June sucked. There was Brexit, Rivers Church, #SodwanaBay, Hlaudi power-tripping at the SABC, and so much else. Although SA needs to be left in rice for a bit, there are a few things that happened in the past month to make us realise SA’s not all that bad. Here they are:
1. The SA-animated film that is winning big
Based on a children’s picture book, Stick Man is the story of a father’s epic journey to make it home in time for Christmas. The film was produced by a UK-based company, and animated by Cape Town animation company Triggerfish. It won Best Animation at both the BANFF World Media Festival and the Shanghai International Film and TV Festival, as well as two British Animation Awards.
2. The Pukke student who won an international pharmaceutical company’s competition
Pharmacy student Raeesa Jooma won R35, 000 from international pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca after winning the competition, which judges participants’ ability to talk to patients about their medication. Jooma spoke to a fictitious patient about medication for a stomach ulcer. “I wasn’t even sure I wanted to enter the competition,” the second-year student told Beeld.
3. South African Hank McGregor wins one of the toughest surf ski races in the world
The Molokai Challenge is a gruelling 52-kilometre crossing between two islands in brutal, flat ocean conditions in the Hawaiian archipelago. One of South Africa’s best paddlers, he won the competition for the third time with fellow South Africans Sean Rice and Jasper Mocké by his side.
— North Coast Courier (@nccourier) May 30, 2016
4. The National Lotteries Commission is sponsoring South African athletes R70 million to get them to the Olympics and Paralympics
Leading up to the Olympics in August, the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) has partnered with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) to fund South African athletes.
The R70 million will be used to transport Team SA to Brazil for the Olympics, Paralympic Games and the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games.
— TeamSouthAfrica (@teamsa17) June 29, 2016
5. House music star Black Coffee became the first South African to win a BET award
The renowned DJ – real name Nkosinathi Maphumulo – won in the “Best International Act – Africa” category at the American awards ceremony.
“DJ Black Coffee continues to inspire our youth with this achievement and has now become our prime international export in the music industry, as an example of the South African youth talent,” said President Jacob Zuma.
Congrats DJ Black Coffee #BETAwards! Taking RSA forward
— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) June 26, 2016
6. International superstar Drake shot the video for his no.1 hit One Dance in Jozi!
One Dance is one of 2016’s biggest hits – and the Canadian rapper in South Africa to film its accompanying video. Spotted at Lanseria Airport and at restaurant JB’s Corner at Melrose Arch, the rapper then made an appearance at the Nelson Mandela Foundation where he addressed school children as part of Youth Day celebrations. He also reportedly is here because of an interest in learning more about Nelson Mandela.
7. The talented karate kids from Eldos who’ll be representing South Africa in the world championships in July
Earlier this year, Renaldo Kok, 24, Chesline Petersen, 21, and Denzelle Bloem, 17, qualified to participate in the 5th Dojo World Championships in Germany in July. The trip, from July 17 to 25, would cost them R25, 000 each – but their sponsor then had to pull out.
A fundraising campaign was then launched for the three, who train at Shukokai karate academy. They’ve been doing karate for more than 12 years and have missed a number of tournaments because of a lack of money. They managed to raise around R51 000 – with their initial sponsor then chipping in to cover the rest.
8. The Durban women clearing illegal dumping sites to make Durban cleaner
The volunteers cleared up sites. in areas like Verulam, Inanda, KwaMashu, Intuzuma, Umlazi, Chatsworth, and Clermont. They told News24, “We want to educate our people and also make them see the potential of their homes. We realised some of these illegal dumpsites were in these areas since the 1990s. The greener we make these places, the more it can attract tourists.”
The ladies are doing it without expecting any form of payment. “Do something positive to help and do it for your people. Don’t expect anything. We just wanted to make our mark in our society,” said volunteer Cindy Cele.
9. 20-year-old Shepherd Zira becomes the first black participant in a Lipizzaners performance
Zira has been surrounded by horses all his life, with his father having been a groom for one of the top show jumpers at the time. Although his father has since passed, Zira’s training and passion has not stopped, and trainer Sharon Lipa has taken him under her wing. He’s now been part of the Lipizzaner academy in Kyalami for a month, and on June 5th took part in the Young Stallions performance at the South African Lipizzaner Centre in Kyalami.
Shepherd Zira will instead become the first rider of colour to take part in a Lipizzaner performance pic.twitter.com/p2oaptZCo3
— The Valley Messenger (@ValleyMessenger) June 2, 2016
10. Estellacosmetics is launching a lipstick line for black girls, by black girls
While not exclusively for black girls, the shades are a result of founder Naledi Sibisi seeing a gap in the market after she couldn’t find certain lipstick colours that she wanted. “Special attention has been paid to shades, and since I’m a dark-skinned girl, I know that nude shades sometimes have to be mixed with a darker liner to pop on the lips. This collection sees to all of that,” she told Destiny magazine. The range will be launched in the next month and will be available for purchase on all Bellecheveux’s online platforms.
A photo posted by NALEDI SIBISI (@naledisibisi) on