In South African business and political circles, few lights shine brighter than Cyril Ramaphosa. Born in 1952 in Soweto, a sprawling black township in Gauteng province, Ramaphosa first made his mark as a shrewd and calculating trade unionist. He was instrumental to the formation of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which he built up to become the most powerful trade union in the country. In 1991 he dumped union work to pursue a career in politics, serving as the Secretary General of the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling political party. As the secretary of the ANC, he led the party’s delegation in negotiating the end of apartheid with the National Party government. In 1994, after South Africa’s first fully democratic elections, Ramaphosa became a member of parliament and was widely tipped as a possible successor to Nelson Mandela. However, he did not win in the run-up to the elections.