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motivational speaker-coach

Motivational speaker, coach, award-winning author, medical doctor.

How did I get from doctor to being a motivational speaker, coach and award-winning author?

I’ve made a career out of challenging the limits of what I’m capable of achieving.

From growing up in a working class family in the townships I dared to dream that I could be a doctor. I worked hard to realise that dream; it was a proud moment for me when I graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1999.

Adversity is a natural part of life, and I encountered many challenges when I worked in South Africa’s beleaguered public health system. I wrote about my journey through medicine in my award-winning memoir, Postmortem – The Doctor Who Walked Away.

Since leaving medicine I have also written an award-winning novel for teens, facilitated leadership development programmes for young leaders and senior public servants, and spoken on numerous stages including corporations, universities, industry associations and TEDx. As a life and career coach, I work one-on-one with clients, helping them to achieve their life and career aspirations.

I speak about the lessons I learned when I dared to leave my medical career behind to build a successful second career as a motivational speaker, coach and author. My goal is to share insights and tools to help you become the best version of yourself. 

Maria’s Philosophy:

My personal philosophy is that the challenges we face are there to help us become the highest version of ourselves and to transform our lives, our organisations and the systems in which we work. This is the message I share with audiences as a keynote speaker, and it informs my work with emerging leaders who are striving to address the pressing problems of our world.

This philosophy is also the place from which I coach one-on-one clients, taking them on a journey to realise their potential and to achieve the goals they set themselves.

Want to work with me? Let’s talk.

Email me at maria(at)