Ten reasons SA doesn’t suck right now – November edition

November has been one helluva month, and most of us are looking forward to recovering over December. The Fees Commission released its disappointing results, the President’s Keepers had the country shook,  and Uncle Bob finally stepped down to the confusion and relief of, well, everybody. 2017 has had absolutely no chill. Still, there are some things to be happy about! Here are ten good things that happened in November.

1) South Africa represents in Major League Baseball!

Gift Ngoepe, the first black South African Major League Baseball player, is throwing his bat around in the world of baseball! Ngoepe’s team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays this month after a sterling season. Though baseball may not be an attention-grabbing sport in South Africa, figures like Ngoepe thriving through baseball bring hope that that the country’s lively sports culture (and sports fanatics) will embrace it. The average South African might not know much about baseball, but we’re proud of Gift regardless!

2) Women in STEM make South Africa proud

Six South African women were chosen to participate in a five-week TechWomen Mentorship Program in Silicon Valley, where they received the opportunity to work in companies such as Google, LinkedIn and Adobe. The team members, Ridhwana Khan, Lindiwe Matlali, Emily Pather, Chiedza Mnguni, Dr. Fanelwa Ajayi and Danai Nhando, also won a $3 000 seed grant for their action plan, KasiMaths, to help STEM education in low-income communities. South African women excelling at STEM gives us life!

3) Giving the land back to the people is the South African dream

November seemed to be a month of South African generosity! Sipho Simelane, a man from Drumblade, Gauteng, has offered one hectare of agricultural land to anyone willing to start a community garden project. After hearing about the inspiring story of Johan Scott, a retired policeman who started a vegetable garden on his pavement to feed his community, Simelane decided to donate his land free of charge for a similar endeavour to feed those in his community.

4) Child heroes abound in SA!

South Africa has no shortage of heroic children, it seems. This month, 11- year-old Luke Bridle managed to save his twin brother, David, from drowning in their bath. David, who is disabled and epileptic, had a seizure and nearly drowned before his awesome brother saved his life with some quick-thinking. Luke even called emergency services, who helped him take care of David over the phone before they arrived.

5) South Africa wins big at Miss Universe

Miss South Africa 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, sent South African hearts racing after winning the Miss Universe 2017 pageant this month, becoming the first Miss Universe in democratic South Africa. Beating other finalists, Miss Colombia and Miss Jamaica, Nel-Peters has been lauded for her profound take on the question-and-answer section,  stating that “As Miss Universe, you have to be confident in who you are as an individual. A Miss Universe is a woman who has overcome many fears and by that, she is able to help other women overcome their fears. She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for. And I think that is exactly who I am.”

6) The South African spirit is nothing if not generous

It took a minute for someone to come forward to help little Tiana-Leigh Smith, an 11-year-old girl cancer survivor who suffers from a rare lung condition and needs permanently administered oxygen. Tiana-Leigh cannot travel outside her home without an oxygen inverter, which was stolen from her mother’s car. After voicing their problem on the radio, an anonymous donor offered to pay the cost of the machine , so that Tiana-Leigh can leave her house and explore her world.

7) South Africa sings along to shorter showers

Saving water has never been this fun! South African musicians, including Mi Casa, Kwesta, Jimmy Nevis, Desmond and The Tutus and others have been challenged by Sanlam to turn their songs into two-minute, drought-friendly renditions to encourage Capetonians to keep their showers short . As a musical country, most of us probably sing along to our favourite hits while getting clean, so this is sure to encourage restraint (as long as you don’t press ‘loop’!)

8) Paxton Fielies proves South Africa is chock-full of young talent!

This November, coloured excellence struck again after Paxton Fielies, a 17-year-old girl from Cape Town, became one of the youngest winners of Idols South Africa in November. Though Fielies sacrificed her grade 11 academic year to participate, she proves disciplined as well as talented, as she she intends to complete matric while making it big in South African (and international) performance.

9) Matrics leave behind their legacy of helping hands

The struggles South African school kids go through to make it to matric isn’t something new, but it definitely helps when those who make it help those still climbing the ladder. Matriculants from a variety of schools, including Eersterivier Secondary School and Durban Girls High donated their scvhool uniforms, shoes and textbooks to the next generation of matrics who need them. It is a testament to the generous hearts of South African youth that others are not left behind. We wish them all the success.

South African matrics finish school on a heartwarming note


10) The Lottery win that almost didn’t happen

An Eastern Cape man won the biggest Lotto amount ever in the province this month, after some trouble realising he had the lucky ticket! The 58-year-old pensioner and father of four, who chose to remain anonymous, won a whole tax-free R50-million, but didn’t realise he was the winner until a few days after the numbers were drawn. After reading that the winner had still not come forward in the newspapers, he checked his ticket and received the shock of his life!

Featured image via Wikicommons.