Ten reasons South Africa doesn’t suck right now – November edition

November has come to an eventual end, but 2016 still hasn’t. The world has officially lost its marbles and Trump is officially going to be president of the States, while our own president – despite ALL the odds against him – is very much sitting put. Nothing makes sense, and we don’t know how to explain it, but we do have a few reasons why life may not be as bad as we think. Here’s the November edition of ten reasons South Africa doesn’t suck right now.

1. The heroes who formed human chains to help those caught in the floods to safety

When Gauteng was hit with freak flash floods on 9 November, many were caught in terrifying situations, with the uncontrollable torrents washing away possessions and homes – and even drowning six people. Motorists on the N3 highway in Linksfield found themselves stranded, until brave Cape Town-based truck driver‚ Vuyani Dindiswayo‚ and his colleague Lucas Bota pulled them and taxi passengers to safety. In another incident, men who made a human chain across two taxis to help others to cross the water were lauded for saving many lives. We salute you.

2. The miracle baby who had surgery in-utero born healthy

A baby boy was born via C-section on 2 November at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), but he was no ordinary baby. He had surgery to have life-threatening fluid removed from his heart cavity – back in September, while still inside his mother’s womb.

The fluid was compressing his heart and lungs, and could have resulted in him not surviving, or not even being born. The procedure was performed by Dr Ismail Bhorat, head of the foetal unit at IALCH. The baby was named Simangaliso, which means “miracle.”

Photo of Dr Bhorat via Sunday Tribune on Facebook

3. The Cape Flats maths teacher using hip hop culture to make music fun for his students

Kurt Minnaar teaches maths to grade 8 learners at Kraaifontein’s Eben Donges High School. Minnaar used to be a choreographer and hip hop dancer, and is finding great success with his innovative teaching methods (a lá School of Rock).

He struggled with maths himself while at school, and found his method to be a solution to the problem of the traditional education system not always being the most suitable for all kids. He has made full raps of several multiplication tables, and is working on even more. Watch (and dab to) his eight times table rap here!

4. 29-year-old black farmer wins prestigious farming awards

Tshilidze “Chilli” Matshidzula was appointed the deputy farm manager of Little Barnet in Alexandria in the Eastern Cape nine years ago. When he first took up the post, there were fewer than 50 cows on the farm, and not much output. Today, the farm has 549 cows that produce 11, 000 litres of milk a day.

Matshidzula has also made history by making Little Barnet the first black-managed and owned commercial farm to win an agricultural award in over 50 years. All of this has resulted in Matshidzula winning the farm the Bathurst Conservation Committee award, the prestigious agricultural Mangold Trophy for running a successful dairy farm in the Eastern Cape, AND the Toyota South Africa Young Farmer of the Year award in 2016.

We are SO HERE for this black excellence. Well done!

5. Around 60 humpback whales put on a spectacular show in the peak of whale-watching season

The waters in the Western Cape are one of the world’s most spectacular vantage points for whale-watching. June through to November is peak season for whales, and photographer/videographer Kieran Donnelly managed to get great drone footage on the last weekend of November of 60 humpback whales – busy migrating south – near Robben Island.

What a show.

6. SA’s national rowing coach up for Coach of the Year in World Rowing Awards

South Africa’s national rowing coach, Roger Barrow is in line for a prestigious award at the World Rowing awards. The rowing coach for Team South Africa at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in London and Rio respectively, Barrow is one of six nominations in the 2016 Coach of the Year category. Barrow was instrumental in getting five South African boats into finals in Rio, an unprecedented feat in SA rowing history, and is the only South African nominated in the five categories.

The award winners will be announced on 2 December.

7. South Africa’s Brad Binder wraps up Moto3 career by winning Valencia Moto3

Binder ended his Moto3 career on a high note as he raced his way to the finish line in first place, after starting out the 24-lap race in the top three and then dropping down to 22nd place, before making his stunning finish.

The biker is part of the team that are the Moto3 world champions.


8. The taxi driver who saved a family of ducks from one of Joburg’s busiest highways

In early November, a family of ducks – a mom, dad and five ducklings – were trapped in the fast lane of the N1 North, just before William Nicol Drive. Taxi driver Leonard Tshabalala stopped in the emergency lane to try and help gather the ducks to take them to safety. Shortly after, paramedic Max Cohen arrived at the scene, and the two managed to lift the ducks to the other side of the barrier, where they could then waddle to the safety of the river below.

9. After years of teaching in his home and under the tree in his front yard, Bushbuckridge maths guru is getting a classroom

Jerry Mbowane, 58, has been teaching maths and physics to the young people of rural Mpumalanga’s Bushbuckridge for the past 27 years, out of his home. His pupils have gone on to be successful professionals, including doctors, engineers, and academics. Caltex is now sponsoring him with chairs, desks, stationery and rent for classrooms. Come January 2017, he will open the doors to Mbowane’s Caltex Mathematics and Physical Science Academy.

What a hero!

10. Matrics have completed their final exams – school’s out, forever!

The class of 2016 have officially put their pens down! Government curriculum learners finished the last of the exams on November 29 and IEB learners finished a day earlier. What the future holds for them is still uncertain, but at least they’re done with a big chapter in their lives. From us at The Daily Vox, only good vibes and positive wishes to you, matrics of 2016!

Featured image via Flickr