'We had fun during those programmes, I miss that': SA maths whizz William Smith
Many South Africans young and old who battled through maths and science exams, homework and quizzes have a story to tell about how a man with brown hair who appeared on their TV screen weekly helped them make sense of the world of numbers and experiments.
William Smith, a recipient of numerous awards including the Order of the Baobab in Silver by President Cyril Ramaphosa, for his contribution to teaching, merged his maths teaching expertise with broadcasting skill when he first started broadcasting on SABC radio and TV years ago, helping young scholars demystify the intimidating subjects.
Clement Manyathela took some time to hang out virtually with the beloved icon, who is currently in Australia, to find out more about him and the music that means most to him.
He says he began his teaching journey during his second year at Rhodes University when he would help his then-girlfriend with chemistry, ad it just grew from there.
He also insists that didn't do anything particularly unique to make his programmes unique, but simply aimed to simplify things.
I struggled, I'm not particularly intelligent so I had to find ways through understanding the subject, everything wasn't obvious to me... I'm no linguist. My wife's far cleverer with languages than I am so I have to stick with simple words... The big trick is to understand, it is simple. You can make any subject complicated if you want to and the idea is not to try and prove how clever you the teacher are... Be simple, be humbleWilliam Smith
I had fun, we used to love it. We had so muh fun during those programmes and I miss thatWilliam Smith
Callers who say they were greatly helped during their school years called in to share their fond memories and thoughts of William.
You've got a legend there, thank you very much. This is the man who helped us pass our maths.Thabo, caller
I grew up loving, loving his show. I think it's probably the reason I'm a structural engineer now and you best believe that I teach my son now maths using Smarties.Unnamed caller
Listen to the full interview below...