Catching up with Hopetown Hospice champion Joe Nkosi

We continue to highlight the champions within the different hospice setting around South Africa, and today we catch up with Joe Nkosi who is a champion forHopetown Hospice.

1. Can you give us a brief background if yourself?

I am a 72-year married male. Born on the 1st January 1944 in Hopetown, Northern Cape. I attended school in Hopetown, De Aar at Emil Wëder High, Genadendal in 1960. After completion of high school I began missionary work with the Catholic Church.

Since childhood our family was involved with community work through the example set by my late father and mother. It became a passion that laid the foundation for my future community upliftment and development involvement.

In 1969 as a young man I relocated to Eersterust Pretoria and it was here in this new home that I started working with the St Vincent De Paul Catholic wellfare organisation and the local Eersterust Child Welfare.

During this time a NGO by the name of Circle of Life was established taking me under their wings subsequently becoming the Eersterust Catholic Outreach Programme as a Faith Based Organization was established and used as a model by the Siyamkela Project of the University of Pretoria to do a baseline study on stigma and discrimination against PLWHA (People living with Aids). At the same time I started working with the Tshwane Aids Council.

2. How did you get involved with hospice & palliative care?

     After my retirement at Onderstepoort in 2005 followed by the passing of my first wife in 2008, I relocated to Hopetown in 2010 working with Nightingale Hospice who was the mother body of all HPCA affiliated organisations in the Northern Cape.

In 2013 Hopetown Hospice was established as an independent NGO under the mentorship of Mrs Theresa Thompson. This was my first encounter with the term Palliative Care.

3. What was your perception of hospice & has it changed over time? If so, how?

Having attended my first Strategic Planning Summit in 2014 broadened my mind and created a totally different perception of what Palliative Care is all about. The CaSIPO Project also gave me a deeper insight into what its future objectives are to convince the Department of Health about the practicality for a holistic approach to integrate Palliative Care into our county’s health care programmes

4. In your opinion what are the sort of activities one can do to show they are a true champion for hospice?

Contribute towards sustainable livelihood for the community. Improve quality of life. Also integrating holistic care and offer  a meaningful support system; expanding disease, specific palliative therapy education. Regular review of patients conditions and adjustments.

5. Can you tell our readers something interesting about yourself?

I am a perfectionist driven by my passion to uplift and support communities irrespective of race, colour or creed. Very pleasant personality with a youthful outlook in life. Forever young. Most important a family man.