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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361

S. Afr. j. surg. vol.52 n.4 Cape Town Nov. 2014




Hamid Ismail Yakoob




General surgery in South Africa mourns the loss of one of its most beloved sons. Dr Hamid Ismail Yakoob died on 21 July at the age of 69.

Hamid grew up and went to school in Port Elizabeth then studied medicine at the University of Cape Town, graduating in 1969. He undertook his training in general surgery at Somerset Hospital initially, being very much part of the close-knit 'family' of postgraduate trainees at that hospital. In the 1960s and 1970s, registrars of colour could only work at Somerset Hospital, and Hamid was in fact the first surgical trainee of colour to rotate through Groote Schuur Hospital - a most significant milestone for many people. He was awarded the Fellowship of the College of Surgeons of South Africa in 1979.

Immediately after obtaining his FCS, Hamid worked in surgical research and was part of the Injection Sclerotherapy in Oesophageal Varices Trial with Prof. John Terblanche. He was a co-author on one of the early landmark publications from that study.

Hamid commenced private practice in the early 1980s. He initially had rooms at Libertas Hospital and Gatesville Medical Centre, but later limited his practice to the latter. Over the years he became established as one of the senior and well-respected surgeons in the community. For many years he retained a sessional appointment in the Department of Surgery at Somerset Hospital/University of Cape Town. He was a loyal supporter of the Department, teaching undergraduate students and always willing to participate in the end-of-block final examinations.

Hamid will be remembered for many things. He had an extremely friendly personality, and was loved and respected by colleagues and friends, and revered by his patients. As a very close friend said, 'he treated everyone exactly the same', irrespective of their standing in the community. He had a friendly word to say to everyone he met.

Hamid had a passion for surgery, and loved and was dedicated to the work he did. He provided an excellent service to the community, and was always willing to take referrals from GPs and to see patients in casualty, whatever the time of day or night.

Many of us will remember Hamid for his exploits on the golf course. He was absolutely passionate about his golf, and we will miss seeing him on Sunday mornings (and sometimes on mid-week afternoons) at Rondebosch Golf Club. Most of us would agree that Hamid was not the best golfer in the world, but his commitment was second to none. I know that his regular four-ball will not be the same without him.

Hamid was very much a family man. He was a loving husband to Nadeema, and a dedicated father to his sons Zahir and Imran, and daughter Zarah.

Delawir Kahn

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa delawir

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