2016 has definitely been a busy year at Lead SA and we have enjoyed some seriously awesome moments; from a crowdfunding campaign to get a youth hero back to school to international recognition for our heroes. Take a look at some of our beautiful moments this past year...
Giving Kids the Ride of their Lives
947 car guru, Jacob Moshokoa made it possible for a group of boys from the Character Company to get up close and personal with race cars and their drivers at Carnival City, east of Johannesburg. The boys also got the chance to do a lap around the track with Jacob to quench their need for speed! Be sure to check out the Character Company's own Year in Review to learn more about the organisation's work.
The Year of Kagiso Rabada
2016 has definitely been fast bowler, Kagiso Rabada's year. The 21-year-old became the first player to scoop six awards at CSA's annual dinner, including being the youngest player to receive the coveted 'Cricketer of the Year' award. The success of this talented young cricketer also grabbed the notice of Lead SA and he received a Hero award for his many accomplishments. (Picture: Getty Images)
Buzzfeed Votes South Africa as the World's Most Beautiful Country
Earlier this year, in a Buzzfeed article titled 'The 20 most beautiful countries in the world', South Africa topped the list ahead of the United States of America in second place and New Zealand in third. The African Continent dominated the list with Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania earning a spot in the top 10, while Uganda came in at number 13.
Youth Hero Gets a Second Shot at Pursuing her Dreams
Nhlanhla Mchunu was crowned a Lead SA Youth Hero in October for her role in establishing a reading club with seven associates in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg. The Lisakhanya Ikusasa (The Future is Still Bright) reading club is teaching young people how to read and write. During an interview on 702 with Xolani Gwala, Nhlanhla mentioned that she had to quit her studies due to financial difficulties. Exclusive Books quickly jumped on board with a bursary that will allow Nhlanhla to finish her psychology studies and pursue her dreams. (Picture: Facebook)
Spreading a Wildfire of Words
Speaking of reading, 2016 was blessed with many individuals and organisations that continue to give community the gift of books. The benefits of igniting a love for reading in South Africa has a major impact on the country's literacy and imagination.
- Yonela Nyoavane was selected as a Lead SA Youth Hero in 2015 when she collected 500 books for a school in Alexandra that had none. Her story inspired an anonymous caller to 702 to donate R100,000 towards buying books for Yonela's initiative. The books were donated to Bovet Primary School in Alex, empowering pupils with a library of books to help them in their studies.
Youth Hero Receives Prestigious International Award
9-year-old, Hunter Mitchell started 2016 with a New Year's resolution that would make a difference. He had heard about a rhino calf that was orphaned at the Aquila Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape and wanted to help. Hunter raised some R30,000 to help with the upkeep of his rhino buddy.
His good deeds not only earned him the Lead SA Youth Hero Award, but also grabbed the attention of the rest of the world. He was honoured by the Steve Irwin Foundation for his fundraising efforts with the Wildlife Warrior Award. (Picture: Cape Times)
Andrea Dondolo - Being the Change
Lead SA met Andrea Dondolo after she caused a stir on Facebook in a bid to track down a man who lost his wallet at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Andrea, who hails from Cape Town, returned the wallet to its owner Carel Norval. We soon discovered that Andrea's active citizenship didn't end there, she is known for rolling up her sleeves and helping where she can. Her good deeds couldn't go unrewarded and she was chosen as a Lead SA Hero in February.
South African Boy (10) Receives the First Mechanical Heart Transplant in Africa
10-year-old, Philasande Dladla became the first child in Africa to receive a mechanical heart transplant, a device that is keeping him alive as he waits for a heart transplant. In September the Dladla family appealed to 702 to help cover the R2-million in hospital fees that their medical aid had declined to pay. John Robbie put a call out on-air and the medical aid soon agreed to fully cover the operation. Philasande has become a prime example of the importance of organ donation and the need for more people to sign up as donors to save lives. (Photo: Netcare)
South African students walk 1 000 km in order to raise funds and awareness about students who cannot afford to go to University. They went on to be named Lead SA Youth heroes for November, for setting an incredible example to others.
This article first appeared on LeadSA : Beautiful Moments 2016