Bongani Mayosi National Student Academic Prize

Born in uMthatha, Eastern Cape Province of South Africa on January 28, 1967, Bongani Mawethu Mayosi (“Bongani’) was an outstanding doctor, who rose rapidly through the ranks to become a top cardiologist internationally recognised as a leading clinician scientist.

He was the first student at the University of Natal, now KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) to interrupt his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) program after 3rd year to do research towards a Bachelor of Medical Sciences (BMedSci). He completed his undergraduate studies at the age of 22 years having graduated both degrees cum laude. He trained as a physician (FCP) and cardiologist at Groote Schuur Hospital and completed his doctorate at the University of Oxford, UK. At the age of 38‚ he became the first black person to be appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town (“UCT”). In 2016 he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT. Before taking up his deanship he completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University where his graduating class elected him to give the valedictory speech.

As a medical student Bongani excelled academically, was supportive of his classmates and enthusiastically involved in student residence committees and politics as well as community health outreach programs. As a researcher Bongani initiated an international program of research focusing on solutions for poverty-related heart diseases and trained local clinician scientists and research leaders. As a global citizen, Bongani had an exceptional mixture of academic brilliance and vision; ambition and humility; kindness and generosity; passion and compassion; drive and empathy; and an irresistible smile that complemented his ability to persuade and inspire others, which no doubt contributed to his 400 publications.

The Bongani Mayosi Student’s Academic Prize is a prestigious national award which aims to recognise final year medical students who epitomise the Academic Legendary and Altruistic life of Professor Bongani Mayosi.


Final year MBChB students from all South African Medical Faculties

Selection process

Electronic voting in individual Health Sciences Faculties for each university.
Each student allowed one vote for one classmate who in their private opinion best balances:
• Academic achievement
• Emotional intelligence – good interpersonal skills
• Social responsiveness – the ability to respond helpfully to the needs of others

*NB: Winners need not necessarily be the best in all three areas but balance them well.

This is a democratic prize:
Winners will be determined automatically by the highest number of digital votes in each class.
The Foundation requests that awards be announced at university graduation ceremonies.

One winner per university per year

2020 Winners

2021 Winners

2022 Winners