Sixth-year Medical student, Mr Kapil Narain is among the 200 Young South Africans honoured by the Mail & Guardian newspaper.
This year, there were more than 8 000 nominations. One of 22 people listed in the health sector, Narain is also the youngest in this category.
‘These are young people under the age of 35 who are shaping South Africa and who are going to be instrumental in the future. The accolade bears great testimony to all the hard work these individuals undertake to make a positive impact on a society fraught with numerous challenges and difficulties,’ said Mail & Guardian Chief Executive Officer, Mr Hoosain Karjieker.
Narain, a multi-award-winning youth leader, is driven by the need to improve health and challenge the status quo. He has convened awareness campaigns to address TB stigma, mental health, HIV, and gender-based violence and is passionate about translational medical research.
He received the Abe Bailey travel award last year, which enabled him to engage with leaders at the African Union, and in London, Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh. He was also awarded a scholarship to the World Health Assembly, in Geneva, Switzerland, where he advocated for universal health coverage.
‘I am absolutely honoured. This is an affirmation of my endeavours, in the spirit of societal upliftment and Ubuntu, to raise the banner of health by harnessing the vehicles of advocacy, academia and leadership. I am grateful to my family, colleagues and academics at UKZN who constantly inspire me,’ said Narain.
The Mail & Guardian list has become a hallmark of young people who are at the top of their field. Previous recipients include Trevor Noah, Caster Semenya, Mamokgethi Phakeng, Lauren Beukes and Lady Skollie.
Words: Lihle Sosibo