I am more concerned about your character than my reputation because my character is who I think I am and my reputation is what others think I am.




University of the Free State

Carel Masemola, 34, who has worked as an optometrist in both the public and private sectors for more than 13 years, is an optometry lecturer and clinical supervisor at the University of the Free State. He is committed to public health and community engagement in both academic and clinical settings. He is involved in the training of undergraduate optometrists, as well as the development of clinical skills that help prevent blindness. He facilitates eye health programmes as part of his responsibilities at the university, in collaboration with non-governmental organisations and private donors, which provide free eye examinations and spectacles prescriptions as well as treatment of eye conditions in rural communities. He is involved in community projects conducting vision screenings in old-age homes. Carel, who has a string of academic qualifications, is working on his PhD in Public Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His research interests include mental health and eye health promotion in primary healthcare settings. Carel seeks to promote social justice, human dignity and opportunities for the underprivileged to receive eye care, while helping aspiring optometrists to be globally competitive graduates with the skills necessary to address social issues.

  • Bachelor of Optometry, University of Limpopo
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health, Unisa
  • Bachelor of Arts Honours in Psychology, Unisa
  • Master of Public Health (cum-laude), University of Pretoria

Lifetime member of the Golden Key International Honour Society

I remember very fondly the games we used to play with my cousins and friends. It has never been about the success of an individual but rather the success of a team, and that shaped my personality and my future and always made me want to do things for others.

Always be true to yourself and never try to fit your character into a box because it is okay to be different.

I would like South Africa in five years to be a country that cares about the quality of life of others, a place where people have access to eye care and can work.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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