Dr Frans Skosana

Head of lung function laboratory: Olivedale Clinic

Frans Skosana was always determined to become a doctor � even though he had to study by candlelight to make his dream come true. But his mother's loving strength banished the word "disadvantaged� from his vocabulary. In 1994, aged 18, Skosana left his village to attend medical school at the University of Cape Town. Now he heads the lung function laboratory at the Olivedale Clinic in Sandton. He has a string of qualifications: physician, pulmonologist and HIV specialist. But, with characteristic modesty, he downplays his success: "I haven't won a Nobel Prize in medicine, nor have I done groundbreaking research. I am just an ordinary guy that helps people to live,� he says. He laughs when he's described as "intelligent� and says that with "hard work and focus� anyone can follow in his footsteps. Skosana did his internship in a rural area of North West province. One day he hopes to return there, to share his skills with a new generation of doctors. � Sibongile Nkosi

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