Cyril Ramaphosa has experienced the poverty of Soweto, been jailed for fighting apartheid and trade union activism, enjoyed immense wealth and has now been elected leader of his country - all in just 66 years.
Ramaphosa, together with the ANC, won the elections on May 8, starting his journey as a democratically-elected president.
But politics is not new to Ramaphosa; when Nelson Mandela walked out of jail in 1990, a more youthful Ramaphosa was standing beside him as the world watched.
After losing out on becoming Mandela's deputy, he focused on business and gained immense wealth through stakes in McDonalds, Coca-Cola and in the mining and telecommunications sectors.
In 2012, his public image took a knock when police killed 34 striking workers at the Marikana platinum mine, operated by London-listed Lonmin, where he was then a non-executive director.
He returned to politics to become Jacob Zuma's vice-president in 2014. He still draws criticism for his docile presence in this role as he never spoke out against corruption and government mismanagement.
Mmusi Maimane of the Democratic Alliance party said Ramaphosa's compliance made him "at best a silent deputy-president, and at worst a complicit one".
Ramaphosa narrowly beat Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over the leadership of the ANC in 2017 and then claim the presidency when Zuma resigned last year.
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