A FORMER reporter who began his career on the Shuttle has recently published a new book about some of South Africa's most wealthy people.

Chris Bishop, 54, who was on speaking terms with Nelson Mandela, also interviewed numerous heads of state including Jacob Zuma, Robert Mugabe and Kenneth Kaunda.

Mr Bishop has worked in Africa for 23 years of his 36 years in journalism and is the founding editor of the Forbes Africa magazine - and has pooled his experiences in "Africa's Billionaires".

His book tells the stories of a penniless priest who became a steel baron, a bare-foot apple seller who turned into a mining millionaire and an economics student who studied with Mick Jagger.

Mr Bishop said: "This is a rich tapestry of stories about the super-wealthy and the qualities that make them spectacularly successful in the most challenging economic arena in the world."

Chris is the son of Sheila and Tony Bishop - also a former Shuttle reporter.

After learning the ropes on the Shuttle, Mr Bishop went on to work for several newspapers in Britain before emigrating to New Zealand. He was taken on by the Dominion and Sunday Times in Wellington and gained notoriety when he uncovered a failed plot to assassinate the Queen on a royal visit.

He moved into television in New Zealand, before returning to Britain to join the BBC. Following a spell on Business Breakfast, he decided to freelance in Zimbabwe for the BBC and Daily Telegraph.

He filed stories from several hot spots in the continent before being asked to supervise the launch of Botswana TV. Afterwards, he masterminded news coverage for South African TV.

He has won numerous awards including the David Beattie award for print journalism in New Zealand, the Sanlam Award for excellence in financial journalism in South Africa and the Editor of the Year at the Pica Awards in 2013.

Chris is married with two children aged 17 and 12 and lives in Johannesburg.