#RememberingMayosi (Part 4)

10 August 2018 | Photo Robyn Walker.

Messages from across the UCT community, the medical community, the country, the continent and the world have been pouring in to commemorate and celebrate the life of Professor Bongani Mayosi, the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, who passed away on 27 July.

The messages that follow have been published as received. This page will be updated regularly as more messages come through.

Dear Mayosi Family

Wishing you condolences at the sudden death of Professor Mayosi. 

May God grant you strength and patience to overcome the loss of a great icon, leader, father et al.


Aateefa Ansary

Dear Nonhlanhla

May the memory of Prof Bongani Mayosi live on in the lives of all the people he taught and inspired to be the best they can be.

From the Jardine Family,

Especially Anwar and Shaakirah

I can still remember meeting you for the first time when you started at Groote Schuur Hospital. You will surely be missed but fondly remembered. I feel very sad that you are gone and that I didn’t take the time to really get to know you better. I suppose I took it for granted that you were around. You have contributed a lot during your time with us in the UCT community and I will never forget this.

Hamba Kahle comrad

Ishaaq Khan

Dear Mayosi family,

It would not be true for me to say I know how saddened and devastated you are about the tragic loss of Prof. Bongani. At this difficult and sad moment, I want to let you know that I am fully with you in prayers.  I pray the Almighty God will give you endless courage, strength, joy, love and peace. Take heart.

Be blessed,

Ben Kagina

My deep and sincere condolences to the family. Hamba kahle, ulale ngoxolo Prof Mayosi.

Asanda Benya

Dear Family of the Late Professor Mayosi,

Your loss has left us all deeply saddened. Our hearts goes out to the family during this difficult time.

UCT Student Housing – Residence Cleaning Team

Dear Nonhlanhla and family

My heart is with you and your family.

He was a wonderful and supremely talented human being. 

With love

Brenda Klingenberg

To a man I had not met, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. A sad but brave end to your beautiful life.

with you in love and spirit,

Maura Sanderoff

We, African cardiologist, consider Bongani a role model, a leader and a revolution in African heart research and practice.

He managed to attract the world's attention to neglected disease and created a family of African leaders. This family will be so much affected by his departure.

We will remember him with love and respect

Sulafa Ali

Sudan Heart Society

My memory

You were the kindest, most sensitive and loving HOD one could wish for. Thank you for the opportunity I had in sharing in a life well lived.

Goodbye Bongani – rest in peace.

Lorraine Wakefield

I would like to say thank you to the family for lending us your beloved and condolences for your loss. It is hard not to take his death personally. His excellence and humility reminded me that a leader can make his presence felt and heard without speaking out loud or being harsh. I have written a poem to him as I remember him (me and a friend used to refer to him as ‘Skhulu’). He will forever remain an inspiration:

A Black rose!!
Rising on uneven grounds,
Even the earth felt the wounds of being unkept.
We will rise everyday, still wearing black.
Grieving the death of ‘Skhulu’.
We will wear his smile, on our way to church, to work and home.
With our skins soaked in thorns.
We are roses.
For God to call us home…
When we are told… this is no longer Africa.
An earth that is rich with the sweat… yeZinyanya zethu!!
Our ashen bodies will never cease…to congregate and be one,
This siren will not ring us to the end,
But lead us to continue with his legacy.
Of excellence, ubuntu and courageousness.
Aluta continua!!!


Palesa Seele

It is such a heavy pain to have to bid a final farewell to Professor Bongani Mayosi. An extraordinary human being with a warm smile, loved and adored by all. He always made time for others and had interest in growth of his own mentees and all around him. A world renowned A-rated clinician scientist with huge global impact, at the peak of a career decorated with tons and tons of accolades. Yet so pleasant and very very humble. We have lost a brother, a mentor, a friend, a leader, a beacon of hope and inspiration. We’ll never have another one like Prof Mayosi, but we have a responsibility to uphold good lessons he taught us through his precious life. At personal level, he took special interest in my own progress and served as my career mentor - and I’m truly indebted to his selfless heart. His dream was to train 1000 PhDs; he did a very good job towards this cause - and I believe through his mentorship and training, he also handed us the baton to keep his dream alive. Hamba Kahle Prof Mayosi, enkosi tata.

Mohlopheni Jackson Marakalala

Good afternoon

I was deeply heartbroken when I heard of Prof Mayosi's passing. I met Prof Mayosi as a 2nd year medical student in 2003. He was my research supervisor. He contributed tremendously to my learning what research is, and helped me complete it with great success.

He was a simply humble human being, whose excellence was unparalleled.

I would feel so honoured every Sunday when ushering him in church, and would often wonder how many people knew what a great person he was.

When he made professor, we (my whole circle of friends) were sooo excited!!! It was as if WE had become professors ourselves, and made sure we attended his inaugural lecture.

It is true that he inspired EVERY black child.

His bedside tutorial in my final year (2007) on cardiac failure was the best tutorial I've ever received in my life.

Deep and sincere condolences to his wife, Prof Nonhlanhla, and his 2 girls. I cannot imagine the pain you're going through. I pray that the Holy Spirit comfort all of you.


Olwethu Mbakaza

Dear Members of the Mayosi Family,

A sad day dawned at the loss of a gifted man.

He left a legacy that no present boots can fill.

May you find peace in the gift he has given humanity.

His spirit lives on in our academic corridors and in the hearts of people...

We mourn his loss, son of SOUTH AFRICA.


Jennifer Manikkam

Professor Mayosi was a man of great stature with local and international recognition as a scholar and leader; but more important is his human connection with everyone he encountered. He will be missed by many people in many ways. Heartfelt condolences to his family.

Liz Gwyther

We celebrate the life and legacy of one of our greatest mentor, colleague and good friend Bongani. Your vision and mission was so profound, it excited and inspired all of us in every facet of our lives. You will forever be alive in our hearts and minds as we continue our work in fulfilling your dream.

Khilona Radia

Jai Guru Purnima  27 July 2018

Today, we honor our Guru's. To each and every person that has taught and guided us in our journey of life…we thank you for every lesson shared.

And this evening, we thank a remarkable Guru that has made the greatest impact on our lives…Prof Bongani Mayosi

Today, we say farewell to your physical being and thank you for your mentorship and guidance to our family over the past 12 years. It was your vision that brought us home and continues to be our inspiration for all that we do. We are honoured to always walk the path of truth, integrity and care for others with a smile on our faces, despite all the boulders and obstacles placed before us. As you've always said: "One step at a time…" Your wisdom and guidance, infectious smiles, unparalleled energy and ease of being made every step that much smoother.

We wish you rest and celebrate you and the power you have passed on to each and every one of us. You will live on through the wonderful ideas, righteousness, fairness, eternally joyful and energetic demeanor you always shared. We will especially remember you with every formidable challenge we take on - "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a few steps". You will always be with us on these journeys.

Warmest regards,

Dheda Family

Dear family

I trust you will each receive what you need most at this difficult time of the loss of your loved one.

Even in death Prof Mayosi provides inspiration in our work. We will strive to continue the fight to support our community who suffer from mental health difficulties.

With sincere condolences,

Beulah Marks

What a loss of an incredible leader and human. Kind, smart and inspiring.

Bistra Zheleva

What a man! What an inspiration! What a beacon of hope to all PoCs!

I've had the privilege of working with Prof Mayosi since April this year. What I'll never forget for as long as I live is the brightness of his smile, but more importantly, the authenticity of it. When he greeted you with his infamous smile, you felt like the only person whom the sun is shining upon.

The Thursday before his sudden and unexpected passing did we bump into each other in the passage and I can still hear his clarity of voice when he greeted me by name and flashed his smile. And that's is what I'll always remember about him.

My deepest heartfelt condolences to his beloved wife and children. I can only imagine how you are feeling. My thoughts and prayers are with you every day of this trying and difficult time. Thank you for sharing your husband and father with us.

Hamba Kahle Prof Mayosi. I know that you have found that peace you've been yearning for. Sleep well.......

A life not forgotten but will be remembered for eternity.

Ladovica Gordon

Dear Sis’Nonhlanhla, Vuyi and Gugu

Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of Prof Mayosi.

My family and yours live, work and have worshipped in the same places – working briefly with Ncumisa at the law faculty, sitting in UCT meetings with both Prof Mayosi and Prof Khumalo, having seen you all often at a Sunday service at the Baxter over the years, seeing you at our local supermarket or garage.

On all these occasions I was struck by the love, happiness and closeness that marked your family. From a distance, I celebrated your achievements and successes (both professional and personal), cheering you on from the side lines. Now, I mourn with you.

I can only imagine how this loss has affected you and there are no words I could ever say to soothe or salve your pain.

All I can say is that I will continue to hold you up in prayer and supplication. May you be comforted and sheltered under the shadow of His wings.

Much love,

Caroline B Ncube

Rest in peace Prof Mayosi, I was looking forward you reading my citation but that is never to be! Your image remains in our hearts rather than on paper

Fredrick Nindo

Your Legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. May your soul RIP.

Awany Denis

It is indeed with great sadness that I type this memory of the late Prof Mayosi. I had the opportunity to converse with him on several occasions regarding exam matters related to FHS. His humility and kind spirit is what always stood out for me, he did not speak down to me ever, even if we had different opinions on matters. This is not only a loss for UCT but also for the greater mankind, his aim was to save and educate, which he did full heartedly. It is not farewell, Prof, until we meet again… Hamba Kahle, beautiful soul!

Anthea Williams

It is with deep affliction that we heard about this painful news.

I met Pr Mayosi several times, he was a brilliant mind and very active to develop cardiology in Africa

It is a big lost for all of us and for our continent.

Abdelmalek Bouzid

Evening Family

Rev 21 vs4

4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

May his soul rest in peace & May his family find comfort under God’s wing.


You’re a giant in the Medical arena, uyibekile induku ebandla, lala ngoxolo.

Zazi Mkhize

We share the same birth year, I was born 16 December, wow bhuti, you did more than a person can even dream, your prosperity, walks, broad & contagious smile, white doctors' coat, neatness will always be remembered, I do not know you per face, but you were my pride first black prof in Groote Schuur Institution, always admired you through your achievements, umzamo omhle uwuzamile!!!

Nthabeleng Ndlebe

I have been deeply affected by the loss of Prof Mayosi, the gentle giant in so many ways! I did not know him on a personal level but as a psychiatrist I am overcome with emotion that mental illness took this angel away from us and our discipline was not able to help.

If we can take anything positive away from his tragic death it is the need to talk about mental illness openly, to educate and to allow serious psychiatric disorders to be recognised and treated with the same severity as any chronic or severe medical illness.

I wish his family, friends and the UCT much strength to face the challenges that lie ahead!

Warmest wishes

Candice Jacobson

Prof Bongani Mayosi was one of the greatest icons and sons of UCT and South Africa. He was a very humble and intelligent academic and clinical researcher. He was very articulate in his teachings and inspired most of us as his students in the Department of Medicine at the Groote Schuur Hospital and the Faculty of Health Sciences. He stood for excellence, quality and virtuous living. His legacy will live on… Requiescat in pace Prof Mayosi! Hamba kahle baba!

Vey devastated and mourning,

Francis Masiye

Dear Prof, what a pain to imagine you gone!!!

Thank you so much for what you have done for our family. We are forever grateful.

May our Heavenly Father, the God of grace and mercy welcome you in His sweet home.

May him comfort your family and restore their joy.

Please rest in peace.

Sophie Kasse-Kengne

Dear Nonhlanhla and family,

Words cannot express my shock and sadness at Bongani’s death. The world is a poorer place without him.

Craig and I wish you and the family strength, blessings and ultimately peace as you go through this difficult time.

With love

Bridget (and Craig, who you met at Dan’s 75th birthday party)

I remember Bongani as a gentle giant. I benefitted from his sharp intellect during the process of working on UCT’s strategic plan. In all the interactions that we had around the plan I was struck by his total dedication to building the next generation of black researchers and academics and his desire to ensure that UCT’s tremendous intellectual resources were channelled to advancing the goal of building a sustainable and equitable social order in South Africa and the continent more broadly. During our many discussions about the student protests his support and empathy for the issues that the students were raising, and the pain they were articulating, was always evident. He added his huge weight to ensuring that the UCT community engaged with the underlying causes of the student protests. His death is a huge loss for the UCT community and the society more broadly. My heartfelt condolences to his family and colleagues. Long live the spirit of Bongani Mayosi!

Judy Favish

My memories of Bongani are infused with images of kindness, generosity of spirit and a genuine concern for his fellow human beings. I want also, to remember his intellectual and scholarly achievements and his ability to pass on his knowledge selflessly to others. I would like to acknowledge and remember his family with love and compassion in this time of loss. Lastly, I cannot but continue to remember the huge chasm which will be left in the faculty, university and his community both locally and internationally as I continue my own life’s journey.

Derek Hellenberg

Condolences to the Mayosi family and may Prof soul rest in peace!

Blanche Saptouw

I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of the late Professor, may he rest in peace and may God put peace and contentment in the heats of the family.

Faieza Marlie

Thank you Prof Mayosi for teaching us to excel and nurturing so many to achieve their dreams in medicine and academia. Heartfelt condolences to your life partner and lovely daughters. May the Holy Spirt comfort your family and bring them peace that surpasses all understanding.

Rest in Peace Prof!

Stella Musungu

When I met with Bongani to discuss the role of palliative care in heart failure he made me feel heard, he listened intently, inspired and urged me to investigate and study the subject further. Thank you for your generosity of spirit, for the opportunities and for the love and interest you showed to us as staff and students. Rest in peace Professor Mayosi, you will always be fondly remembered.

Joy Hunter

RIP Prof. Mayosi

Great lost to the entire black race worldwide.


Adédọ̀tun Tèmítọ́pẹ́ Ajíbáre

My heartfelt condolences to the Mayosi and Khumalo families on the sad passing of your beloved. Thank you for inspiring us all. Rest in peace Professor Bongani Mayosi.

Joy Hunter

I had only heard about Bongani Mayosi as a brilliant clinician and researcher before I met him through the Colleges of Medicine, when he was President of the College of Physicians and a Senator. He impressed me as an incisive thinker, someone who could mount a convincing and erudite argument. He was principled and not afraid to express his opinion. His passion for medicine and research shone through, as did his belief in transformation of our institutions and the healthcare system. And then there was his smile and his wonderful engaging personality: he never made anyone feel inferior, and he was always kind and thoughtful.

I wish to express my sincere condolences to Nonhlanhla and the Mayosi and Khumalo families. My condolences also to UCT, especially the Faculty of Health Sciences, and to Bongani’s cardiology colleagues and mentees. We will never forget his legacy.

Sharon Kling

The Namibia Medical Society (NMS) have learned with great shock and dismay about the recent passing on of Professor Bongani Mayosi on 27 July 2018.

Prof Mayosi was a world renowned cardiologist who served as a Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town.

He has been instrumental in the training of medical doctors and his extensive research work on rheumatic Heart diseases etc have greatly contributed to the practice of cardi-ology especially in Africa.

Prof Mayosi has been a great role model to majority of Namibian Doctors who trained and practiced in South Africa. He has also been instrumental to the establishment of the Cardiac Unit at the Windhoek Central Hospital in Namibia. His departure has left a great loss and pain to us as a Medical fraternity. His mentorship will always moti-vate us to maintain as well as live in his humble footsteps.

May the Soul of our beloved Professor Mayosi rest in eternal peace.

Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and the entire UCT Community on this great loss.

Dr. Akutu Munyika

NMS Chairperson

Prof Bongani had an immeasurable spirit of humanity, kind heartedness and brilliance. As my PhD supervisor, he taught me that value of excellence, professional discipline and that this nothing difficult in the academic sphere. It’s our mind that believes certain things are unachievable. He taught me the value of hard work and caring for people as if ‘you were in their shoes’. One example I use for my PhD students now is this notion ‘when you are explaining your PhD project to others ‘talk to them as if you were explaining such concepts to your grandmother who never went to school and you want her to understand what exactly you are working on’. Which means scientific ideas are never important if people who are non-scientists can’t understand them. These are just but a few of the many skills I gained and learned as an individual during the time I worked with his research team as a Clinical Research Fellow. Prof Bongani, though you are gone in the body, your spirits lives on with us. You will forever be remembered for the impact you had in my life as a professional and in many other people’s lives across the globe. Hambe Kahle Prof Bongani.

Peter Suwirakwenda Nyasulu

Dear Nonhlanhla,

My thoughts and those of my family are with you and your loved ones at this terrible time, and we share with the UCT family, the South African people and the global community that knew and loved Bongani, the sorrow and pain that you feel. May you find solace in the outpouring of affection for Bongani and how many lives he touched and bettered in the course of his life.

Although relatively few, I really enjoyed my times with Bongani, especially entering his office and getting that tremendous handshake to go with the famous smile. I remember one Christmas he embraced me in a man-hug and you can imagine how comical it must have looked with me being so abnormally tall, but it was such a natural expression of warmth from a giant of a man in so much more than stature. I also remember my first meeting with Bongani, and the horror I felt when his first question was to ask me about a case report I had co-authored 20 years before. It had caught his eye because it was a case of a man with pre-excitation syndrome and achalasia. It was the only thing on my CV that was the least bit cardiological which may have piqued his interest. In truth, I clerked and scoped the patient but couldn’t remember anything about the case. Poor Bongani can’t have been very impressed, but was jovial and kind as always.

So much has been said about Bongani as an enabler of people, but to me he will also be remembered as an enabler of social and medical change. Without Bongani’s support and persistence, Infectious Diseases at UCT would never have taken off. He was instrumental in supporting me to develop the service, find funding for Sipho and Tom’s posts, and for securing our space on the G-Floor to develop a home. He embraced antibiotic stewardship and supported what we were trying to introduce. All of our trainees owe him a great debt, as without him, we would not have been able to train a first generation of South African Infectious Diseases specialists, who now work far and wide; in the Eastern Cape, for MSF in the DRC, in research here at UCT and at Wits, and those who have become Professors at UCT and abroad, leading research groups focusing on diseases of the African people.

Bongani will always occupy a special place in my heart and be an inspiration to re-commit myself to tackling issues that benefit those in need in Africa and on a global scale.

With deepest condolences,

Marc Mendelson

To Professor Khumalo and the Mayosi Family

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I convey my condolences and deepest sympathies to you all with the tragic and untimely passing of Professor Mayosi. My heart is sore and it will be for a long time. Since I started at UCT FHS in 2011, I have been fortunate and truly blessed to have worked with Professor Mayosi, firstly as the HOD of Medicine and then as our Dean. What an absolutely amazing, generous and kind person he was. I have many wonderful memories and there are so many things I'll miss about him, but most of all, it is his warm welcoming smile, his genuine interest and engagement when he said “Hello, how are you?” and also, that infectious giggle. His impact is far reaching and I think beyond any comprehension as he has touched and inspired so many, not just with his phenomenal academic achievements but just by being the authentic and wonderful person that he was. On a lighter note, it was a standing joke with our HR team that if we accompanied Prof Mayosi to a meeting, especially in the hospital, we would need to keep out fitness levels up as he walked really fast and would then still want to talk along the way!

Please know that you are in all my thoughts and prayers. When words fail, let out thoughts and prayers be the balm to soothe all our aching hearts. May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace, Amen.

"My precious child, I love you and will never leave you

Never, ever, during your trials and testings.

When you saw only one set of footprints,

It was then that I carried you." by Mary Fishback Powers

Rest in peace Professor Mayosi, till we meet again,


Alison Tomlinson

A man of noble character, who has lived and lead by example. He has lived a righteous life worth imitating. Bongani ndiyambonga uThixo ngobomi bakho! Hamba uyokuphumla my brother. Till we meet a Jesus feet...Shalom! Shalom! Shalom!

Nomakhaya Kamwendo (former Warden of Liesbeeck Gardens)

Learning about your departure was like reading some sick joke on the net. I was overwhelmed by denial then it slowly sunk in that the great mind that was the hope for students, especially us black ones is no more. You came through for me when I needed intervention regarding my fellowship issues at the Faculty. You were never given a chance to settle into your new role or even get to know the corners of your new office as your inauguration as the Dean of UCT FHS was marred by the unpleasant #OccupyFHS protests. You should never doubt your leadership skills because we all believed that "you got this". We could have been kinder and more considerate. We failed you as black students. You did not fail us in any way. We will forever be an inspiration to us young black academics. The vessel of knowledge, world renowned academic and cardiologist. Our "S'khulu" or Baba B, as we would refer to you behind your back. We did not expect our journey together to be so short.


Keleabetswe Lerato Mpye

To the man who taught us not to accept that the answer is unknown, but to investigate and ask questions until the answer becomes known. In your famous statement Prof “Idiopathic cardiomyopathy is a diagnosis of an intelligence deficit physician”, you taught us as your students to not just accept things as they are, but to exert ourselves in finding the root cause of the problem and then solve it. Your untimely departure leaves a vacancy that no man can fill. I will forever be grateful for the conversations we had and for your kind words of encouragement and motivation whenever we interacted. Thank you for being a great role model to us aspiring black academics. Thank you for showing us kindness, something that is rarely found in seniors in the medical fraternity. I remember when you gave us a tutorial, before you started teaching us, you introduced yourself and gave all of us an opportunity to introduce ourselves and to give a summary of our background. This was a shock to all of us as not many seniors in the medical field care much about who their students are and where their students come from. Thank you for everything Prof. We will miss you Prof, and I promise to keep your teachings and keep your legacy alive. Rest in power Qhawe!!!

Mlekeleli Gambu

Prof Mayosi saved my life and as a result I am still able to contribute to the WC health system because of how instrumentally God had used him in my situation.

As a senior manager in the Western Cape Government Health, I had been misdiagnosed 3 times over a period of 5 months (between 2012 and 2013) and was advised to consult Prof Bongani Mayosi. Prof Mayosi agreed to see me, spent 1hr 15min questioning and truly examining me (a true clinician) and then admitted me to hospital to run tests. He promised me that he would not stop until he knew what was wrong with me and brought a Consultant and Registrar on board. On the second in-patient day, I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Embolism and it was evident that I had been showering multiple emboli for months.

I have always referred to Prof Mayosi as my God-Given Hero that was sent to save my life so that I may still be purposeful. Prof Mayosi took the time to follow up on my progress. I will never ever forget what he did for me and my young family.

I know that you are with the One you love so dearly and I know that His Grace is sufficient for you Prof Mayosi.

My sincerest condolences to his wife, 2 daughters, son-in-law and family.

Juanita Arendse

Dear Nonhlanhla and family

My most heartfelt condolences with your terrible loss. My thoughts have been with you so much, ever since hearing about Bongani’s tragic passing. Please know that I hold you and your family in my heart with prayers for comfort and strength in this time. I did not manage to speak to you personally at the UCT memorial service on Thursday. I continue to think of, and remember Bongani for his generosity of spirit, his gentleness, his unfailing kindness.

With my best wishes for love and support

Marilet Sienaert

With profound sadness, I write a personal tribute to a refined intellectual, clinician- researcher – cardiologist par excellence, who ignited in me the concept of paediatric cardiology and thus drove me to find my truest career passion. It is sad he can’t witness the rest. I am though at peace having thanked him while he was still alive. South Africa mourns, Namibia mourns, the rest of the world mourns a legend that was prepared to recognise and nurture the potential in many of us and humbly so without claiming acknowledgement. Thank you for the inspiration. Thank you for teaching us passion, dedication and pursuit for excellence. Thank you for making us proud with your world class contribution to scientific research. Thank you for redefining class, humility and humanity, while seated at the most highest table. You promised to come help us provide high quality cardiac care to the people of Namibia. We will continue your pursuit and legacy just like you would have liked to it be.

It hurts you had to suffer. Suffer for passion.

We honour you, Sir! May your beautiful and brilliant soul rest in absolute eternal peace! You will be deeply missed. I hope this tragedy induces real, deep introspection at UCT.

Fenny Shidhika

Lala Ngoxolo Prof

You have run your race and you have done exceptionally well.

You are now back to your Maker, whom we thank for Lending you to us.

Even though this was for a very short while

We are at peace, now on hindsight, knowing that you achieved all you have without wasting time.

It's as if you knew that you'll leave the earth soon.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for a Life Well lived.

You are an Inspiration to many and May your Soul Rest in Eternal Peace


Lebo Mpshe

Prof. Bongani Mayosi will always remain a super special part of our lives. He found us as emigrants in a far corner of the world, and reached out with his vision for creating excellence (by any colour, standard or definition) and brain gain for South Africa.

His words were sincere and inspiring, something that was lacking in the space we were in at the time, and we packed up and came home.

Prof Khumalo still talks about how excited he was about my coming back home to South Africa.

From our very first dinner at the Mayosi home to welcome us to Cape Town, to this last week, we bless his soul each day for the role he has played. He always said Pinelands was the place to be - '7 minutes to anywhere in Cape Town’!

We have celebrated our birthdays together, and this last celebration of his 51st was super special as it was with those whose lives he had impacted the most. I was privileged to be once of those individuals.

We extend our deepest condolences to the Mayosi family.

Bongani, we will continue the journey of a 1000 miles and 1000 PhDs in fulfilment of your dream of better health for everyone in South Africa. We will pursue this dream with conviction, tenacity and humility (the 'iron fist with a velvet glove' that you always referred to).

Hamba kahle. Till we meet again brother………..

Keertan Dheda and family (Khilona, Khelan, Bianca and Karina)

Bongani, it is extremely hard to carry on but I know you would not have wanted it any other way but for us to carry on.

To have known a person like you is a blessing I will treasure to eternity.

Rest in eternal peace Rhadebe, Bhungane, Mthimkhulu, Ndlebentle Zombini.


Sonwabo Ngcelwane

To the Mayosi family, colleagues and students

We wish to extend our sincere condolences to the Mayosi family, colleagues, students, and friends. We are aware that Professor Mayosi deeply touched the lives of many. We are grateful to the family for sharing that he suffered with depression. As mental health practitioners we encourage those suffering from depression to continue seeking support. May we always strive to be kind and compassionate towards each other.

Faculty-based psychologists (faculties of Commerce, Humanities and Engineering & the Built Environment)

South Africa has lost a great physician.

Professor Bongani Mayosi was an eminent cardiologist and cardiac researcher and at 51 there was still so much he might have contributed to medical knowledge. Bongani held himself, his profession and those in his circle to a high standard that put the patient and excellent healthcare provision first. His passion and commitment to maintain the high standards of research for which the University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences is known and to produce quality health professionals have perhaps in part led to his tragic demise.

In two short years, he had made an indelible impression on the University as a whole. His wisdom and compassion helped to navigate the difficult challenges and processes posed by the #FeesMustFall movement. He listened to students, brought in outstanding mediators, and allowed authentic voices on campus when students from the movement invaded the Deanery. he relative calm and opportunity for debate on critical issues within the FHS campus at that time were due in large part to his leadership. Perhaps, not unexpectedly but nevertheless tragically all of this took an immense toll on his health and wellbeing.

At the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre we are devastated to lose such an icon of the health and education professions. Bongani put South African medical research on the map with the discovery of the genetic mutation that causes heart failure, but even more importantly he put passion into African research and medical care and health in Africa. His passing in such a sad manner leaves us all with much to reflect upon. Not least, that mental health is as important as physical health. There should be no barriers to promoting wellbeing, whether of the body or of the mind. Perhaps most important of all: That people and how we treat each other should always transcend issues. We are also reminded that we ARE the RAINBOW NATION and issues are most often best resolved together rather than from polarised corners.

Bongani was an icon, a respected colleague and a much-loved friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nonhlanhla, S’vuyile, Camagu and family. We feel their pain. His passing is a great loss to his colleagues to the Faculty, UCT and our country.

Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation

Quite simply, I will miss him.

Mashiko Setshedi

Dear Nonhlanhla, S’vuyile and Camagu

I have started and erased this email countless times, as I try to convey my deepest sympathy to you all on the loss of your beloved father and husband. One cannot know what to say at a time like this. The pain of losing such a wonderful man must be unbearable.

You know this, but I need to also say this, that Bongani was not just a role model to black academics and students, but to all of us, my self included. His incredible energy, focus and commitment inspired us all. I regret, as I’m sure do many of us, that I never told him this, that I assumed that he didn’t need the affirmation that we all sought from him. This is a big part of the tragedy, where so many of us bear culpability, we left Bongani to ‘sort things out’ without ever stopping to ask him how he was really doing, or acknowledge that we understood the impossible situations he had been placed in. He was an amazing man, but he was also human like us all. His loss has left an emptiness inside of me, and I know that that feeling must be magnified a million-fold in your hearts.

With all my love and prayers

Mark Nicol

Dear Professor Khumalo and your family

I am writing to express my sad and profound condolences on the tragic loss of our colleague, Professor Bongani Mayosi.

His loss is a loss to the faculty, the university, nationally and internationally, but also a terrible and tragic loss to us, his colleagues – He was a sincere and solid colleague. He was loved by his fellow academics and his fellow deans.

I wish you strength. Such dark days.

Dirge Without Music


I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.


Professor Alison Lewis

Rest in peace

Thiselton Udeline

Rest in Peace Prof, you will forever be in our hearts, our hearts still bleed from your passing. We will never forget your contribution to the country and the continent-Africa.

Lala ngoxolo buti wethu.

Nonceba Ciya

Please accept our deepest condolences for your great loss and our profound gratitude to you for sharing the much-loved Bongani with so many people. His great impact and the memory of an exceptional human being will not be forgotten.

With kindest regards

Gerald Nurick and Denise Roditi

Dear Prof Bongani Mayosi family and University of Cape Town community

Haven given an opportunity to work closely with you in 2007-2008 vice chancellor selection committee at University of Cape Town, I do know that you will rather die for the truth than continue living a lie.

Thank you very much for transporting me safely to Langa after those meetings and for the work that you have done as a medical practitioner.

May your soul rest in peace

Yours sincere

Mathule Gabriel Marupula

Dear Prof Khumalo, S’vuyile and Camagu

I would like to thank you for sharing Prof Mayosi with us. As has been expressed by representatives of every possible constituency within the faculty, he was much admired and appreciated and will be sorely missed.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

With love,

Geney Gunston

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