August 9, 2021 Philip van der Walt

Inventors, Bright Minds and Other Science Heroes of South Africa

South Africa has always been an incredible example of how innovation can flourish in the most difficult of circumstances, with various hardships, lack of resources, and social issues sometimes being the drive to do exactly that … to find better ways of doing things and to improve life for all.
Most of us know about the amazing first heart transplant did by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, putting South Africa on the map regarding medical innovations, but there are so many more amazing inventions and stories, and not just in the medical field but in many other scientific fields.
Author, journalist, and co-founder of SciBraai, Engela Duvenage, set out to compile a collection of these amazing stories into one book, for readers 9-99, featuring fact-based stories & beautiful illustrations of many firsts in local science, engineering, medicine, zoology, earth science, paleontology and many more!

We are honoured to have our contribution towards medical science and innovation with our work on the first 3D printed Middle Ear Implant in collaboration with Prof Mashudu Tshifularo, recognized within this publication. It is truly an honour to share a few pages with the rest of these incredible people that have changed the world for the better.

The book is available in both English and Afrikaans and can be bought online from Lapa Publishers for the Afrikaans versions and at Penguin Random House SA for the English version, as well as other popular online retailers such as Takealot. It is filled with over 100 amazing stories of inventions and great people that give you a fantastic look at South Africa’s history regarding our contributions to the world of science.

You can get more information regarding the book, public appearances, and interviews with Engela on their Facebook page SA Uitvinders, Instagram @sautivinders as well as on the website

If you are interested in science and what is currently happening in South Africa in these fields, have a look at Scibraai (, South Africa’s own data-driven, multi-platform science journalism website, with stories in English, isiZulu, and Afrikaans, freely available for all to read and an incredible source of information for young and old.

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