TIME Magazine’s annual Most Influential People list is an assortment of shapers and influencers of society. This year features political heavyweights like US president Donald Trump, world renowned entertainers like Ariana Grande and pioneers like tennis sensation Naomi Osaka.
The feature is accompanied by a write-up from another influencer or correspondent, explaining exactly why the honouree has been featured.
Olympic champion Caster Semenya is honoured under the magazine’s ICON category for her resilience to the politics surrounding who she is, as regulatory bodies are making moves to define athletes by their biological features and hormone levels.
“If successful, Semenya’s effort could open the door for all who identify as women to compete in track events without having to first medically lower their testosterone levels below a proposed limit,” the tribute read that was penned by two-time Olympic gold medallist, Edwin Moses.
“However it is addressed, Semenya will have already made a singular historical contribution to our understanding of biological sex,” Moses wrote.
President Cyril Ramaphosa was also honoured in the 2019 list under the LEADERS category. Vivienne Walt wrote the tribute that accompanied the honour.
Daily Show host Trevor Noah in 2018, South African medical doctor and AIDS researcher, Glenda Gray in 2017, and professor Lee Berger and Wits scientists for their work on Homo naledi in 2016 are some of the other South Africans to make the list in previous years.