We’re in the thickest end of Winter, we had a TORNADO SCARE last week (!!), and election season is in full swing. We’re shaking our heads quite a bit at a few things, but it’s not all bad. Here’s our monthly list of why:
1. The seven-year-old boy who got a heart transplant
Little Capetonian Phalo Giyaya was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart) in March, and doctors immediately put him on a waiting list for a heart. On July 17 a heart became available, and on July 18 the transplant took place at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Hospital. Phalo is still recovering, but his parents now have hope that he will be able to start grade one in January.
2. The young South African aeronautical engineer who is killing it at NASA
Lumka Msibi is living her best life and flourishing at internationally renowned National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in California, USA. The 25-year-old trailblazing rocket scientist matriculated from Parktown High School for Girls in 2008, and studied at both Wits and Stellenbosch. You go, girl!
3. South African sprinter Akani Simbe broke the South African record at the Athletics Grand Prix
The 22-year-old track-and-field star represented South Africa in the Gyulai Istvan Memorial- Athletics Grand Prix, held in Hungary on July 18. He beat all of the other participants in the 100m race, including American star Isaiah Young, finishing with a time of 9.89 seconds.
4. The rand has been steadily under R15 all month
We started off July with the rand at R14.68, and ended off the month with it sitting at R13.89. It’s currently the lowest it’s been since all the hiccups that caused the spike up to R16 back in November last year, with the highest that it reached this month being R14.89 on the 6th. Progress!
5. The Mugg & Bean waitress giving people the feels
Mashella Malema, a waitress at the Mugg & Bean at Pretoria’s Brooklyn Mall, made waves on social media after a patron posted a picture of her patiently detailing and reading out descriptions of dishes to blind patrons who were eating there. The company announced that they awarded her their internal “Moments of Generosity” award, and said that they would now be looking at adding Braille to their menus to cater for other blind patrons.
6. Partly South African Chris Froome took home his third Tour De France victory
We may be cheating a bit with this one, but we have a stake to claim in the amazing Chris Froome – so we’re definitely claiming it. Although a Briton, he schooled in Bloemfontein and Johannesburg, and began his studies at the University of Johannesburg. He also began his cycling career in South Africa. Based on all of this, we’re super proud about his third victory in the gruelling cycle race.
His previous school, St John’s College in Johannesburg, remains proudly behind him. They showed their support for him by wearing yellow. He had donated his first yellow jersey – the one won by the winner of the Tour De France – to the school in 2013.
7. Some truly beautiful snowflake smatterings
The weather really took a turn as Winter intensified towards the end part of July, with cold fronts and precipitation hitting most parts of the country. But there was a beautiful side to it too – this much snow is uncharacteristic in South Africa, and it’s always a treat to get to see some.
Elliot Eastern Cape – photo courtesy of Denise Biggs. pic.twitter.com/obpSro7kDU
— Snow Report SA (@SnowReportSA) July 2, 2016
The snow keeps falling in Kamberg KZN – photo from Taryn King pic.twitter.com/8fWRDpnJXw
— Snow Report SA (@SnowReportSA) July 24, 2016
— Snow Report SA (@SnowReportSA) July 25, 2016
8. Team South Africa is settled and ready in Rio for the 2016 Olympics to begin!
The athletes left South Africa on July 23rd, arriving the next day, and all of the athletes are warming up ready to represent the country and go for gold, ahead of the official opening of #Rio2016 on August 5th.
— TeamSouthAfrica (@teamsa17) July 24, 2016
9. Africa’s first sustainable biofuel-powered flights successfully flew between Johannesburg and Cape Town
In a first for the entire African continent, two local South African flights flew cross-country powered entirely by biofuels. “The flights used home-grown feedstock from the Marble Hall area in the Limpopo region of South Africa as part of Project Solaris, a biofuels project named after the energy tobacco plant used. The nicotine-free, hybridised tobacco plant lends itself to the production of biofuel as the Solaris plant produces small leaves and prodigious flowers and seeds that are crushed to extract a vegetable crude oil,” national carrier SAA said in a statement.
10. Kagiso Rabada, the multi award-winning wunderkind
Kagiso Rabada won the cricketer of the year award at the annual Cricket South Africa award ceremony in Jozi. He also landed Castle Lager Test Cricketer of the Year, Castle Lager ODI Cricketer of the Year, the peer-voted SA Players’ Player of the Year and the SA Fans Player of the Year. His sixth award was for bowling the RAM Delivery of the Year to England’s Jason Roy in the KFC T20 International at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. And he’s 21 years old. Damn.