How Dr Emmanuel Taban went from a penniless refugee to one of SA's leading pulmonologists

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Dr Emmanuel Taban, one of South Africa's top pulmonologists, says studying medicine was his destiny. (Photo: Gallo Images/ Rapport Elizabeth Sejake)
Dr Emmanuel Taban, one of South Africa's top pulmonologists, says studying medicine was his destiny. (Photo: Gallo Images/ Rapport Elizabeth Sejake)

It was something as simple as a Coca Cola bottle that changed the trajectory of his life and set him on the road to becoming a celebrated doctor, harnessing his knowledge to make a difference to Covid-19 patients staring death in the face.

“Made in South Africa” the label on the Coke bottle said – and with just a few hundred rand in his pocket, he made his way across Africa alone, fleeing his war-torn homeland and eventually arriving at his destination.

He was only 17 years old.

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