After stops in Zambia, South Africa, Iowa, Missouri and Philadelphia, Manasseh Chibwe has landed in Yerington where she is serving as a family nurse practitioner at South Lyon Medical Center.
After enduring the cold and snow of the east and Midwest in recent years, the relatively lesser snow in Yerington was an attraction when she chose where to take her first job after receiving a master’s degree to be a nurse practitioner in Philadelphia last year. Some of her other job offers were in Chicago, Pennsylvania and Alaska.
Although she only started a few weeks ago, Chibwe has enjoyed her time thus far in Yerington, where she feels safe to walk (her car hadn’t arrived yet). She even told of being offered a ride from the motel lobby to the hospital for her job interview.
“Yerington gave me a really good impression,” she said, adding the people were kind and laid back.
“I like everybody, they’re friendly and nice.”
After being born in her parents’ native Zambia, Manasseh moved with her family in 2002 to Johannessburg, South Africa, due to a transfer for her father, a minister in the Community of Christ church. Then, two years later at 18, she headed to America after getting a scholarship at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.
Manasseh graduated with a degree in biology/pre-med but then decided to continue her education by obtaining a bachelor of science in nursing at another Graceland campus, this in Independence, Mo. Initially, she planned to become a doctor, but her MCAT score wasn’t that high, so her father suggested going into nursing.
At that point, she worked a year as a nurse but then decided to go to graduate school at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, where she obtained a master’s in nursing with an emphasis for nurse practitioner.
Once she switched to nursing, “I fell in love with it,” she said. “I’m very passionate about it. … I want to make a difference in life.”
At that point, she moved to Missouri, where her parents and younger sisters had moved a few years before (two older siblings still live in South Africa) and began looking for a job.
Chibwe is working in both the Physicians Clinic and Barnett Clinic in her early days, although mainly she will work in the Physicians Clinic at SLMC. Now, she said she is trying to establish new patients (she accepts walk-ins).
She said she treats a wide range, including chronic illness, preventive care, health and wellness, hypertension, diabetes, etc.
“It’s so diverse, so I don’t get bored. It’s really exciting,” she said of her new practice. “I love learning things.”
Manasseh said growing up her parents told their children, “Knowledge is power. It’s something they can’t take away from you.”
As for her uncommon name, Chibwe said she was named for the biblical character Manasseh.
She said the name means “to forget the bad past,” and she was given that name as she was born on the day a grandfather died.
Of her native Zambia, her favorite place is Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, where she hopes to return and jump off the falls bungee jumping, but she hopes crocodiles don’t eat her, she said.
As for her free time here, Chibwe said she enjoys hiking, watching movies and her favorite TV shows (one of which is Grey’s Anatomy), traveling, spending time with friends and eating and cooking ethnic foods.