Mayosi’s enthusiasm, passion lingers on as he is laid to rest

Students, friends and colleagues have expressed how Bongani Mayosi inspired them to aspire to learn and research and to strive towards making a difference.

The stage at the funeral of professor Bongani Mayosi held at the Cape Town International Conventional Center. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Students and academics have described how the late Professor Bongani Mayosi inspired them through his enthusiasm for his job.

The circumstances behind the cardiologist's passing have since raised concerns around mental health and transformation at UCT where he was the dean of the health science faculty since 2006.

Various speakers addressed hundreds of mourners gathered at the Cape Town International Conventional Center for the funeral of the late professor.

Mayosi's death sent shockwaves across the country after it emerged that he had taken his life following a two-year battle with depression.

UCT Associate Professor Liesl Zuhlke describes how she was blessed to have been one of Mayosi's many students.

“His infectious enthusiasm permeated every interaction that we had, and this resulted in far more than just advice or help. What he did was to permanently alter the trajectory of my life and therefore also of my family, he enthused into all his mentees his absolute passion and also urged us to find our own.”

At the same time, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the passing of Professor Mayosi would be in vain if leaders do not address issues concerning transformation at institutions of higher education.

Motsoaledi says if these matters need to be addressed urgently.

“In the aftermath of his passing, a debate is raging about the concept of transformation in our institutions of higher learning, with some saying we must avoid controversies and mourn the passing of Bongani in peace. But I believe that as leaders, we’ll be failing society if we avoid this because if we do, Bongani would’ve died in vain.”

Family, politicians, academics and mentees of the late Mayosi have on Saturday shared fond memories and stories about how he impacted their lives.

Students, friends and colleagues have expressed how Mayosi inspired them to aspire to learn and research and to strive towards making a difference.

His peers have referred to the renowned cardiologist as a brilliant academic and researcher, who’s contribution to health science will continue to live on.

Three screens hang from the ceiling and showcase pictures of Mayosi and his loved ones.

His colleagues formed a guard of honour as his family entered the hall.

Messages from international dignitaries including academics from Oxford University and the Angolan Health Ministry have also been read out in which they praised the late professor.

Mayosi has been cremated and his ashes will be buried in a private ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)