year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 177

the epitome of excellence.”
Fourth-year physiotherapy student
Sikho Ngcobo said, “If you passed
him in the corridors, he would stop to
talk to you. If he sensed that things
weren’t right, he would give you his
full attention and encourage you to
tell him your concerns. It wasn’t just
routine for him. He wanted to truly
know how his students were doing.
He was so genuine.”
“I remember our clinical nurses
talking about his amazing practical
skills,” said final-year medical student
Sandiswe Nkema. “He was like
a legend. So when I met him and
saw how humble he was ... I was
very touched.”
A National Research Foundation
A-rated scholar, Mayosi was elected
to the US National Academy of
Medicine in 2017, one of the highest
honours in the fields of health and
medicine, awarded to individuals
who have demonstrated outstanding
professional achievement and
commitment to service.
The same year, Mayosi led an allwomen team of researchers who
published their remarkable discovery
of a heart attack gene that is a
major cause of sudden death among
young people and athletes. In 2018
he succumbed to the depression
that had plagued him for years and
committed suicide.
The UCT community and his many
friends and colleagues around the
country, the continent and the globe
will feel the effects of his loss for
years to come.
Professor Mayosi was the recipient
of national and international honours
for his groundbreaking work in
cardiology, addressing in particular
the needs of the poor and the young.
He was committed to building the
capacity of African researchers in
solving the health problems that are
common in developing countries.
Smangele Malema, a master’s
student in biomedical forensic
science, said Mayosi gave hope to
black students. “He made us feel
at peace and we felt like we could
amount to something. He was
a great inspiration to us all and
will be missed dearly.”
Emeritus Professor Marian Jacobs
described Mayosi as “an academic
leader of great distinction, a brilliant
cardiologist, a globally recognised
clinical scientist and a well-loved
She added, “His academic
leadership was widely recognised
and respected by peers way beyond
South Africa’s borders, and he
established strong connections in the
global south as well as in the global
north, thus placing the faculty on
a firm footing on the world stage.”
He inspired his colleagues and
students not only with his high
professional standards but also with
his gentle humility.
Zandile Booi, an MSc student in
medical virology, met Mayosi in the
cardiovascular genetics group during
her honours programme. “He had
the biggest smile ever,” she recalled.
“Seeing him kept me going. He was


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