Women’s month

Celebrating women in history and those making women


Kopano Matlwa Mabaso A doctor, an author, and a mother, Kopano Matlwa Mabaso has accomplished an enormous amount at a young age. Here she sits down with photographer Gary Van Wyk to talk about her love for the written word, her passion for affecting social change as a doctor and how expression through writing sustains her.

Dr Kopano Matlwa Mabaso is a South African Medical Doctor currently undertaking a DPhil (PhD) in Population Health at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Mabaso’s research interests lie in health policy and systems research, particularly with regards to the strengthening of health systems in reform.

Mabaso is the Founder and Co-Director of Transitions Foundation an organization that seeks to help South Africa’s youth transition from hopelessness to personal fulfillment.

Mabaso is a published fiction writer and the winner of the European Literary Award (2007) and joint winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa (2010).

Her two novels Coconut and Spilt Milk are social commentaries on post-apartheid South Africa and between them, have been translated into 4 languages.

In 2008 and 2009 she was singled out as one of 300 young South Africans ‘you must take to lunch’ by the Mail & Guardian Newspaper.

Kopano is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, was selected as a Young Physician Leader by the Interacademies Medial Panel in 2014, forms part of the 2015 class of Tutu Fellows and is one of the Aspen Institute 2015 New Voices Fellows.


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