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Tonight with Lester Kiewit
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#Beautiful News

#Beautiful News

Guests : 

Luke Koeries
Luke Koeries had a great legacy to live up to. His father was a policeman and
community leader in the crime-ridden area of Ocean View in the Cape Flats. Growing
up, the young boy couldn’t wait to follow in his father’s footsteps. But when his dad
passed on, nine-year-old Koeries was plunged into an emotional whirlwind. Instead of
succumbing to despair, he realised he could celebrate his father’s life. “I told myself I
need to stand up and make a positive difference,” Koeries says.
At the age of 17, while still in high school, he launched Kids Are Kids. With the NPO,
Koeries creates a safe environment for children in his hometown. Here, the fear of gang
violence keeps them indoors. Koeries disrupts this atmosphere by arranging outdoor
games, community events, and food drives. His projects are a light in the world these
kids are exposed to – and they’re encouraged by the teen’s energy. “It’s important they
have role models they can look up to,” Koeries says. More than a leader, Koeries is the
big brother who shows them a different way of life. “You can see a change in the kids,”
he says. “They just want to be involved.”
With his dad’s example before him, Koeries is motivated to continue making a
difference. “I want to inspire others the way my father inspired me,” he says. Today, the
19-year-old is renowned in the community for his initiative. By spurring on the dreams
of others, he’s realised his own. “Becoming a good role model to those who don’t have
one changed my life,” Koeries says. He’s proof that being a pillar of positivity can uplift
generations.
Khris Njokwana
Khris Njokwana whips and flips the soccer ball with the ease of a hacky sack. Fusing
lightning dexterity with intense agility, he sends the ball flying in the air before catching
it on his shoulder. Njokwana is a freestyle footballer – a profession that has taken
blood, sweat and tears. But hours of practice and copious bruises and cuts have led the
way to perfection. Today, Njokwana’s sleights of hand and foot are landing him in the
record books.
Njokwana is no newbie to soccer, having played since the age of six. Yet he frequently
got in trouble with coaches for his preference for tricks. “Truthfully, I never thought I
was good enough to be a pro footballer,” Njokwana says. But freestyling, which uses the
whole body to accomplish stunts, allowed him independence and self-expression.
Njokwana began performing at taxi ranks, earning money and harnessing his talent.
When esteemed player and coach Professor Ngubane came to Langa, Njokwana was
inspired to pursue a career in football. “I thought, if he can do it maybe I can do it,” he
says. Seeking the artistic side of soccer, Njokwana established himself as a competitor
on the freestyle circuit.
In 2018, Njokwana broke the Guinness World Record for controlling a soccer ball
dropped from the highest altitude. He successfully caught a ball released from a height
of 37.4 metres and kept it above the ground for five moves. From busking in Langa to
becoming a record-breaking freestyler, Njokwana shows that it’s not about winning
against others, but pursuing your own measure of success. “The only person I am in
competition with is myself,” Njokwana says. Why stick to the limits when you can
change the game?
.
Chante Herries
A massive transformation is taking place in Chante Herries’ salon – and not just for
those getting their hair done. Some of the stylists who work here have a background of
drug addiction, and the impact it’s had on their lives has been quietly devastating.
“What these women have gone through has taken away so much of their self-esteem,
their confidence, their self-love,” Herries says. But in between the roar of the blow dryer,
the chatter and laughs, change is in motion.
At Heavenly Hair Studio in Parkwood, Herries offers apprenticeships to women who’ve
been in rehab. The matter is close to her heart – both her parents and siblings suffered
from drug use. It strengthened Herries’ empathy for the women’s experiences, and
motivated her desire to do something about it. “I felt I had to help them,” she says. “We
needed to make a difference in our community and set an example.” By training these
women in hairdressing and beauty therapy, Herries empowers them and provides
valuable life skills.
The salon has become a safe space for women to break the cycle of drugs. “Since the
start of this programme, the change I have seen has been phenomenal,” Herries says.
The stylists have remained sober, regained their confidence, and developed a sense of
purpose. As a transgender woman, Herries knows that believing in yourself can be the
first step towards a happier life. “Being judged for who I am has made me the strong
female that I am today,” she says. Herries shows up at her hair salon determined to cut
out the scourge of drugs and brush away their damaging effects. She’s creating the kind
of beauty that goes beyond looks.
Faith Mamba
Music was the first sign of Faith Mamba’s bright future. She didn’t know much about
melodies – except that they provided her with the warmth she yearned for. After
Mamba’s mother passed on, her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. Foreseeing
the impending outcome, the matriarch placed the young girl in an orphanage. When her
grandmother died, Mamba was left to face life on her own. “It felt like my whole world
had gone quiet,” she says. Social workers and caregivers reached out by offering Mamba
a host of recreational activities. In sonorous sounds, she discovered profound comfort.
It was while attending a student concert at the Durban Music School that Mamba
noticed the saxophone. Her newfound interest drove her to enrol at the institution.
There, the shiny gold instrument fast became her favourite and enabled Mamba to
channel her emotions. “I wasn’t able to express what I was feeling all the time,” she says.
“Music really helped process everything.” During her adolescent years, she focused her
energy on rehearsing elegant compositions.
Mamba’s dedication has turned her life into a symphony. Today, the university student
has reached Grade 6 in Classical Music and remains loyal to the family that supported
her. “Everyone eventually finds somewhere they belong,” she says. “For me, it was the
Durban Music School.” Using her saxophone, Mamba is creating her own repository of
resilience against adversity. As long as she has an instrument in hand, she’s home.



More episodes from Tonight with Lester Podcast

Weekend markets

5 December 2019 9:38 PM

Guest : Heather van Harte

Joining us tonight is Heather van Harte who runs the One & Only Obs Night Market,
open from 4h30- 9h30 tomorrow evening.

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Hiking with Tim Lundy

5 December 2019 9:03 PM

Guest : Tim Lundy

Holiday walks

Tim's details:
FB: Cape Town Hiking with Tim Lundy
Twitter : @hikingcapetown
You Tube: Cape Town Hiking
Instagram : capetownhiking

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New approach to drug use

5 December 2019 8:41 PM

Guest : Tara Garady

Yesterday a drop in centre for people who inject drugs in the Cape Town CBD was
opened by NGO TB HIV Care as part of approach to reduce harm associated with
disordered drug use. People who inject drugs are at particular risk for blood-borne
infections such as HIV and hepatitis
B and C. The Step Up Project aims to reduce these risks by providing a
package of wellness services which includes sterile injecting equipment, opioid
substitution therapy, HIV testing and screening, and psychosocial services.

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Beautiful news

4 December 2019 10:04 PM

Guest : Barbara Kingsley

Who finds out they have HIV and then starts running ultra marathons? An accomplished
athlete, maybe. But Barbara Kingsley had never run before testing positive almost two
decades ago. Coming to terms with her diagnosis proved to be the motivation the
paralegal secretary needed to complete both the Comrades Marathon and the Two
Oceans Ultra Marathon.
Kingsley discovered she was HIV positive in 2000, a time when information was scarce
but stigma was rife. Despite thinking she would die soon after, she showed no sign of
illness for eight years. Her initial good health fuelled her denial and refusal of
medication.
But in 2008, her CD4 count plummeted to 86 and she had to be hospitalised. Barely able
to move, Kingsley finally began taking ARVs. Within two weeks, her strength grew and
she couldn’t wait to start doing the things she had previously taken for granted. Running
from one lamp pole to the next, she built up the strides until she reached the fivekilometre
mark. Then 10 kilometres. Then 15.
Since coming out of denial and working with her status, Kingsley’s physical and
emotional health has improved. Living openly as an HIV-positive person, she runs as
part of the Positive Heroes team to raise awareness. As the world acknowledges World
AIDS Day, Kingsley remains proof of the importance of getting tested, starting treatment
and realising your potential to live a full life.

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Is a hungry man an angry man?

4 December 2019 9:51 PM

Guest : Dr Kopano Matlwa Mabasos| Grow Great Executive Director

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Chad Esau

4 December 2019 9:33 PM

Guest : Chad Esau

Chad Esau, a 21 year old from Bellville South grew up with the rare skin disorder Vitiligo
and it really affected him, he was bullied during his school years & he struggled to come
to terms with his condition.
After school he studied to be a computer technician but during one of his late shifts at a
coffee shop an agent approached him & asked him if he wanted to be a model & that's
how his modelling career started.
He's now in the running to be MR SA 2020
To vote for Chad'Esau, SMS MRSA74 to 40439.

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Pro gun lobby responds to gun free campaign

4 December 2019 9:01 PM

Guest : Tim Flack 

Last night we spoke to Suleiman Henry from Sonke Gender Justice about their
campaign "Don’t Groom For Violence!" that encourages parents to not buy toy guns for
their kids, we were approached by Gun Owners South Africa's Tim Flack for a chance to
air their side of the story.

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Why did Simba have to die?

4 December 2019 8:37 PM

Guest : Linda Park| Director at Voice 4 Lions

Local conservation body CapeNature has confirmed that it euthanised the lion cub
which was rescued from a home in Athlone earlier this year.
'Simba' the lion cub made headlines back in August when he was found in the suburb on
the Cape Flats following a police operation.
At the time, it was reported that the cub had been taken to safety.
It has now emerged that the animal was euthanised the same day that it was handed
over to CapeNature in August.
CapeNature spokesperson, Loren Pavitt, says the organisation was faced with the
"hardest decision to make in conservation".

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Beautiful News

3 December 2019 9:59 PM

Guests : 

Rebecca Nyangaresi-Gatang’i
More and more people are trying to catch up with Rebecca Nyangaresi-Gatang’i. She’s a
fitness fanatic who often participates in triathlons, despite only learning to swim and
cycle a few years ago. In addition to these sporting events still being male-dominated,
there are also misconceptions about people of colour which can hold many back.
Nyangaresi-Gatang’i is leading the race to get more women involved in sport – and
smashing stereotypes along the way.
In 2016, she began Ketsh Up with her friend Bianca Reichelt. Based in Port Elizabeth, the
NPO encourages women from all walks of life to join them in taking up running,
swimming, and cycling. Offering beginners’ lessons, training sessions and coaching,
they’re giving future triathletes a head start.
Over 100 women have since joined the club, which has no membership fees. “We are an
inspired group who are determined to conquer our fears,” Nyangaresi-Gatang’i says.
Beginning a new activity can be scary. But together, these women are pushing their
limits and succeeding. “You’re a winner no matter what,” Nyangaresi-Gatang’i says.
Rika du Plessis
The Clanwilliam cedar is one of the few trees to have survived the Ice Age. Endemic to
South Africa, they’re the namesake of the beloved Cederberg mountain range. Standing
tall across the Karoo plains, the trees support an ecology known only to this region. But
today, there are only about 13 000 left in the wilderness, earning their place on the
IUCN Red List. Fortunately, their plight is being met by Rika du Plessis, a Cape Nature
Conservation Manager working to restore their population.
“The Clanwilliam cedar is part of our heritage,” Du Plessis says. But it faces many
threats. The hardy wood and bark make for appealing construction material, leading to
an uproar in deforestation. Their thriving nature is a catch 22 – the trees need fire to
ignite their growth, but recent outbreaks have burnt them to their core.
Global warming is hampering the natural fertilisation of spores that already take over
30 years to grow. With so many factors against them, Du Plessis is germinating as many
Clanwilliam cedars as she can.
Animals are not the only species that need to be protected. “Without any trees in the
world, there won’t be any life,” Du Plessis says. “We can never have enough voices to
promote and speak out for nature because nature can’t speak for itself.” There is still
hope for the Clanwilliam cedar, rooted in those ensuring the planet succeeds.
Tom Vilakazi
Skateboarding is beneficial for dogs – just ask Tom Vilakazi. His canine companion
often tries his paws at skating. The hound isn’t always successful, but he doesn’t need to
be as Vilakazi is the one using his board to make a difference. “I skate to save dogs,” he
says. By harnessing his passion for the sport, Vilakazi is creating a better life for the
animals in his community. This year, Vilakazi began UThando Lwenja, which means “for
the love of dogs”. He provides skateboarding lessons to kids in Sweetwaters, KwaZulu-
Natal and uses the profits to help animals in rural areas receive medical attention.
“Dogs are far more than
just protection,” Vilakazi says. “They have feelings too and they need to be loved.”
Having learnt to value them through Funda Nenja, he’s now passing on his knowledge
and experience to other youth.
“Improving the life of dogs makes me feel like I’m contributing to society,” Vilakazi says.
“I’ve realised that we are nothing without animals in this world.” With each trick on a
skateboard, happier days are guaranteed for these dogs.
Dudu Ramorwalo
If you contracted HIV, who would you turn to? Discovering your status is life-changing.
But disclosing it can make the situation more complex. Those who test positive still have
to brave stigma and some may even refuse treatment to avoid being victimised.
Dudu Ramorwalo initially responded to her diagnosis with disbelief. When she shared
the news with her family, their reassurance helped her adjust. But at her local clinic in
Johannesburg, Ramorwalo noted that other HIV-positive people had no support. “Most
people living with HIV were scared that they would be rejected,” she says. To ease their
fears and isolation, she founded the Asibambaneni Support Group in 2014.
Charlie Jacobs, a Mr Gay South Africa finalist, was also in denial until he realised the
pageant could be a chance to inspire others. “I started the Change the Stigma Project
after I saw the opportunity to show that ordinary people are actually living
extraordinary lives,” he says. One such person is Saidy Brown, who discovered she was
HIV-positive at the age of 14. She chose to share this in a tweet. “I could never have
imagined the reaction I have gotten simply by posting my status on Twitter,” she says.
“We live in a generation where people are more open to talking about these things.”
Activists such as Ramorwalo, Brown and Jacobs are changing perceptions about HIV
within the communities they’ve built. “Everyone deserves a chance in life to live without
being judged or discriminated,” Jacobs says.

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The Sub's Bench- the Ballon d'Or 2019

3 December 2019 9:53 PM

Guests : Sizwe Mbebe
              Akhona Mashaya

Lionel Messi claimed a record sixth Ballon d’Or award on Monday, beating Liverpool’s
leading nominees and Cristiano Ronaldo to lift soccer’s most prestigious individual
trophy.
The Argentine, who won the Liga title with Barcelona but only managed third place in
the Copa America with his country, added to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015
trophies.
He finished above Dutchman Virgil van Dijk and Portugal’s third-placed Ronaldo, who
has won the award five times.
Megan Rapinoe earlier won the women’s Ballon d’Or after leading the United States to
a record-extending fourth World Cup title in France this year as they retained the
trophy.
The 34-year-old midfielder, the standout player at the June-July tournament, succeeded
Norway’s Ada Hegerberg who did not take part in the World Cup.

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