Men urged to speak out about depression

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Stellenbosch University Journalism Professor Lizette Rabe has called on men to speak out about depression. This follows the death of acclaimed University Cape Town cardiologist Professor Bongani Mayosi over the weekend.

Mayosi reportedly suffered from depression before his death.

Rabe says her 22-year-old son, who was in his fourth year of medical student, took his own life.

“I think for any male it is more difficult because you have got to be the mature personality and I think in our ethnic black cultures it is even more difficult because it is even more taboo in terms of mental health issues. So, I think we really need to open up. In terms of Prof Mayosi’s death, he leaves such wonderful and such a huge legacy, but maybe the one unintended legacy is that we will now realise that we need to speak up.”

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Tributes continue to pour in for the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town, Professor Bongani Mayosi.

Mayosi was a cardiology professor who was awarded the Order of Mapungubwe in 2009.

The 51-year-old cardiology professor leaves behind a litany of accolades. In 2009 he was awarded the country’s highest honour, the Order of Mapungubwe. It’s awarded to South Africans who excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music and sports.

Mayosi published over 300 peer review academic articles in his lifetime. Chief Executive of the National Research Foundation, Molapo Qhobela explains: “We were privileged to have recognised him as an A- rated National Research Foundation NRF awardee, which designates him as a top scientist across the world.

“We gave him a award last year for the team that he led for the discovery of the sudden death syndrome gene and he has mentored and he had led research in the area of cardiology.”

Additional reporting by Carmel Loggenberg-Roberts