Who is Dr Tafadzwa Mandiwanza, a Zimbabwean-Irish doctor?


Tafadzwa Mandiwanza is a Zimbabwean doctor who is the first female paediatric neurosurgeon doctor in Ireland. She came to prominence immediately after graduating from University College Cork as the first female doctor in this specialised field of paediatric neurosurgery.

Biography Facts

Dr Tafadzwa Mandiwanza in a hospital theatre
Image of Dr Tafadzwa Mandiwanza in a hospital theatre.

Full name: Tafadzwa Mandiwanza
Gender: Female
Date of birth: unknown
Age: unknown
Place of birth: Harare, Zimbabwe
Nationality: Zimbabwean, Irish (neutralised)
Occupation: Paediatric Neurosurgeon Doctor
Spouse: Mr Rebabonye Pharithi
Children: four (3 girls, 1 boy)

Early life of Tafadzwa Mandiwanza

Tafadzwa Mandiwanza was born in Harare in Zimbabwe. She grew up in Harare raised by both her parents who were her primary inspiration as she grow. Her mother is a nurse and this is probably where she took more inspiration to become a doctor at an early age. She remembers telling her dad at the age of three, that one day she is going to be a doctor.

Education of Tafadzwa Mandiwanza

Tafadzwa Mandiwanza probably got her primary and secondary school education in Harare, Zimbabwe. Then later relocated to Ireland to pursue education in medicine. She enrolled to pursue her medical studies at University College Cork. She initially thought she wanted to be a cardiothoracic (heart and lungs) surgeon but during her surgical training at Cork University Hospital in which she completed a subdural haematoma (a procedure which removes blood from the brain to relieve pressure), she changed her mind.

So, she studied Pediatric Neurosurgery, a subspecialty of neurosurgery; which includes surgical procedures that are related to the nervous system, brain and spinal cord; that treats children with operable neurological disorders.

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She also completed extra training at Great Ormond St Children’s Hospital in London just before taking up her consultant post in Dublin so that she could bring new skills (such as surgery to treat severe spasticity in cerebral palsy) back to Dublin.

Medical career of Dr Mandiwanza

Dr Tafadzwa Mandiwanza in a hospital theatre
Dr Mandiwanza on duty in one of the hospitals in Ireland.

Dr Mandiwanza has worked in the field of Medicine for more than 20 years. This includes as trainee, student and as a qualified doctor. In March 2022 she was appointed as the first female as the first female paediatric neurosurgeon in Ireland. After this she made headlines both in Zimbabwe her home country and in Ireland. It won’t surprise if her news reached the ends of the world.

Personal life of Tafadzwa Mandiwanza

Dr Mandiwanza with her family which includes her husband Rebabonye Pharithi and children.
Dr Mandiwanza with her family which includes her husband Rebabonye Pharithi and children.

Tafadzwa Mandiwanza is married to Rebabonye Pharithi, a Motswana man who also works in Europe. The two are blessed with four children who are three daughters and one boy. Tafadzwa and her husband neutralised from their respective citizenships to Ireland citizenship in 2014, this means they’re now Irish. She also said all her daughters identifies as Irish and not Zimbabweans or Batswanas. The Pharithi family has lived in Ireland for more than 20 years. [ ¹]

One fun fact about Dr Mandiwanza

Dr Mandiwanza loves order and cleanliness and her family tease her for that.
“If things are disordered, my thought processes don’t work as well. My family tease me about how I like everything to be tidy in the house.” she says.

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