For South African school kids that grew up in the 90s and early 2000s there was no YouTube or online resource at your fingertips when you got stuck with school work.

There was however a man named William Smith who loved Maths and Science so much that watching him solve problems was addictive.

We’re sure there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of South Africans today who found Smith’s lessons and help on SABC invaluable and yesterday he received recognition for his efforts.

At a ceremony in Tshwane, President Cyril Ramaphosa honoured Smith with The Order of the Baobab.

“The Order of the Baobab is awarded to South African citizens for distinguished service in the fields of: business and the economy; science, medicine, and for technological innovation; and community service,” reads an explanation on the website of the Presidency.

The Order of the Baobab forms part of the National Orders which are the highest accolades a South African can achieve.

Unfortunately we don’t have any video footage of Smith teaching because, well, the internet wasn’t really widespread when he was helping us all learn how to solve equations.

As a child that couldn’t quite grasp Maths or Science too well, Smith helped me a lot to make it through my final Matric exams.

To be quite honest, were it not for Smith, I’d have failed Matric.

[Image – CC BY ND GovernmentZA]