Time’s coveted “#Time100” list of the most influential people in the world was published on Wednesday, and President Cyril Ramaphosa and Caster Semenya were the only two South Africans featured.
The magazine, on an annual basis, releases a Time 100 issue, highlighting the lives of the most influential people in the world.
The only South Africans on the 2019 #Time100 list
This year, the two honorees of the list from South Africa were Ramaphosa and Semenya. Both figures, in their own right, have faced a challenging period.
How Cyril Ramaphosa made the cut
Ramaphosa was inaugurated as the president of South Africa only days after a resilient predecessor, Jacob Zuma, stepped down from his post. What remained of South Africa were the ashes of corruption that had blanketed the country’s ailing economy and morale.
“Ramaphosa has kept his characteristic chuckle and his knack for focusing on the bigger picture. “Unity,” he said recently, “was never going to happen overnight.” After a lifetime fighting his enemies, he should know,” Walt wrote.
Research surveys have pointed at an ANC white-wash in the contest to the presidential seat. However, as Ramaphosa also understands, this election may be too close to call.
Caster Semenya honoured
Semenya is finding out, in a harsh way, that the world is not inhabited by a species that fully understands the concept of acceptance.
The world and Olympic track-and-field champion is currently at the centre of a landmark Court of Arbitration (CAS) gender classification case.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has brought murmurs about Semenya’s gender to the spotlight. It was alleged that the IAAF intended to argue for the “male” classification of athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD),
However, the athletics body refuted this claim, asserting that they want to bring fair competition to the female category by having DSD athletes ” reduce their testosterone down to female levels before they compete at international level.”
Edwin Moses, the contributor who wrote a piece on the athlete’s Time entry, described these current events as a watershed moment for Semenya’s career.
“Ultimately, this incredibly difficult issue is a political one for sport to resolve. But however it is addressed, Semenya will have already made a singular historical contribution to our understanding of biological sex,” Moses wrote.
The list also included appearances by Donald Trump, Michelle Obama, Hasan Minhaj, and Naomi Osaka.