Ames (1920-2002) was a South African neurologist
and human rights activist. She led the medical ethics enquiry into the death of
Steve Biko, an anti-apartheid activist, an enquiry which showed that he had
been tortured and medically neglected, and led to the prosecution of the
She was the first woman to obtain a medical
degree from the University of Cape Town in 1964. She practiced medicine and
taught at Valkenberg Hospital until six weeks before she died. In 1999, Nelson
Mandela awarded her the Star of South Africa, the country’s highest civilian
Mamphela Ramphele (b. 1947) is a politician and activist from South Africa. She is the founder of the anti-apartheid Agang South Africa party, and served in other important positions such as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town and Managing Director of the World Bank.
She studied at the University of Natal Medical School, at the time the only institution in South Africa that allowed black students in without permission from the government. She became a dedicated anti-apartheid activist and co-founded the Black Consciousness Movement. She is also a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and of the Link SA Fund, which provides underprivileged students to continue their higher education.
Everything you need know about Winnie Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid leader who just died:
Although we are sad to see her go, read for some girl power inspiration from the life of Winnie Mandela.
Quarraisha Abdool Karim (b. 1960) is a South African epidemiologist. Her research contributed to the prevention and treatment of HIV and other related infections throughout Africa.
Her clinical trial demonstrated that a topical gel could significantly reduce the risk of contracting HIV. She received numerous awards in recognition of her life-saving work, including the Order of Mapungubwe, South Africa’s highest honour.
“The expropriation of land without compensation is envisaged as one of the measures that we will use to accelerate the redistribution of land to black South Africans,” said Ramaphosa, who was sworn into office to succeed Jacob Zuma as president last week.