Friday, July 08, 2005

Hamilton Naki: A Self Taught Surgeon Passes on

Naki was a self taught surgeon during the South African apartheid era. He possessed skills his white superiors didn't have, he assisted on the first heart transplant ever performed; yet he got no credit, no one knew him until he dead. In fact I heard of him after his death just as many others...His life synonymized the lives of many other gifted blacks during the dark years of apartheid in South Africa.

"In some of the post-operation photographs Mr Naki inadvertently appeared, smiling broadly in his white coat, at Barnard's side. He was a cleaner, the hospital explained, or a gardener. Hospital records listed him that way, though his pay, a few hundred dollars a month, was actually that of a senior lab technician. It was the most they could give, officials later explained, to someone who had no diploma."

"As a man without any education, he mastered surgical techniques at the highest level and passed them on to young doctors. Mr. Naki frequently recalled how the medical students came to him for guidance."
-Washington Post

RIP Hamilton.

Read more: and Washington Post