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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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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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Beautiful News

25 November 2019 10:04 PM

Guests : 

Othembele Dyantyi
What are you doing for the earth in this time of crisis? Our planet is facing an
environmental emergency which authorities are doing little to halt. Many of these
disasters, such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels, are the result of
processes generated by major corporations. They’re issues that can be dealt with. Yet
the situation gets worse every day. Eleven-year-old Othembele Dyantyi is raising her
voice to encourage a union of action against this unprecedented climate injustice.
Dyantyi is part of Extinction Rebellion, a global socio-political movement to drive
government action to prevent the planet’s breakdown. At the forefront of the South
African resistance, Dyantyi and her army of youth activists are spreading awareness
about the causes and severity of the climate crisis. Together, they’re calling for the
protection of endangered ecological systems and challenging the government to invest
in renewable energy.
Julie Kynaston
Julie Kynaston’s children didn’t grow in her belly. She calls herself a ‘heart mama’ – a
reference to where her love for them burgeoned. When Kynaston and her husband,
Ryan, decided to start a family, they were determined to adopt. But during the process,
they encountered a distinct lack of information online. It didn’t deter Kynaston from
making the fulfilling choice. Now, she’s using her words to close the gaps and help
other South Africans.
With Heart Mama Blog, Kynaston speaks openly about the joys and difficulties of having
an adoptive family and being a parent. Here, people can share their stories of what it’s
like to adopt, or to have been adopted. Adoption, especially multi-racial adoption,
comes with a slew of challenges. Her site includes useful resources for those interested
in adopting within South Africa. As Kynaston creates a safe space to educate, she’s
changing perceptions.
For many children, adoption can be rooted in trauma or loss. Her own family is
testament to the love that comes with adoption. With her kids Ilan, Kira and Judah, they
show there’s no one way of being a family.
Moerieda Joubert
Moerieda Joubert’s mother understood the importance of connecting with people. And
what better way to do that than by sharing a meal? Even though she had Parkinson’s,
she would prepare food for the local old-age home out of her own pocket. After her
passing, Joubert has proved the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Imprinted with a sense of goodwill, Joubert founded Statice Square Senior in Cape Town
to build a community from companionship and love. For the past 15 years, she’s been
providing scrumptious five-course meals and organising entertainment for the elderly.
A pensioner herself, Joubert uses her limited funds to continue her mother’s legacy.
Going beyond her means, Joubert is nourishing people with kindness and creating
priceless opportunities to break bread with others.
Patrick Seruwu
Streaks of colour drip down the canvas as the image of a woman begins to take shape.
Patrick Seruwu alternates between slathers and dabs of acrylic paint. Despite the
delicate details, his portraits are emotionally-charged and rooted in a heavy reality.
Representative of women who’ve been abused and fear speaking out, the artworks
convey their trauma.
Before the Ugandan-born, Johannesburg-based contemporary artist began painting, he
used to braid women’s hair for a living. This, combined with his upbringing alongside
three sisters and a single mother, influenced Seruwu thematically. To fairly depict their
experiences, he bases his paintings on conversations where women dictate their own
stories. One of the questions Seruwu often asks, “Are you safe at home?” reveals an
unfortunate reality – many women aren’t.
His multimedia works serve as a powerful statement. Though he’s only been painting
for two years, Seruwu’s pieces have exhibited at the Turbine Art Fair and the ABSA
Gallery in Johannesburg. With his art, he’s furthering the conversation on gender-based
violence, reminding people of women’s struggles, and celebrating their resilience.
Fanie Viljoen
Your body is yours. Yet a 2016 Optimus Study reveals that a third of adolescents in
South Africa have been sexually abused at some point in their lives. This is an extreme
violation, the effects of which can last a lifetime. In an attempt to prevent this
exploitation, Fanie Viljoen has written a book that’s educating children and adults in the
face of violence.
In 2019, Viljoen published The Day the Dragon Came, a children’s story about sexual
abuse in the home committed by a ‘dragon’. He has written different versions of the
book for boys and girls, which include illustrations by Tumi K. Steyn. Viljoen explains in
simple to understand, child-friendly ways the difference between safe and unsafe touch,
and what to do if you’re being harmed.
The books also contain information for parents, guardians, and teachers on how to
recognise abuse and take appropriate measures. “Some things are uncomfortable to
speak about but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be addressed,” Viljoen says. Teaching
children about consent can protect them from dragons that come their way, even in
adulthood. But it’s listening to kids and taking action that ends the cycle of abuse.

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Beautiful News

13 November 2019 9:50 PM

Guest : 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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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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6 November 2019 10:04 PM

Guest : Krish Lewis

Did you know there are large, unexplained swarms of jellyfish along South Africa’s
coastlines? Most beachgoers know little about these sea creatures other than their
ability to sting. Their misunderstood nature makes it difficult to appreciate and protect
them. The rich diversity of jellies swimming around remain largely unacknowledged
and unstudied. Krish Lewis, known as the “jelly guy”, is on a mission to discover more.
The marine biologist works at the Two Oceans Aquarium, where the jellyfish exhibit is
his focus. Lewis cares for a range of species, including the rare pink meanie jellyfish,
named for its colouring and love for eating other jellyfish. But his favourite is the
Benguela compass jelly, which is endemic to South Africa. Since 1997, scientists have
been trying to grow the species through all life stages in labs. Lewis became the first to
close the life cycle – a huge feat in cnidology.
Since 2012, he has been growing jellyfish from polyps – a stalk that develops from
fertilised eggs, then attaches to coastal reefs and pops off baby jellies. Lewis notes that
the most rewarding part of his job is watching them change physically. South Africa is
home to 20 species of ‘true’ jellyfish, which make up 10% of the global total. Many of
these remain misclassified. “In order to conserve and understand them, we need to find
out what we have,” Lewis says.
By studying these life forms, we can ensure a balanced ecosystem. The bubble-like
organisms support a large diversity of underwater fauna and flora, which we’re
extremely lucky to have. Dedicated aquarists such as Lewis are revealing their value
and uncovering the mysteries of jellyfish.

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4 November 2019 10:03 PM

Guests :
Omphile Mabitsela
Can paper animals solve unemployment? Omphile Mabitsela believes so. After seeing
people living on the street, the seven-year-old resolved to start his own business, create
jobs, and combat poverty. Not when he’s older. Now. Mabitsela is set on his goal, and is
already building a stationery empire from the ground up.
The budding mogul trades in handmade bookmarks, which he calls quirk quirks. Using
an array of craft materials, Mabitsela fashions the bookmarks from origami animals
ranging from birds to pigs, as well as emojis and television characters. He sells them for
R10 each, along with other stationery through his company Quirk Quirk Inc.
So far, Mabitsela has sold over a thousand quirk quirks, and even recruited two friends
to help with the growing demand.
Mabitsela plans to expand his initiative in the future, designing an assortment of
products and partnering with courier companies. Committed to his dream, the
precocious entrepreneur shows what it means to pursue a venture for the greater good.
It takes creativity to tackle South Africa’s problems. And this boy means business.
Namgamso Xaso
Music is a divine element. For something that can’t be touched or seen, it can have a
powerful impact. When 14-year-old Namgamso Xaso ignited her talent as a
saxophonist, she began sharing her gift in an unusual way.
Venturing to animal shelters, Xaso plays smooth melodies while homeless dogs sway in
tune.Many rescues in shelters don’t find forever homes immediately. Music holds the
ability to transcend despair in any form and bring comfort to them.
As a member of the Kronendal Music Academy, Xaso also plays for an orchestra and
jazz band. When she’s not practising or performing, she delivers her magic to other
sentient beings. It’s not always about what you have to give, but how you use your gifts
to light up a life.
Macy-Rose Heuff
At the age of eight, this violinist is certain music will take her far. Heuff’s growing talent
is already charming audiences. With the instrument in hand, she has the courage to
pursue her dreams.
Heuff knew she wanted to play the string instrument the moment she saw a
performance on America’s Got Talent. Five years old at the time, she begged for lessons.
Despite her initial reluctance, Heuff’s mother gave in. And it’s paid off. Since then, Heuff
has proven her flair for music, having won gold at eisteddfods and performed in
national concerts.
Though Heuff practises with unfailing discipline, she still wishes she had more time to
play her heart out. Heuff hopes to make it onto global stages one day. In the meantime,
she offers impromptu performances during breaks at her school, The Wykeham
Collegiate. As Heuff shares her musical knowledge, other pupils sing along to her tunes.
Bow to string, she’s creating a crescendo of happiness.
Krish Lewis
Did you know there are large, unexplained swarms of jellyfish along South Africa’s
coastlines? Most beachgoers know little about these sea creatures other than their
ability to sting. Their misunderstood nature makes it difficult to appreciate and protect
them. The rich diversity of jellies swimming around remain largely unacknowledged
and unstudied. Krish Lewis, known as the “jelly guy”, is on a mission to discover more.
The marine biologist works at the Two Oceans Aquarium, where the jellyfish exhibit is
his focus. Lewis cares for a range of species, including the rare pink meanie jellyfish,
named for its colouring and love for eating other jellyfish. But his favourite is the
Benguela compass jelly, which is endemic to South Africa. Since 1997, scientists have
been trying to grow the species through all life stages in labs. Lewis became the first to
close the life cycle – a huge feat in cnidology.
Since 2012, he has been growing jellyfish from polyps – a stalk that develops from
fertilised eggs, then attaches to coastal reefs and pops off baby jellies. Lewis notes that
the most rewarding part of his job is watching them change physically. South Africa is
home to 20 species of ‘true’ jellyfish, which make up 10% of the global total. Many of
these remain misclassified.
By studying these life forms, we can ensure a balanced ecosystem. The bubble-like
organisms support a large diversity of underwater fauna and flora, which we’re
extremely lucky to have. Dedicated aquarists such as Lewis are revealing their value
and uncovering the mysteries of jellyfish.
Brittany Smith
When Brittany Smith learnt she was having twins, her excitement soon turned to worry.
Having been teased in school, Smith struggled with poor body image and low selfesteem
her whole life. But when she reached the third trimester of her pregnancy, her
mindset shifted. She gave birth to healthy girls and is now encouraging mothers to
embrace themselves as they are.
Pregnancy and childbirth are no small feats. To honour the strength it takes, Smith
teamed up with Durban-based photographer Michigan Behn to create a series of
intimate images. Women are captured showing off their bodies, complete with loose
skin and stretch marks. While magazines and social media place pressure on women to
lose weight straight after giving birth, these photos transcend the shame surrounding
postpartum bodies and champion authenticity. As she celebrates individuality, she’s
paying tribute to the wonder of motherhood.
The series has empowered Smith and freed her of the burden to appear an unrealistic
way. She hopes these photos will also show her daughters, who are now a year old, the
meaning of self-love when they’re older.Omphile Mabitsela
Can paper animals solve unemployment? Omphile Mabitsela believes so. After seeing
people living on the street, the seven-year-old resolved to start his own business, create
jobs, and combat poverty. Not when he’s older. Now. Mabitsela is set on his goal, and is
already building a stationery empire from the ground up.
The budding mogul trades in handmade bookmarks, which he calls quirk quirks. Using
an array of craft materials, Mabitsela fashions the bookmarks from origami animals
ranging from birds to pigs, as well as emojis and television characters. He sells them for
R10 each, along with other stationery through his company Quirk Quirk Inc.
So far, Mabitsela has sold over a thousand quirk quirks, and even recruited two friends
to help with the growing demand.
Mabitsela plans to expand his initiative in the future, designing an assortment of
products and partnering with courier companies. Committed to his dream, the
precocious entrepreneur shows what it means to pursue a venture for the greater good.
It takes creativity to tackle South Africa’s problems. And this boy means business.
Namgamso Xaso
Music is a divine element. For something that can’t be touched or seen, it can have a
powerful impact. When 14-year-old Namgamso Xaso ignited her talent as a
saxophonist, she began sharing her gift in an unusual way.
Venturing to animal shelters, Xaso plays smooth melodies while homeless dogs sway in
tune.Many rescues in shelters don’t find forever homes immediately. Music holds the
ability to transcend despair in any form and bring comfort to them.
As a member of the Kronendal Music Academy, Xaso also plays for an orchestra and
jazz band. When she’s not practising or performing, she delivers her magic to other
sentient beings. It’s not always about what you have to give, but how you use your gifts
to light up a life.
Macy-Rose Heuff
At the age of eight, this violinist is certain music will take her far. Heuff’s growing talent
is already charming audiences. With the instrument in hand, she has the courage to
pursue her dreams.
Heuff knew she wanted to play the string instrument the moment she saw a
performance on America’s Got Talent. Five years old at the time, she begged for lessons.
Despite her initial reluctance, Heuff’s mother gave in. And it’s paid off. Since then, Heuff
has proven her flair for music, having won gold at eisteddfods and performed in
national concerts.
Though Heuff practises with unfailing discipline, she still wishes she had more time to
play her heart out. Heuff hopes to make it onto global stages one day. In the meantime,
she offers impromptu performances during breaks at her school, The Wykeham
Collegiate. As Heuff shares her musical knowledge, other pupils sing along to her tunes.
Bow to string, she’s creating a crescendo of happiness.
Krish Lewis
Did you know there are large, unexplained swarms of jellyfish along South Africa’s
coastlines? Most beachgoers know little about these sea creatures other than their
ability to sting. Their misunderstood nature makes it difficult to appreciate and protect
them. The rich diversity of jellies swimming around remain largely unacknowledged
and unstudied. Krish Lewis, known as the “jelly guy”, is on a mission to discover more.
The marine biologist works at the Two Oceans Aquarium, where the jellyfish exhibit is
his focus. Lewis cares for a range of species, including the rare pink meanie jellyfish,
named for its colouring and love for eating other jellyfish. But his favourite is the
Benguela compass jelly, which is endemic to South Africa. Since 1997, scientists have
been trying to grow the species through all life stages in labs. Lewis became the first to
close the life cycle – a huge feat in cnidology.
Since 2012, he has been growing jellyfish from polyps – a stalk that develops from
fertilised eggs, then attaches to coastal reefs and pops off baby jellies. Lewis notes that
the most rewarding part of his job is watching them change physically. South Africa is
home to 20 species of ‘true’ jellyfish, which make up 10% of the global total. Many of
these remain misclassified.
By studying these life forms, we can ensure a balanced ecosystem. The bubble-like
organisms support a large diversity of underwater fauna and flora, which we’re
extremely lucky to have. Dedicated aquarists such as Lewis are revealing their value
and uncovering the mysteries of jellyfish.
Brittany Smith
When Brittany Smith learnt she was having twins, her excitement soon turned to worry.
Having been teased in school, Smith struggled with poor body image and low selfesteem
her whole life. But when she reached the third trimester of her pregnancy, her
mindset shifted. She gave birth to healthy girls and is now encouraging mothers to
embrace themselves as they are.
Pregnancy and childbirth are no small feats. To honour the strength it takes, Smith
teamed up with Durban-based photographer Michigan Behn to create a series of
intimate images. Women are captured showing off their bodies, complete with loose
skin and stretch marks. While magazines and social media place pressure on women to
lose weight straight after giving birth, these photos transcend the shame surrounding
postpartum bodies and champion authenticity. As she celebrates individuality, she’s
paying tribute to the wonder of motherhood.
The series has empowered Smith and freed her of the burden to appear an unrealistic
way. She hopes these photos will also show her daughters, who are now a year old, the
meaning of self-love when they’re older.

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BeautifulNews

28 October 2019 9:57 PM

Guests : Orefile Malebo
Menstrual cycles are natural – period. But sanitary products, though necessary, are
expensive. When people can’t afford pads or tampons, they use dangerous and
unhygienic substitutes. Orefile Malebo is addressing this issue by teaching people how
to make their own cheap, reusable pads.
Through social media, Malebo posts videos demonstrating how to sew sustainable and
hygienic sanitary pads from common household items such as cotton face cloths and
plastic bags. The tutorials aid women in becoming more self-sufficient and keeping
their dignity intact.
Because the pads are reusable, they help people who don’t have access to waste
management resources, as well as the environment, by eliminating the use of products
that take up to 500 years to decompose.
Malebo’s videos are part of the Sis Paddy project, an educational initiative which she’s
been running since 2016. It’s created a sanctuary where people can speak freely about
periods and abolish the embarrassment caused by warped perspectives of bodily
functions.
Enhle Gebashe
Are you watching your life go by without achieving your goals? Enhle Gebashe isn’t
going to be one of those people. At 11 years old, she’s already designing her own
clothing – and taking South Africa’s fashion scene by storm. Gebashe’s label brings her
fantasies of dressing like an African princess to life. When it comes to her ambition,
nothing is going to get in this couturier’s way.
The young visionary was already picking out clothing at the age of two and soon began
sketching outfit ideas. Noticing Gebashe’s penchant for fashion, her mother, Desiree,
encouraged her by stitching the designs. When she shared these creations on social
media as Enhle Babes Couture, it garnered thousands of followers within a day. Today,
Gebashe kits out girls from four to 12 in bespoke couture. Inspired by Nigerian fashion,
her ensembles range from skirts and summer dresses to glamorous gowns and
accessories.
Lerato Mogoatlhe
She’s met Beyoncé on the job. And yet the glamour of being an entertainment journalist
no longer resonated with Lerato Mogoatlhe’s soul. She craved far off-lands, ancient
architecture, and a deeper understanding of Africa. Beyond the stereotypes of poverty,
danger and corruption, Mogoatlhe desired an authentic experience. So in 2008, the
writer resigned and booked a flight to Senegal with no accommodation or concrete
plans. Mogoatlhe set off to traverse countries and connect with the continent.
Mogoatlhe moved out of hotels – and her comfort zone – to immerse herself among
locals. Between losing her passport and running out of cash, she picked up native
languages, befriended strangers, and watched the beauty of Africa blossom before her.
In the deserts of Sudan, people left clay jars of water outside their homes for strangers
to quench their thirst. At a taxi rank in Ghana, drivers pooled their money to contribute
to Mogoatlhe’s transport fees. She marvelled at the kindness, honour, and community
spirit that prevailed in every one of the 27 countries she lived in.
Joel Matladi
When last did you see a black woman in a comic strip? Was it an accurate
representation? Joel Matladi, who goes by the name Cyzo in the digital arts industry, is
set on delineating of African narratives in mainstream media. His project, Black Snow, is
a series of illustrations that’s shifting inaccurate perspectives of African women.
Sparked by his father’s passion for doodling, Matladi taught himself the art of digital
painting and animation. His current project is influenced by anime, comics, and gaming.
Drawing inspiration from African visual identity and heritage, Matladi’s futuristic
chronicle pays homage to the strength of African women and conjures feelings of selfassurance
and pride. Each character is entirely unique, detailed specifically to
symbolise a myriad expressive tools and identities.
Matladi’s high-concept digital art showcases the diversity of his skills and of the people
he depicts. In 2017, he was selected to be a part of the Design Indaba Emerging
Creatives Programme, where he exhibited to an international audience. Since then,
Matladi has continued to subvert previously exhausted African stories told from a
Western perspective and offer a fresh take on representation.

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Beautiful News

16 October 2019 9:57 PM

Guest : Riyaad Avontuur

Riyaad Avontuur has been clean for 390 days and counting. But it’s been a long journey
to get here. When he got involved with the wrong crowd and started using drugs, life
became increasingly difficult. Avontuur spent 10 years in and out of rehabs and missed
out on being there for his family. Recovery isn’t instant. This time, Avontuur needed to
fill the days of sobriety with positive intent. He took up running alongside his daughter –
an activity that’s given both Avontuur and his community in Bonteheuwel a head start to
success.
Every time Avontuur and his daughter ventured out for a sprint, children would
approach them: "Uncle, can we come run with you?" he recalls them asking. Avontuur
realised the kids needed to occupy themselves and keep away from negative
influences. “There's so much more in my community beyond drugs and crime,” he says.
By approaching principals in nearby schools, Avontuur gathered learners who were
interested in athletics and eager to have someone coach them. Earlier this year, he
began the Bonteheuwel Central Athletic Club with just two members. It’s now grown to
over 60 children chasing their purpose.
Running the club has guided Avontuur away from his old vices, and towards a position
of leadership. His past has shown him how easy it is to veer off track. But it’s also taught
him it’s possible to move on, no matter where you come from. “I finally feel that I can
contribute something,” he says. Avontuur is turning each step of his recovery into great
strides, both for himself and the kids of Bonteheuwel.

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Beautiful News

14 October 2019 10:01 PM

Guests : Joy Cronje 
              Judy Strickland
              Joshua Swarts

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