Ten reasons South Africa doesn’t suck right now – September 2017 edition

This year keeps getting more and more extra. This month, Heritage Day was a reminder that the Rainbow Nation is a lie, Dr Makhosi Khoza paid the price for speaking truth to power, and Mduduzi Manana gave us an unneeded reminder that power doesn’t prevent trash behaviour. But things aren’t all bad. Here are 10 reasons South Africa didn’t suck in September.

1. Mogoeng Mogoeng was named South African of the Year
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, one of the few public figures to speak up against corruption and the poor leadership in this country, has been named South African of the Year for 2017. He was nominated against Ndebele artist, Esther Mahlangu, who was also recently honoured with a mural in New York City.

2. The new Powerpuff Girl is young, black and South African!
SA’s Toya Delazy, will be voicing the fourth Powerpuff Girl. The new season, The Powerpuff Girls: The Power of Four, will welcome a new sister, voiced by the singer and songwriter. Delazy plays Bliss, the older sister to Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup, who reconnects with her super siblings on her journey of self-discovery. Check out our Q&A with Delazy here!

3. Redi Tlhabi’s #KhweziBookLaunch is doing the most and we are stanning!
Redi Tlhabi’s new book, Khwezi, speaks about the life of activist Fezekile Khuzwayo, who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape back in 2005. The book, a painful testimony to the impact of patriarchy in this country, is making huge waves and we are here for it. The book is apparently number 1 in the country, and both of the official launch events were filled to capacity. Make sure you catch our interview with the amazing author from her Melville book launch.

4. Banyana Banyana won the 2017 Cosafa Women’s Championship
Banyanya Banyana beat Zimbabwe at the Council of Southern African Football Association’s (Cosafa) finals 2-1 this past Sunday, making them the new reigning champions. This is their first win in 10 years  and we couldn’t be more proud.

5. A South African actress has been nominated for an International Emmy Award
Local actress Thuso Mbedu, who plays Winnie on Mzansi Magic’s soapie, Isithunzi, has been nominated for an International Emmy. Mbedu has been nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress category and is the only African to receive the nomination. The official award ceremony will take place on 20 November 2017. We are wishing her the best of luck and crossing fingers for her!

6. Kevin Anderson made it all the way to the US Open finals
The tennis player is the first South African to reach a grand slam final in 22 years. He may not have beat world number 1 Rafael Nadal, but he definitely made South Africa proud! Anderson sees himself as an ambassador of the sport, saying: “My biggest hope is that I’m able to inspire some kids to play tennis.”

7. A dumpsite turned into vegetable garden to feed those who need
Five residents from Pietermaritzburg have turned a dumpsite into a vegetable garden to donate fresh produce to those in need. Mduduzi Hlongwane, Nkosingiphile Chule, Khethiwe Zulu and Sindisile Stephanis said they started the initiative to help the elderly in the community, and to give young people the opportunity to do meaningful work. The eight-month initiative has produced spinach, onions, tomatoes, carrot, beetroot and lettuce. We could all do with an initiative like this in our communities.

8. An entrepreneur from Soweto received a big donation to advance his business
Sowetan entrepreneur Alfred Mofokeng started Universal Sign Writers about 16 years ago, painting residential numbers and road signs. Inspired by his hard work and entrepreneurial spirit, a local company donated supplies to Mofokeng to help him brighten up even more spaces. Here’s to more established businesses giving entrepreneurs a boost!

9. This CPUT science student was awarded with a PhD at 28
Lukhanyo Mekuto was awarded a doctorate degree at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology for his research on micro-organisms that break down poisonous substances. The 28-year-old is now the university’s youngest PhD graduate. He was also recognised by the National Research Foundation for his outstanding academic performance. Shine black child, your dreams are valid!

10. This community educator launched a tutoring programme to help pupils pass with distinctions
Fifty-eight year old Jerry Mbowane from Mpumalanga launched the “Catch Them Young” maths and science project, which offers free tutoring lessons to help pupils pass with distinctions. Mbowane explained that, while he had been helping matrics excel for 27 years, pupils need a solid foundation to get distinctions. The programme already has more than 300 pupils enrolled – and the classes are completely free. It really takes a village.

Until next month, keep shining South Africa!
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons