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Tonight with Lester Kiewit
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Sarah Ferguson - Swimming against plastic

Sarah Ferguson - Swimming against plastic

Guest : Sarah Ferguson

There are 2 questions people have consistently asked me since my return: 1- what does
it feel like to be a world record holder? 2- What’s next?
I have found it difficult to answer the first question. I have not changed directly. I am still
me, my job is still the same and life carries on as if nothing happened in many regards.
Bu, being a world record holder has already opened up a lot of doors and opportunities
which I am going to focus on exploring in this next season. I want to fully absorb and
process what we have accomplished and maximise on the exposure from this swim.
The biggest impact to me so far from this trip has been the unprecedented power of
teamwork. There were over 7 different countries represented in making this swim
happen. (South Africa, USA, Chile, Latvia, Denmark, UK, Rapa Nui) The only other time in
my life that I have experienced such effective teamwork and unity was when I was a
youth leader and university.
Having such different cultures and personalities uniting together to bring their very best
skills to a common cause, for me, was mind-blowing and such an incredible joy to
experience.
The power of teamwork was second to none. Including the local community in this
campaign was such an incredible privelage.
Rapa Nui is an incredibly unique place. The people are remarkable and welcomed us
generously into their homes and culture. From a population of 15 000 to 100 they
almost became extinct, but through clever planning and hard work they built back to
about 7000 people today. Rapa Nui has been seen by some to be the belly button of the
earth and is a great example of our human race.
We are currently destroying our planet- just like they did so many years ago, but it is not
too late to change and restore our land to the way God intended it to be. We need to
start being mindful of every consumer choice we make and turn back to our ancestors
to learn from their mistakes and successes. It is not a simple task, but it is something that
we can do together.
There are 1-2 planes of 300-600 tourists a day who visit Rapa Nui. Most of them are
there to see the MOai and have no idea of how much more the island and its people
have to offer. Toki music school is a hidden gem and an incredible model of how to
build a better more sustainable future.
The day after the swim we were invited to a local fish braai by Tavu, Karina and Konui,
we headed to the one and only sandy beach on the island. We set up camp under the
trees with a large braai covered in fresh fish, sweet potatoes, taro root and plantains
and were treated to a feast- No cutlery, no crockery, just our hands and banana leaves
for plates. Bones were thrown into the fire- the way we should all be eating. Batman
(Tavu’s cousin) and Mehari (Tavu’s daughter) broke out into a spontaneous song playing
the guitar and ukulele together for the first time. It was a beautiful day out with
beautiful people.
Horses, cows and dogs roam free on the island. There are no traffic lights, fruit trees are
in abundance and we would pick guavas at our leisure whenever we were hungry.
There is a strong reliance in the land and ocean to provide food for the locals as well as
a deep spiritual connection.
I have no doubt that Gods hand was on every detail of this swim and the build up to it.
Showing us a rainbow the day before the swim at the blessing ceremony and 1 the day
we left the island. The welcome and acceptance form the local people, the unity of
everyone despite such unique personalities and the near perfect swim conditions, are
all undeniable stamps of God’s hand at work.
I could totally live island life. The simplicity, dependence on the land and delicious diet
plus general respect for nature is inspiring. The increased tourism is a boost for the
economy but also brings with it problems of its own as demand for western food and
drink starts to impact the island vibe and natural way of living.
With our growing consumerism globalisation and tourism in the western world, we have
lost the slow pace, hard working lifestyle of the past. Rapa Nuin’s could teach us a thing
or two about authentic sustainable living, community and connection.
I walk away from this experience richer than before, not due to the accomplishment of
a world record, but because of deep connections with incredibly generous people.
Satisfied with an unbelievable team effort to create a world record for a swim against
plastic that not only changed my life, but I think meant so much to the local community
as well.



More episodes from Tonight with Lester Podcast

The legal Pitfalls of offensive branding

12 November 2019 9:51 PM

Kareema Shaik, Senior Associate at Adams & Adams joins us to talk about the legal
pitfalls of offensive branding and how brands and budding can catch the eye without
offending intended customers

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Melinda Ferguson - John Cooper Works Mini Countryman and Clubman

12 November 2019 9:37 PM

Tonight Melinda talks about her time with the new John Cooper Works Mini Countryman and Clubman editions of the cult classic Mini Cooper

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Unsettled - What it means to be white in SA

12 November 2019 9:12 PM

Sydelle Smith's exhibition currently on display in Goverment Avenue in the Company
Gardens is the culmination of a 5 year project looking at whiteness in South Africa,
titled Un/Settled it takes a look at the priviledge associated with whiteness and how
white people view themselves in SA

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What the Faf is this?

12 November 2019 8:44 PM

An interesting Facebook post by former journalist Simone Heradien asked a interesting
question, how would we have reacted if a female sports star was shown in her
underwear celebrating a win ? You can bet she wouldn't be celebrated as Faf was after
that pic.

Simone joins us live from the CapeTalk studios.

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KZN Tornado

12 November 2019 8:29 PM

Video's on social media shows tornado's ripping through KZN earlier today. In New
Hanover, KZN you can see massive trees ripped up what looks like a tornado.

Our guests on the line: DJ, founder of Storm Report SA and KZN Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso.

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#BeautifulNews

11 November 2019 10:04 PM

Guests : 

Will Ronquest-Ross
Glittering sunlight beckons at the end of the cobalt tunnel. Glide across the water’s
surface, dance with the sway of the board, and feel the rush of the wave collapsing.
Surfing is one of the most thrilling ways to experience the ocean. But it’s expensive. The
cost of the sport, from lessons to surfboards and wetsuits, keeps many people onshore.
Luckily, nine-year-old Will Ronquest-Ross is helping other kids catch their big break.
Ronquest-Ross comes from a family of passionate surfers, which is how he began
navigating the waves at the age of five. Wanting to share this phenomena with friends,
he went door-to-door in Hout Bay asking children to join.
That’s when he realised that even those living in close proximity to the beach were
unable to afford the magic of surf. So began his quest for equality. Ronquest-Ross
started a BackaBuddy campaign, which raised enough money for him to give others an
opportunity to learn.
Coached by the Cape Town School of Surfing, Ronquest-Ross practises with kids from
Imizamo Yethu. His proudest moment has been hearing his friends speak excitedly
about their first time riding a wave. By sharing what he loves, Ronquest-Ross is making
surfing an accessible sport for all.
Yazdaan Ally
Shoneez Ganie had a difficult pregnancy. Her son, Yazdaan Ally, was born prematurely
and doctors didn’t give him long to live. But Ally survived. At the age of six, he was
diagnosed with autism. Not understanding the neurobehavioral condition, his mother
struggled at first.After extensive research, she learnt how to stand alongside Ally as he
creatively conquers life.
Children with autism may experience a range of challenges. In Ally’s case, he battles
with writing, speaking, and muscle coordination. With his mother’s encouragement,
Ally uses art as a form of release and expression. Ally’s colourful pictures depict sunny
days, soccer games, and even include an impressive portrayal of Bigfoot.
These illustrations allow Ally’s mother to understand his world. Together with the right
knowledge and tools, she’s helping him excel. With faith, determination, and
unconditional love, they’re demonstrating that the idea of normal is only relative.
Nelisiwe Zuma.
Things were looking up for Nelisiwe Zuma. The Durbanite had just been offered a job in
California. Unable to contain her excitement, Zuma joined her friends to celebrate her
big break. But on her way home, their car flew off the road. Zuma woke up three weeks
after the crash in ICU. Her friend who’d been driving didn’t make it. The emotional and
physical trauma seemed insurmountable.
In the months that followed, Zuma had to undergo multiple surgeries, including a spinal
fusion and a skin graft on her stomach. She was also dependent on a colostomy bag. As
her body changed, Zuma became increasingly depressed. But in the process of
recuperating, she began to realise how incredible it was to have survived. Her scars
were a symbol of life, a reminder to cherish her body and her second chance.
Today, Zuma advocates for people to accept themselves, blemishes and all. She models
with her scars on show, an image of resilience. With her site, Madame Blogger, Zuma
offers an honest account of her experiences and creates a space for others to share
theirs. While she still has bad days, Zuma is embracing her path of healing. Along this
journey, she’s found a greater purpose.
Lookout Sibanda
Lookout Sibanda is a man of few words. Instead, he prefers to craft his expression
through art. Sibanda’s creative flair sparked in high school when his friends taught him
to paint. So when he couldn’t afford to study after matric, he chose to pursue his
passion by decorating ceramics with brushes of colour. But adding the final touches
wasn’t enough. Sibanda felt compelled to learn pottery from inception.
Working for established ceramists Elza van Dijk and Nicole Kingston exposed Sibanda
to their techniques. Even without formal classes, he learnt to produce pots, bowls, and
plates. Soon, Sibanda started promoting his wares at markets and exhibitions in Port
Elizabeth, building a reputation under the name Lookout Ceramics. Today, Sibanda
holds success in the palm of his hand. His signature work features abstract and
geometric patterns, with vivid colours inspired by the blankets his grandmother used to
make.
In 2018, knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo chose to mentor Sibanda as a result of his
talent. Despite his accomplishments, Sibanda is conscious of the challenging course it’s
taken for him to get here. That’s why he hopes to share his skills by tutoring potential
students.For this potter, passion is the tool to triumph.

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Help Up

11 November 2019 9:54 PM

Guest : Georgia Mctaggart

Georgia Mctaggart from the group Help Up held a clean up operation in
at the canal in Langa this weekend, they and volunteers were able to pick up 1,6 tons of
garbage from the canal in about 3 hours.The Help Up Community Initiative trains and
pays unemployed people to clean up their environment. To pay the helpers they raise
money on Back A Buddy , they also do weekly clean ups at the Black River in Mowbray &
pay the Help Up Avatars with the money raised by the crowd sourcing initiative.

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Paddy Upton- The Barefoot Coach

11 November 2019 9:31 PM

Guest : Paddy Upton

Joining us in studio is Paddy Upton, to talk to us about his book "The Barefoot Coach:
Life-changing Insights from Coaching the World's Best Cricketers"
Paddy joined Gary Kirsten in 2008 as part of the Indian Cricket Team & they went on to
win the ICC Cricket World Cup with the team in 2011 .
But way before that he worked with the Protea's as the cricket worlds first fitness
trainer ,he transitioned to mental coaching in professional sport, and in 2012 became
head coach of the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. Since then, he has
coached five teams in thirteen seasons across three of the world’s premier T20 leagues.
One of the topics we will be discussing with Paddy is how sport can affect the psyche of
a nation.

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Andrew Thompson, The Cost of Chopped Veggies

11 November 2019 9:02 PM

Guest : Andrew Thompson

Pre-chopped vegetables are predictably more expensive than whole ones but
sometimes the convenience can cost almost double & certain veggies that are harder to
chop up cost even more.
Andrew Thompson went out & did some research that he will be sharing with us
tonight. Did you know that in one well known shop a diced kilogram of sweet potatoes
costs R49.98 per kilogram compared to R19.99 per kilogram whole??

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