If part of a nation’s culture includes performance art, there’s no reason to exclude sport. Or the difficult act of writing. Or the hard work of science. Or keeping the peace.

In those last three categories, South Africa has produced four Nobel prize winners. Archbishop Desmond Tutu won the peace prize in 1984, almost a decade before Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk shared it in 1993. JM Coetzee, embraced as South African even in far-off Australia, won it for literature. Not so well known are Sydney Brenner and Michael Levitt...

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