursing,” Eva recalls. She completed her doctorate in 2007 and was promoted to senior lecturer in the following year, and then to associate professor in 2017. She completed her doctorate in 2007 and was promoted to senior lecturer in the following year, and then to associate professor in 2017.


Sharing her expertise


She was also a member of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA). At first she served on its Nursing Transformation Committee, before becoming the first provincial chairperson, then treasurer and Provincial Executive Committee member.


Another career highlight was being nominated to serve on the Minister of Health’s committee that developed the Mental Health Policy Framework and Strategy 2013-2020.


As if that were not enough, the Minister of Social Development appointed Eva to serve on the Central Drug Authority, a national board that advises parliament on substance abuse in the country. She joined the board in 2013 and still serves on it today.


Expanding her role


The NWU has benefited from Eva’s nursing knowledge in ways other than her teaching role.


She has served as campus quality assurance coordinator and chairperson of the Occupational Health and Safety Committee. She has also served on the Campus Management Committee, the Extended Management Committee, the Deans Committee and the Higher Degrees Committee, among others.


“At this stage of my career, being able to contribute meaningfully at an institution such as the NWU is a task I do not take lightly.


“Personally, it is equally rewarding to have raised three beautiful children, one of whom is married and has made me a grandmother.”