1 S Roland Schoeman ( ) THE ORDER OF IKHAMANGA IN SILVER 48 Roland Schoeman was born on 7 March 1980 in Pretoria. He attended Willow Ridge High School, where his first love was cricket. Although an asthmatic, at the age of 13 he developed an interest in swimming. Having enrolled at the University of Arizona in the United States of America (USA) to benefit from its swimming facilities, Schoeman broke several National Collegiate Athletic Association records during his freshman and junior years. He shot to national and international stardom after winning a gold medal at the Athens Olympics as part of the South African 4x100 m freestyle relay team. Among his other achievements are: 100 m freestyle silver medalist and 50 m freestyle bronze medalist at the 2004 Olympics; 50 m butterfly silver medalist and 50 m freestyle gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games; 50m freestyle bronze medalist at the World Swimming Championships; 100 m butterfly bronze medalist at the All African Swimming Championships and 100 m freestyle silver medalist and 50 m freestyle gold medalist at the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (Fina) Championships (2005). Schoeman recorded new world records in the 100 m individual medley and 100 m freestyle. He holds the short- and longcourse records for the 50 m freestyle and long-course record for the 100 m freestyle in the Commonwealth Games as well as the All African Swimming Championships long-course records for the 50 m and 100 m. He is ranked all-time number two for the 50 m freestyle event. Impressed by his remarkable swimming abilities, the State of Qatar made him a multi-million dollar a year offer to take up its citizenship to represent them at Olympic competitions. Patriotic to the end, Schoeman refused. Roland Schoeman, who is fondly called 'the rocket', has displayed a rare determination to overcome obstacles and a talent to succeed in competitive swimming. His current achievements will ensure him a place in the annals of South Africa's all-time sporting greats, serving as an inspiration for future generations of swimmers. This 26-year-old South African has a Psychology and Communications degree from the University of Arizona. When Schoeman is not in the USA training, he spends his time in South Africa with his mother and sister in Pretoria. Schoeman looks forward to representing South Africa at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
2 AWARDED FOR EXCELLENT ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF SWIMMING. Schoeman was elected South African Sports Star of the Year in 2004 and was named Athlete of the Year in 2004 by Swimming South Africa. 49
3 S George Singh ( ) THE ORDER OF IKHAMANGA IN SILVER 50 George Singh was born in 1930 in Durban to parents of Indian descent. As a teenager, he participated in the Indian Passive Resistance Campaign of 1946 to In 1948, he enrolled for a law degree at Fort Hare University. There he was drawn to the student politics of the day and associated with the likes of fellow students Nelson Mandela and Mangosuthu Buthelezi, both of whom influenced his outlook profoundly. After he graduated, Singh returned to Durban where he developed a successful legal practice specialising in conveyancing. Yet he was a sportsman at heart and dedicated himself to soccer. He played soccer for the South African Indian national team and formed his own amateur soccer club, Stellar FC. Singh's keen sense of injustice at the apartheid policy of discrimination and segregation in sport led him to see the need to fight for non-racial sport in the country. He was elected to serve as the general-secretary of the South African Indian Football Association. Later, he became the general secretary of the nonracial South African Soccer Federation (SASF). Singh worked alongside others such as Dennis Brutus in his quest to see all South African sportspersons playing together. In 1955, Singh led a SASF delegation to the Federation of International Football Associations (Fifa) to argue for recognition on the basis that the SASF had more than twice the membership of the then recognised whites only Football Association of South Africa (Fasa). Although it was a long struggle, Fifa became the first international sports organisation to suspend an apartheid sports body in Despite the harassment that he had to endure by the notorious Special Branch both at his work and at home, Singh used all means to attack racism in sport. He was instrumental in getting the Davis Cup tennis event stopped from being staged in South Africa. He also helped to obtain a Natal Supreme Court ruling that it was not illegal for persons of different race groups to play sports together. However, it was a period in which the Government was determined to pursue their apartheid goals at any cost and whatever the obstacles. This was amply demonstrated a year later when Papwa Sewgolum, the legendary golfer and descendent of Indian indentured labourers, won the Natal Open. While his fellow players were warmly ensconced inside the Durban Country Club, he was presented with his trophy through a window while standing in the pouring rain outside.
4 AWARDED FOR EXCELLENT CONTRIBUTION TO SOCCER AND TO NON-RACISM, NON-SEXISM AND JUSTICE IN SPORT AND SOCIETY. In 1964, a member of the then recently formed South African Non-Racial Olympics Committee (Sanroc), Singh was slapped with banning orders and put under a 12-hour-a-day house arrest. This move was a temporary setback for the movement but did not deter the resolute Singh and his comrades from fighting for justice and equal rights for all. George Singh fought against and withstood apartheid laws and harassment in the knowledge that justice would finally prevail. His life, dedicated to the noble goals of sport in its true spirit, contributed immensely to the creation of a non-racial and nonsexist South Africa. The principles of this pioneering visionary are enshrined in our democratic constitution. Singh succumbed to a lung infection in He is survived by his wife, Surya Kumarie Singh, who still lives in Durban. His son, Dr TG Singh, runs a medical practice in Durban. Driven by its commitment to the International Olympic Committee's Charter, which read that: 'No discrimination is allowed against any country or person on grounds of race, religion or political affiliation', Sanroc was revived as an exile movement two years later and would eventually succeed in having South Africa expelled from the Olympics in Over many decades, Singh was at the forefront of struggles to isolate apartheid sport in the international arena. It was successes here that served as the forerunner for other more political campaigns which eventually led to the negotiations process that gave birth to our new democracy. 51
5 T Canodoise Daniel Themba ( ) THE ORDER OF IKHAMANGA IN SILVER 52 Legendary journalist and master story-teller Canodoise Daniel Themba was born in Marabastad, Pretoria, in His ambition, in keeping with the limited career options open to Africans then, was to be a teacher. He prepared himself for this vocation, acquiring both a teaching diploma and a degree in English - in first class - from the then Fort Hare University College. Shortly after completing his tertiary studies, he moved to Johannesburg, settling in the then Sophiatown, a melting pot of ideas where professionals such as doctors and journalists mixed freely with politicians, musicians and gangsters. Themba relished the social life of the vibrant Sophiatown, where he quickly formed long-lasting and enriching friendships. Drum magazine was running a short-story competition at the time and the courier who came knocking on Themba's door, bearing the winner's 50-pounds prize, met a 28-year-old teacher who introduced himself as Canodoise Daniel Themba. The name Can Themba would soon become a household name. Themba endeared himself to the readers as one of the Drum Boys, as this pioneering group of journalists came to be known. He also worked for other titles, like Golden City Post. Themba was destined to tickle and entertain through the pages of Drum as he dealt with issues of the day: police raids for illicit brew, gang violence, music at such establishments as his haunt 'Back o' the Moon', and the general turbulence of an African man caught up in a racially charged social environment. Even those who socialised and worked with him never quite understood this literary giant among whose works, The Suit, a short story since adapted for stage, still wows audiences. Themba was an avid reader whose 'House of Truth', the name he gave to his own dwelling in Sophiatown, attracted as much reading matter as it did visitors and intelligent conversation. Though a large part of this penman' s life remains untold, all are in agreement that Can Themba, or better still, Dorsey, had a way with words. Can Themba left Drum after nine years of dedicated service, moving to Swaziland where he took up a teaching post. When the apartheid forces razed Sophiatown down to the ground in forced removals in 1955, killing the sprit of many of
6 AWARDED FOR EXCELLENT ACHIEVEMENT IN LITERATURE, CONTRIBUTING TO THE FIELD OF JOURNALISM AND STRIVING FOR A JUST AND DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY IN SOUTH AFRICA. its residents, Themba, like many of his contemporaries, was left devastated. The pain of 'Kofifi's' death, the streetwise name Sophiatown was known by, remains etched in the beautiful writing of Themba and his contemporaries, among them Lewis Nkosi, Nat Nakasa, Bloke Modisane and Zeke Mphahlele. Having been declared a statutory communist and his work banned in his home country, Canodoise Daniel Themba died a broken man in Swaziland in Themba bequeathed to posterity his collection of short stories, published posthumously: The Will to Die (1972) and The World of Can Themba (1985). It is through these gems of the written word that many of his admirers would be so bold as to say, particularly overwhelmed by the mastery of The Suit, that Themba was among the greatest in our nation. Many think such riveting pieces as The Bottom of The Bottle, written at the height of his alcohol dependence, were autobiographical. Can Themba's ingenious pen, sharp mind and acute political consciousness about the racist environment in which he was born and raised, make him one of the finest as a journalist, teacher, thinker and socio-political critic. He left posterity a rich legacy that ranks among the most illustrious in the history of South African literature. 53
7 P Alan Stewart Paton ( ) THE ORDER OF IKHAMANGA IN GOLD 54 Alan Stewart Paton was born in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu- Natal in The son of James and Eunice Paton, he was brought up in the tradition of English liberalism to acknowledge the rights of others. Alan Paton wrote one of the great novels of the 20th century, Cry, the Beloved Country, and towers among the literary icons and sons of South Africa. Critic James Stern has called Cry, the Beloved Country 'one of the best novels of our time'. The novel, Paton's first, changed his life. Its success allowed him to write full-time and he prolifically produced poetry, plays, articles, short stories, biographies and novels right up to the time of his death. Among Paton's early reading were Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, Rupert Brooke and the Bible. His writing was deeply influenced by the Christian faith of his parents and the Old Testament. Paton disapproved of authoritarianism as a matter of principle. This may have contributed to Paton's radically reformist approach as the principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory for African Juvenile Delinquents between 1935 and 1948, as well as his general stance against apartheid authority and its practice. Paton published his first poem in 1920 in the magazine of Natal University College at which he was registered for a Bachelor of Science degree. At university, Paton's understanding of black South Africans grew. He also became active in student affairs and showed a talent for public representation. Paton became a science teacher in 1925, teaching for three years in Ixopo where much of his famous novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, is set. He then moved to Pietermaritzburg to teach at Maritzburg College. His commitment to engaging public interests took full form in his founding membership, as vice chairperson, of the South African Liberal Party in 1953, which challenged apartheid legislation. Paton remained in the leadership of the Liberal Party, as chairperson and then president, until its forced dissolution in 1968 under a law that prohibited multiracial party membership.
8 AWARDED FOR EXCEPTIONAL CONTRIBUTION TO LITERATURE, EXPOSING THE APARTHEID OPPRESSION THROUGH HIS WORK AND FIGHTING FOR A JUST AND DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. Paton believed that a novel written in South Africa was not worth publishing if it did not concern the central issues. His work expressed the social, political and moral commitment of his being and his view of life as a spiritual journey. Some of his work, like his second novel Too Late the Phalarope, has been critically judged as superior to Cry, the Beloved Country, but nothing commanded the exceptional recognition and acclaim of his first novel. As a dynamic work, Cry, the Beloved Country has been variously assessed according to the conditions of the times. In the 1970s, it came under critique from black political opinion for, in the words of writer Lewis Nkosi, its 'distorted, sentimental, if ameliorative vision'. Alan Paton was one of South Africa's leading humanists. Paton himself envisioned 'a great, peaceful South Africa in which the world will take pride, a nation in which each of many different groups will be making its own creative contribution'. Though he did not live to see it, the current democratic order in South Africa vindicated his faith. Alan Paton died, aged 85, on 12 April 1988 at his home in Botha's Hill, KwaZulu-Natal. However, Nkosi writes: 'Paton's generosity of spirit, his courageous plea for racial justice, and all those qualities which have earned him the undying respect of many Africans, were not of course in question'. Nelson Mandela, at whose treason trial Paton gave evidence in mitigation of sentence in 1964, has signified Cry, the Beloved Country a monument to the future. 55
9 S Tiyo Soga ( ) THE ORDER OF IKHAMANGA IN GOLD 56 The pioneering African intellectual Tiyo Soga was born in the Eastern Cape in His mother was Nosuthu and his father, Jotello Soga, was a chief counsellor to the paramount chief of the amaxhosa, Chief Ngqika. Soga attended mission school where his distinctive quality was recognised by the missionary, William Chalmers, who arranged for him to write the entrance examination to Lovedale Seminary in Soga was dismayed in the examination by a simple subtraction problem on the board. However, Chalmers convinced the head of Lovedale, William Govan, to admit Soga, who later proved himself, coming out among the top three in virtually all his subjects. In 1846, the 'War of the Axe' broke out along the frontier in the Eastern Cape and Soga took refuge with his mother at Fort Armstrong, continuing to study at night by firelight. William Govan decided to return to Scotland and took Soga with him to further his opportunities. Soga, who is said to have been decisively converted to Christianity as a young boy as a result of a spiritual experience he had in Sunday school, was baptised in Scotland in He returned to the Eastern Cape and from 1849 worked as a catechist and evangelist before going back to Scotland to study theology. Soga graduated from Glasgow University with a theology degree at the age of 27 and was admitted to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in 1856, the first African to achieve this. In 1857, he married a Scotswoman, Janet Burnside. They had seven children. Before his death in 1871, he instructed his children, some of whom he wanted to be educated in Scotland, never to be ashamed that their father was African. 'It is every whit as good and as pure as that which flows in the veins of my fairer brethren', he wrote. He called on his children to cherish the memory of their mother as an 'upright, conscientious, thrifty, Christian Scotswoman'. 'You will ever be thankful for your connection by this tie with the white race', he instructed them.
10 AWARDED FOR EXCEPTIONAL CONTRIBUTION TO LITERATURE AND THE STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE. Soga also expressed a sense of internationalism regarding the shared destiny of all Africans, including the diaspora. On his return journey to South Africa in 1857, he wrote what has now become the earliest known journal by a black South African. Soga recorded fables, proverbs, legends, the genealogy of chiefs and folklore, and he loved composing hymns. He worked tirelessly - teaching, preaching, writing - to the detriment of his health, and contracted tuberculosis (TB) in However, he still worked on an epic translation of John Bunyan's classic allegorical novel, Pilgrim's Progress, adapting the story to fit the experience of the Xhosa people, and making it the most important literary influence in 19th century South Africa after the Bible. Soga is considered by many to be the first major modern African intellectual. On the basis of the intellectual tradition Soga helped to establish, South Africa's national liberation movement evolved to birth in He was among the first Christian leaders to assert the right of Africans to freedom and equality. Tiyo Soga was a great African intellectual; a pioneer journalist, translator and hymn composer; and the first black South African to become an ordained church minister. In 1871, Soga died in the arms of his friend, the missionary Richard Ross, with his mother at his side. Two years later he was appointed to the board to revise the Xhosa translation of the Bible, to which he made a vital contribution. However, Soga did not live to see its publication. He died of TB at Tutura near Butterworth in 1871 at the age of 42. Rev RHW Shepherd, a later principal of Lovedale, wrote in 1941 that Tiyo Soga was in the prime of his life but worn out by 'incessant labour' on behalf of his countrymen. 57
11 A Selig Percy Amoils ( ) THE ORDER OF MAPUNGUBWE IN SILVER 58 Selig Percy Amoils, pioneering inventor and biomedical engineer, was born in Johannesburg in 1933, where he was raised and educated. From an engineering background in his undergraduate studies, he went on to attend Medical School at the University of the Witwatersrand; specialist training at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto; Moorfields Hospital in London; and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary as a clinical fellow and research scientist, specialising in retinal diseases and surgery and glaucoma. In private practice since 1969, Amoils has held hospital appointments at Baragwanath Hospital and Natalspruit Hospital on the East Rand where, as director of cryosurgical research, he extended a range of treatments, not only for the eye, but also in gynaecology, dentistry, dermatology, veterinary medicine and thoracic and heart surgery, among others. Amoils first pioneered cryosurgery for cataracts and retinal detachments in This led to the Cryoprobe in 1965 that forever changed the method of cataract and retinal surgery. For this invention, Amoils achieved world recognition and a Queen's Award. His Cryoprobe has been on display in the Kensington Museum in London next to the inventions of Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless telegraphy, and Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone. Amoils says he got his idea for the Cryoprobe while doing some work in the Johannesburg Public Library. Another well-known invention of his is the rotary epithelial scrubber. This is an adaptation of an ordinary electric toothbrush used in corrective laser surgery. It works in a circular motion, scrubbing away cells for a smoother surface for laser procedures. Before, a scalpel was used, resulting in an uneven surface. Amoils's rotary epithelial scrubber has even been used on former President Nelson Mandela, whom Amoils has treated since He helped bring to the world's attention one of the consequences of Mandela's long imprisonment on Robben Island. Forced to smash limestone rocks for 20 years, Mandela's tear glands have been burned because of the alkaline nature of the limestone. This has left his eyes dry and prone to irritation. Amoils had to perform a difficult operation to remove a cataract from Mandela's eye because of this condition.
12 AWARDED FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE FIELD OF OPHTHALMOLOGY AND FOR INSPIRING HIS COLLEAGUES IN THE FIELD OF SCIENCE. Amoils also developed the first diamond vitrectomy cutters in 1970, using hollow diamonds. A vitrectomy is performed when the vitreous, the gel-like substance that fills the centre of the eye, has to be removed or certain problems affect the back of the eye. He introduced microscopic control of blade depth in Radial Keratotomy, the procedure for nearsightedness, which is essential for accuracy; invented the Ovalometer to control astigmatism after cataract surgery and corneal grafting, concerning the shape of the cornea; and designed cataract surgery aspiration devices for developing countries especially. Amoils is a noted proponent of Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) to treat thin corneas and latent and frank keratoconus. PRK is a procedure in which the surface of the cornea is reshaped to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Keratoconus relates to a protrusion of the centre of the cornea. Amoils has also demonstrated the superiority of scanning PRK over broad beam PRK and pioneered the use of mitomycin - antibiotics used against bacteria and cancerous tumor cells, in the prevention and treatment of complications after PRK. His study of the thinning of the cornea after other competing surgical procedures began in 1995 and he has made numerous international presentations of his challenging findings. He has published a textbook on cryosurgery and ophthalmology as well as scores of scientific papers. Among his awards are 'One of the Four Outstanding Young Men' in South Africa in 1968; the Queens Award for Technological Innovation in London; and the Medal of Honour from the Academy of Applied Science in association with MIT and Harvard. Selig Percy Amoils has proven himself an inventor extraordinaire, setting his country on the world map as well as holding his own with the very best in the scientific world throughout his glorious career. Percy Amoils continues to develop new inventions for a wide range of applications, at the forefront of Africa's contributions to solving humanity's problems. 59
13 B Patricia Berjak ( ) THE ORDER OF MAPUNGUBWE IN SILVER 60 Patricia Berjak, a world leader in the study of seeds, began her career with a BSc degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in She graduated as a biochemist with a first-class BSc (Honours) degree, going on to do Master's research in medicine before realising her calling as a cell biologist focused on seed biology. Berjak was introduced to the world of seeds and electron microscopy by the biologist-tutor Trevor Villiers in the late 1960s while a young student at the University of Natal. One of South Africa's few A-rated scientists, she has achieved highly significant breakthroughs in the understanding of the inability of certain seed species to survive for sufficiently long periods in storage, thus undermining food security in the developing world. Berjak's innovative research has been highly recognised. She is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, a Fellow of the University of Natal, the Royal Society of South Africa and the Third World Academy of Sciences. In 2001, Berjak was awarded the Silver Medal of the South African Association of Botanists for research excellence. In 2004, she received the Department of Science and Technology's Distinguished Woman Scientist Award for her consistent contributions to science over her entire career. Berjak was recently nominated, unopposed, as president-elect of the International Society for Seed Science. She will assume office in She asserts that her achievements result from the contributions of many scientists, including her husband Professor Norman Pammenter, who is a top plant scientist himself. Berjak is committed to the study of seeds. She says the people of Africa, despite their geographical and cultural diversity, are bound together by concerns about food security and the unreliability of rainfall across much of the continent. For her, this makes the scientific study of seeds and their storage an imperative. Berjak, supported by her research students and other major collaborators, has uncovered much about the nature of recalcitrant seeds to survive for insufficiently short periods in storage.
14 AWARDED FOR EXCELLENT ACHIEVEMENTS IN AND CONTRIBUTING TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF SEED SCIENCE. Based on this knowledge, the group has gone on to refine storage practices; define the role of fungi associated with seed species deterioration; and develop the application of cryobiology principles to the long-term conservation of the plant species that produce recalcitrant seeds. Recalcitrant seeds, unlike orthodox seeds, are wet and are destroyed when they dry out. Orthodox seeds, for example maize seeds, are dry and can be stored for longer periods before water allows them to germinate and grow into mature plants. Recalcitrant seeds cannot be stored in the normal kinds of conditions that keep orthodox seeds. Examples of recalcitrant seeds include mangos, litchi, avocados, coconuts, rubber trees, cocoa trees and many plant species used in traditional medicine. from poor storage conditions. Maize seeds can now be stored for substantially longer periods, especially in regions frequently affected by drought, contributing to better food security. Berjak's focus also includes saving from extinction the genetic material of the plants used in traditional medicine, among Africa's most valuable and sought-after plants. Patricia Berjak has devoted her entire career to a priority need of the developing world and has achieved significant success to inspire hope. At present she continues her work as professor at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of KwaZulu- Natal. Maize seeds, however, a staple in much of Africa, lose their viability when stored under warm, relatively high humidity conditions that also encourage fatal fungal growth in the seeds. Berjak's doctoral research discovered the means to substantially reduce fungal growth in maize seeds that result 61
15 O Lionel Opie ( ) THE ORDER OF MAPUNGUBWE IN SILVER 62 Lionel Opie, among the world's foremost scholars of heart disease, was born in Hanover, a small Karoo town, in His father was a doctor and Opie's own interest in medicine was inspired by the discovery of penicillin in Oxford, England. He vowed to one day himself pursue medical research at the University of Oxford. After qualifying in medicine at the University of Cape Town in 1955, Opie realised his ambition and went to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar in 1957, where he earned a DPhil and trained with two Nobel prize winners, Professor Sir Hans Krebs at Oxford, and Professor Sir Ernst Chain at Imperial College, London. Krebs had described the Krebs cycle that provides energy for the heart and Chain had shared the Nobel prize for the discovery of penicillin. Opie followed this training with a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Boston. On Opie's return to South Africa in 1971, Chris Barnard had just undertaken the first heart transplant and was promoting the need for further heart research. Barnard donated the money from the proceeds of his best-selling book, One Life, to Opie's research interests. During an illustrious career, Opie has published 481 scientific articles, 31 books on heart disease and 141 contributions to other books. Two of his books have been translated into Chinese and one is the standard reference on the treatment of heart disease. He has also established two new journals with the help of his wife, Carol Sancroft-Baker. Opie's research has benefited millions of people across the world. His contributions have been in the area of cardiac metabolism during ischaemia and drug use. His work has led to an improved understanding of the causes of heart attacks and the better use of medication for heart disease. His Glucose Hypothesis, published in 1970, has proved durable and his discovery of the role of excess cyclic AMP in sudden fatal heart attacks made world news. He went on to apply the latter to finding out why and how exercise training protects the heart.
16 AWARDED FOR EXCELLENT CONTRIBUTION TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF AND ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF CARDIOLOGY. For the past 10 years, Opie has held an A-rating by the National Research Foundation, one of only two medical doctors in South Africa with this honour. Among other honours, he holds an Honorary Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Copenhagen. Opie is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the American College of Cardiology, the European Society of Cardiology, the International Society of Heart Research, the Royal Society of South Africa, the Physiological Society of Southern Africa and Fellow-Elect of the College of Physicians of South Africa. He has been president of the International Society of Heart Research, the South African Cardiac Society and the South African Hypertension Society. He was recently elected to the International Editorial Board of the leading American heart journal, Circulation, as International Associate Editor for Africa. He continues to work at the University of Cape Town on how the heart can best protect itself against challenges like the lack of oxygen and the lack of blood flow, using new techniques of molecular biology. His other research focus at present is the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes, including in South Africa. Professor Opie is committed to making a difference by undertaking research that matters. In his mid-70s, he is still an active researcher, putting in 10-hour days in his laboratory. This year he has already published four articles in Lancet, the world's leading medical journal. With one of his great mentors, Sir Hans Krebs, Professor Opie shares the motto: 'Work is fun, and fun is work'. Lionel Opie has worked with some of the giants of research and is considered Africa's greatest living heart doctor. Following Chris Barnard, he is South Africa's best-known cardiac doctor internationally. 63