10 Reasons SA doesn’t suck right now – May edition

So May’s been crazy. It’s getting chillier as winter announces its onset, the petrol price has gone up, and the rand is waaay past the R15 mark. But it’s not all gloom and doom, we promise. AAISHA DADI PATEL brings you the the May edition of The Daily Vox good news roundup. 

1. The South African high school team who won the 2016 Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO)

Team South Africa beat out Mali, Gambia, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Tunisia at the Olympiad. Made up of six pupils, the team went through intense training through the South African Maths Foundation to prepare for the Olympiad, held in Dakar. They wrote two tests consisting of three Olympiad problems, each question requiring insight, ingenuity and logical rigorous proofs – and came out on top!

2. The 27-year-old NWU PhD graduate

Lehlohonolo Phali graduated from the North West University on 5 May, becoming the youngest person to receive a PhD Degree in applied mathematics from the institution. Raised by a single mother and facing financial challenges, the odds were stacked against him – but his love for maths led to him working hard and being assisted by bursaries. He now works as a lecturer at NWU.

3. Black woman-owned Fly Blue Crane went international

Sizakele Mzimela started Fly Blue Crane in September 2015 in the hopes of creating jobs for other women. The Joburg- based airline flies locally to Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Cape Town, and on 14 May crossed the borders on its first flight to Namibia! We always love a good dose of some #BlackGirlMagic ✨

fly blue crane sizakele mzimela

4. The South African firefighters who are helping to fight Canadian wildfires

A specially chartered Air Canada flight carried around 300 South African firefighters to Edmonton in Canada on 29 May to assist in curbing fires that have been ravaging the city for the past month and have burnt around 5200km of forest. For many of the firefighters, it was their first trip on a plane. They’ll be relieving exhausted Canadian firefighters, and the South African government sees it as a way to thank Canada for their support of the anti-apartheid struggle. After a month in Canada, each of the firefighters will be paid $1, 500 Canadian dollars, around R18, 000. We just love the entrance they made at the airport, and their passion for the good work they do!

5. Teenage double-amputee Sandili Mbili made history in the Comrades

Running the Nedbank Green Mile, a 1.6km portion of the Comrades Marathon, was a huge feat for 17-year-old Mbili – until recently, he was wheelchair bound and couldn’t even walk. He ran a social media campaign beforehand called #GoSandile, which encouraged people to raise awareness and donations for the Jumping Kids Foundation, one of the organisations that helped to fit him with prosthetic legs.

6. Oprah school alumna Mpumi Nobiva is shining

Nobiva’s mum passed away when Nobiva was only nine years old, and she was left in the care of her grandmother, a domestic worker. She matriculated from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in 2011 as part of its inaugural class, and has just completed her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina in the USA. As she prepares for her master’s in Strategic Communications at High Point University, she says she wants to use her story to inspire other African women, and has started the “Share Your Story, Inspiring Courage” campaign, sharing her own story entitled “HIV/Aids took my mother; not my spirit.”

Have we mentioned how much we love #BlackGirlMagic?

7. South Africans dominated in the Comrades Marathon, and one smashed existing records

At the 91st Comrades Marathon, David Gatebe finished in five hours, 18 minutes and 19 seconds, breaking the existing record of five hours, 19 minutes and 49 seconds. South Africans dominated the race, with the second and third place going to Ludwick Mamabolo and Bongmusa Mthembu respectively. The first place in the women’s race went to Charné Bosman, who crossed the finish line with a time of six hours, 26 minutes and 26 seconds, and crowd favourite Caroline Wöstmann came in second.


8. The good guy who saved a stranger who had a deadly allergic reaction

When Nicole Gillian Morgan was stung by a bee, she didn’t think much of it besides the searing pain. But she was unknowingly allergic, so she passed out and had trouble breathing, her 6-year-old son Mikey left helpless and scared for his mum’s life. Enter Obakeng Seutane: spotting the commotion, he dispersed a gathered crowd, assisted Morgan to open up her airway and then rushed her to hospital with her son by his side, and stayed close until he knew she was okay. What a champion.

9. Team South Africa took home medals at the Rowing World Cup

South Africa’s women’s lightweight double sculls crew of Ursula Grobler and Kirsten McCann took a silver medal in the second leg of the competition, being held in Switzerland, while in the men’s division former world champions James Thompson and John Smith managed to score bronze medals, coming in in third place. Goooo team SA!

10. Help streamed in for exhausted single mother of three children – two of whom are disabled

Unemployed Nomahlubi Mbulu has a 13-year-old daughter who has autism and epilepsy, a 17-year-old daughter who has no disabilities and a 21-year-old son who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. She struggles with the day-to-day of having to care for her children with no support, living in a home in Cape Town’s informal settlement Crossroads, with holes in the roofs and walls and in which they sleep on broken mattresses.

She receives R3, 300 each month in government grants to take care of her and her children, and now more help has been coming in from people who have heard her story and want to help her out. As well as cash donations, people have also pledged to assist with school fees for her teenage daughter.

Author’s note: If you want to help, her personal bank details are Capitec Bank, account number 118 113 5298.

Got any good news updates that we’ve missed out? Comment below or tweet us @thedailyvox! 

Featured image by Aaisha Dadi Patel