Growing from gardener to paramedic, this man tended to life’s cause


A siren rings out, interrupting the children playing on a dusty road. Without a moment’s hesitation they run to the side, as Sthembiso Ngubo zooms past. Their hero is on his way to saving lives. Having founded his own private ambulance service, Ngubo is in the driving seat of hope for his town of Ntuzuma, in Durban. The journey to where he is now has been a remarkable one. Though an established paramedic today, Ngubo completed matric with no role models and no funds to go further, resigning himself to being a gardener.  

“When my employer first approached me about setting goals, I had no idea what a paramedic was,” Ngubo says. As a result of intense crime and hijackings, ambulances refused to enter his hometown. “My community was suffering,” he says. “That’s when I decided to do something about it.” For 10 years Ngubo saved up, and used his gardening income to fund his studies with the Red Cross. He then spent 16 years working for Accimed to gain experience. In 2012, Ngubo finally gave his dreams the green light and started Afromed Medical Services. His business blossomed, and today Ngubo employs dozens of staff, including a doctor and several nurses.

The field of medicine is notoriously difficult to work in. But Ngubo’s work proves that, given the right amount of care, the blooming of a single individual can brighten an entire generation. “I’m so proud that I’m able to inspire others in my community to follow my path,” he says. From humble beginnings, Ngubo now proudly sows seeds of motivation for everyone he meets. “I believe all South Africans have the power to become whatever they want,” he says. “They just need that little push.”