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Beautiful News

Beautiful News

Guests : 

Tshepang Mahlatsi
Stigma thrives in silence. Though mental illness affects everyone, conversations about it
remain in the shadows. That’s why Tshepang Mahlatsi is telling his story. After
confrontations with the police during the #FeesMustFall protests, the student was
diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
In the process of recovery, he realised he wasn’t the only one struggling at university. By
sharing his experience, Mahlatsi is bringing mental health issues to light.
Mahlatsi founded Next Chapter, an organisation at the University of the Free State, to
destigmatise the dialogue on mental health.
Denzil Pillay
Fashion should enhance our self-esteem. Instead, Denzil Pillay’s confidence was shaken
by the lack of larger clothing sizes.
Pillay’s early experiences have influenced his direction as a designer today – one who is
committed to making garments for every body type. Adorned with rhinestones, feathers,
and tassels, his designs encourage people to show off who they are rather than shy
He forayed into fashion in 2014 when he started experimenting with makeup
application and clothing design. Pillay’s hidden talent has since come out to shine. His
creations are made for everyday people, catering to all genders and sizes.
Mike Schlebach
Mike Schlebach surfs in trash. When he takes to the swells, plastic bottles ride
alongside him. As a big wave surfer, Schlebach is determined to conserve his
Mike Schlebach surfs in trash. When he takes to the swells, plastic bottles ride
alongside him. As a big wave surfer, Schlebach is determined to conserve his
playground. Schlebach’s approach is to revolutionise not just ocean clean-ups, but
Together with designer Jasper Eales, Schlebach transforms used fabrics such as yacht
sails, PVC truck tarps, and display banners into stylish bags and laptop covers. .
Cleaning up the ocean isn’t effective if the trash just sits in a dump alongside other
items that don’t degrade. Schlebach and his team give waste a second life.
Lutendo Ramadwa
Letsie is fiercely proud to be a woman. The poet, known as Princess Lutendo, pens and
performs eloquent compositions as her ode to womanhood. But each verse of praise has
a deeper purpose.
Delving into issues such as HIV and gender-based violence, Letsie’s verses are laden
with empathy, consolation, and above all, understanding. Her words offer comfort to
bruised souls, pay respect to survivors, and acknowledge those who have fought
oppression. The poem ‘A Woman’ is dedicated to mothers, from street sweepers to
leaders in parliament.
Though Letsie hails from the city of Thohoyandou in Limpopo, she’s reaching out to
people across South Africa. She released her debut album in 2019, titled Poetic (Session
One), which combines music with her poetry.

More episodes from Tonight With Lester Podcast

Beautiful News

19 February 2020 10:00 PM

Guest : Karien de Waal | Founder at Join Bands, Not Gangs|

In the Cape Flats, rival gangs are experiencing unexpected harmony. While violence has
infiltrated many of the neighbourhoods, composer and music director Karien de Waal is
offering these communities an alternative.
JOIN BANDS, NOT GANGS is an initiative that empowers the youth to make music
instead of giving in to the violent call of gang affiliation. Music has the power to change

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Calvinia Community Chases Gangsters out of Town

19 February 2020 9:56 PM

Guest : Selvin Theys | founder and community leader at Operation Calvinia Clean-up |

As reported by News24, four members of the Terrible Joster gang has fled the Northern
Cape town of Calvinia, after the community made it clear that they are no longer
In photos and videos posted online on Facebook by community leader, Selvin Theys, the
community can be seen marching in an endless stream down the town’s dusty streets.
Theys and other leaders formed Operation Calvinia Clean-up’, an initiative which aims
to tackle crime and bring criminals to justice.

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#Im4theArts #ArtistsLivesMatter

19 February 2020 9:37 PM

Guest : Sibongile Mngoma | Founder of Facebook group at Im4theArts |

Late last month opera singer Sibongile Mngoma tweeted: I have been silent for a very
long time about the plight of the Arts and Artists in this country for a very long time.
Now I'm choosing to do something about it. I'm an Artist. A very good and passionate
Artist. What I have experienced in this country boggles the mind. Poverty is standard.
Theft of IP is business as usual. Funding from the DSAC is reserved for those who have
connections. When you open your mouth bazokuvala. Otherwise your reputation
becomes fair game.
This is the script for many artists in SA and now you're making a stand and start the
support group #Im4theArts - you're speaking out just as director Mmbatho Montsho did
earlier today when she tweeted an open letter at President Ramaphosa detailing some
of the issues that bothers artists.
The inequality that is still found in the entertainment world is one of the issues that
Mmabatho talked about. Mmabatho tackled issues such as the differences in budgets
between productions for black content and those of white content, such as MNet. She
also talked about inequality, how women are still sexually harassed and exploited. In
her letter, the actress said the opinions and problems of black storytellers are only
important to the government when elections come rolling in. She made sure that the
letter's content was backed by all her colleagues before sharing it on social media,
tagging the president.

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Hepatitis C treatment needs to be provided to people who use drugs. No more #stigma and #discrimination #INHSU2020 Africa

19 February 2020 9:04 PM

Guest : Shaun Shelly
             Dr Andrew Scheibe

This week the International Network on Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU 2020) is
currenty taking place in Cape Town with the aim of discussing and lobbying for policy
to eliminate Hepatis C and HIV im people who use drugs in Africa
But that’s not the focus of the interview I want to have tonight. I want to talk about
atient-centred approach that can be used to reduce the harms related to drug use.
Specifically when it comes to hepatitis c.

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Is the spekboom, really a climate saviour?

19 February 2020 8:34 PM

Guest : Elzanne Singels | Department of Archaeology PhD Candidate Department of
Archaeology, University of Cape Town at University of Cape Town |

Right now, the cute indigenous succulent plant, Spekboom (aka Portulacaria afra) is a
darling of the local and international media. It grows easily and is drought tolerant.
People are planting it all over the place because of its apparently unsurpassed ability
to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. “Accept the #spekboomchallenge:
plant a spekboom and do your part to fight climate change” is the chorus on social
It’s easy – just pick a cutting, put it in the ground, add some water and, hey presto, you
have a brand-new baby spekboom. Big planting plans are being made by city councils,
businesses, schools and NGOs.
The City of Cape Town wants to plant 100 000 spekboom, a wine farm in the Little Karoo
1 million and outside Stellenbosch a great spekboom labyrinth is being laid out in
fynbos country...

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Dark Tourism in Africa - tourists visiting sites of genocide

18 February 2020 9:55 PM

Guest : Lerato Mogoatlhe | Author |

This evening we want us to have a conversation about Dark Tourism, the concept of
visiting sites of genocide, disasters, slavery, assassinations and other places where there
was massive loss of life or terrible infringement on human rights has occurred.
But what is dark tourism? Is dark tourism ethical? How can you be a ‘good’ dark tourist?
But why do we flock to sites of tragedy?

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Apartheid was fundamentally evil — and FW de Klerk must face that fact - Father Michael Lapsley

18 February 2020 9:36 PM

Guest : Father Michael Lapsley | Director at Institute for Healing of Memories |

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Panel discussion: Comprehensive Sexuality Education panel

18 February 2020 9:01 PM

Guests : Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng | Commissioner for the Commission of Gender Equality|
               Tracy Engelbrecht | at Young Moms Support |
               Riaan Van Wyk | Sex Therapist

Comprehensive sexuality education

Online group #LeaveOurKidsAlone says it is waging a war against an ideology
sponsored by the United Nations and put in practice by the department of basic
education (DBE).
The group was established to oppose the implementation of comprehensive sexuality
education (CSE) and scripted lesson plans in schools, and claims to have more than 100
000 members.
The Facebook group last week planned pickets across the country against
comprehensive sexuality education. It said the protest is a shot across government’s
bow and that the group’s members are against what they call the “brainwashing” of

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Kogel's Baai beach glows bright blue - what is bioluminescence?

17 February 2020 9:47 PM

Guest : Krish Lewis

Residents in the Gordon’s Bay Area were treated to an unforgettable show as the beach
came alive with bright blue lights on Sunday, February 16, according to an article
published on Cape Town etc today.
Kogel Baai beach was filled with a subtle blue hue as the waves crashed in gorgeous
luminescent flashes and residents said the display was a treat to see.

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