SA professional nurse applet – courtesy of


22 February 2020


Whew! Every time I hear the biological term “medulla oblongata” I instantaneously think of Jeffrou Gertenbach – our life sciences teacher  in high school. Essentially this word refers to a part of the human brain which is responsible for autonomic bodily functions such as swallowing, breathing, the heart’s functioning etc – It is therefore a paramount part of the brain.

In other words when I say “Don’t you medulla oblongata me” I mean “Don’t you act all clever on me”. I feel many times life becomes a power struggle about who knows more than who. Particularly after watching the 2020 State Of The Nation Address delivered by South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, I can conclude that parliament has become a display of power like a male peacock displaying his extravagant feathers. Many members of parliament rose on several points of order to showcase in some way that they also know the book of the law.

Why is it so important to constantly prove that you know more than the next person? Even in daily life in an instance of testosterone-driven road rage, people are always out to display their power and “rightness”. Similarly, in a struggling marriage, divided couples battle over being right. Everyone wants to be on the right side of the line.

Branching off into a completely different tangent, however keeping it in the biological peripherals of this article; I never liked biology in school until my mother said I needed to change my attitude towards my teacher. When I finally did, my marks improved and there I was going out of my way to understand “symbiosis” and the likes. I’ll never forget symbiosis; it was one of my favourite topics in biology. Symbiosis is when two different organisms live together in the same space. Then in symbiosis, you get Mutualism, Commensalism and Parasitism – Okay let me stop right there before this turns into a lesson.

I was still telling you about my mother, she was a nurse throughout her entire career – she’s never done anything else. The nursing thing rubbed off on my two older sisters, then I took a different direction however that doesn’t mean I don’t understand health pertaining issues. When I have a friend or family member who is sick, I’m the first one to prescribe medicine for them. I know the most common medication and tablets like your Myprodol and Ibuprofen. I also particularly find nursing jargon quite fascinating especially when nursing colleagues are talking to each other and they throw their jargon around like “endotracheal tube, polycythemia, and paranoid schizophrenia” – you could stand lost without hearing a thing – haha!

On a last note, it’s funny how I’ve tied politics and biology together whilst enlightening you about my “biological” background. I have incorporated a bit of life science terminology to sensationalise my notion of how people are in a battle of proving that their intellectual intelligence is higher than average. As a country, we have gone past proving our rightness or wrongness but we need a practical solution that will renovate the current socio-economic status because as politicians wave their agendas in parliament, lives are repeatedly obliterated every single day

Lots of Love, Phindy