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Guest : Marilyn May

Marilyn May read the headlines – yet another infant abandoned. This is the fate of
thousands of babies every year in South Africa. In many cases, they’re born to mothers
who are in vulnerable positions themselves, and out of fear, shame, or confusion,
choose to leave their children. It’s a growing crisis that requires intervention on multiple
levels. The severity of the situation, coupled with the laborious foster and adoption
system, can leave anyone feeling helpless. But when May kept hearing about it in the
news, the registered nurse and doula yearned to help.
May became a trained safety mother – someone who has been screened by the
Department of Social Development to provide immediate temporary care for children
who’ve been found or rescued. She took in her first baby nine years ago.
In the past decade, she’s turned her home into a cosy haven filled with bassinets and
blankets, nurturing and attention. Dedicated carers work alongside May. Newborns
especially need a lot more than food and shelter. By having someone to hold their hand
and cradle them, they learn to bond and attach from an early age. Over 100 babies have
since gone to permanent homes through May’s organisation, Atlantic Hope.



More episodes from Beautiful news

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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Beautiful News

7 October 2019 10:04 PM

Guests :

Tebogo Mabye
Tebogo Mabye was dreaming of success, even while living on the streets. His
hometown, Hillbrow, is synonymous with poverty, crime, and constant police sirens –
but also a community who refuses to give up.Though he wasn’t ashamed of being raised
in shelters, Mabye wanted more out of life.
After finishing matric, Mabye interned at Mould Empower Serve, an NGO that assists
impoverished people. At work, Mabye developed a penchant for the caffeine culture
that fuelled his co-workers. Whether chatting with each other or engaging in meetings,
people in the office always had a cup of freshly-pressed java in hand. With the
heartbeat of Hillbrow pounding inside him, Mabye envisioned starting a café. Exactly
two years after announcing his goal, he opened the doors of Hillbrewed Coffee Co –
named in homage to the place that inspired him.
Grace
Grace, a Brown Swiss cow, was in tremendous pain. She was just shy of five months old
when she fell off the back of a truck. Immediately after, another stroke of bad luck hit
her – a car collision. Her injuries, which included a dislocated hip, were critical.
Fortunately, Grace received a second chance at life. In the process, she made history.
At the site of the accident, Grace was extremely vocal. It was obvious that she needed
medical help. Grace was transported to Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, where she
became the very first cow to receive a hip transplant. After surgery, Grace arrived at
Asher’s Farm Sanctuary with a new skip in her step, moo’ing profusely as if to thank her
helpers.
If the accident didn’t happen, it’s likely that Grace would have been auctioned. Her
breed of cow is the second largest used for dairy farming. Once they stop producing
milk, they’re sold to become meat at the young age of four, only a fifth of their average
lifespan. Cows never forget this suffering. Now, Grace can live a long and loving life
under the care of those who value her welfare. Animals are sentient beings. They
deserve our respect.
Jesse Breytenbach
Jesse Breytenbach had too many friends lose the battle against breast cancer. The
disease is unrelenting and information about it is scarce, making each attack a strike
from the shadows. When people are diagnosed, they don’t always understand what
warfare their body is about to face. So Breytenbach is shedding light on the fear and
myths with something stronger – laughter.
In collaboration with PinkDrive, an NGO that raises awareness to ensure early detection,
Breytenbach created Girl Talk. The weekly comic strip is a humorous weapon
addressing questions, interjecting stigmas, and spreading messages of hope. The
primary characters of the comic, Thuli and Jo, represent the everyday lives of South
Africans as they steer conversations towards breast cancer.
The intimations braided into the colourful illustrations encourage those who aren't ill to
attend regular check-ups, all while helping patients deal with their reality.
Chanene van As
Children are our future leaders, but are we doing enough to prepare them? The youth
have the right to schooling. They also deserve additional resources that will open doors
later on in life. Yet unlike bustling cities, many smaller areas only have access to the
basics of education. Jamestown, a settlement on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, used to
be one of them. Until Chanene van As saw an opportunity to do what she does best –
facilitate the growth of young minds.
Van As founded the Green Door Project, an after-school initiative to assist primary
school girls who are at risk academically. With 18 years of teaching experience under
her belt, Van As helps children discover and develop their talents. Between four and five
in the afternoon, they learn to use their time constructively by choosing from a range of
creative classes and participating in environmental exercises such as recycling and
gardening.
Tony Miyambo
How do you express your truth? Tony Miyambo uses theatre to channel authenticity.
Each of his globally-renowned shows displays the power of performance when it comes
from an honest place. But keeping intentions pure can be tricky in an industry where
acts are shaped to fit what society wants to see.
In the harmony of poetry and acting, he found his calling. His father’s encouragement
was the catalyst to Miyambo’s future as a performer. When he passed away, Miyambo
created The Cenotaph of Dan wa Moriri. The one-man act recreates his unabated grief
and pulls at the audience’s heartstrings. By writing, directing, and acting in his own
productions, Miyambo fully inhabits his characters. The stage becomes a foundation of
purpose and a space to work through issues of racism, suffering, and transformation.
Aaniyah Omardien
Talking about marine conservation isn’t enough. The shocking state of our beaches
demands immediate action. At coastal rock pools across the world, octopus, starfish,
and anemone compete for space with cooldrink bottles, sweet wrappers, and fishing
gut. These plastic items absorb harmful chemicals and pollutants. Over time, they break
down and are ingested by sea creatures, bringing toxins into the food chain. A crisis of
this magnitude warrants a collective movement. Aaniyah Omardien is gathering the
masses to clean up this mess.
In 2015, Omardien founded The Beach Co-op, a non-profit organisation committed to
keeping South Africa’s seas healthy and plastic-free. The all-female team meet with
volunteers every new moon to remove pollution from Surfer’s Corner on Muizenberg
Beach.
As an environmental scientist, Omardien also hosts events to track the ‘Dirty Dozen’, a
selection of marine refuse that repeatedly washes up. This includes items such as
earbuds, lighters, and lollipop sticks. Collecting and recording the debris allows
Omardien’s team to observe the levels of trash in the water. With data, they can
substantiate the urgency for a response.

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#BeautifulNews Winner

2 October 2019 10:03 PM

Guest : Ahneesh Valodia

Ahneesh Valodia’s love for Bollywood dancing lights up his eyes and ignites his soul. At
the age of eight, he began learning moves intrinsic to the genre by watching Bollywood
movies. As the vibrant colours saturated the screen, Valodia’s hands would mimic the
extravagant gestures. He dreamt of performing the Indian art form on stage for the rest
of his life. Then Valodia was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. The degenerative
muscular disorder confined him to a wheelchair, rendering him unable to perform.
But Valodia would not let go of his passion.
To keep it in his life, Valodia founded Taare, an academy located in Cape Town that
unites young people in the preservation and promotion of Bollywood dance. In addition
to creating this platform for budding performers, Valodia is also the artistic director and
choreographer of the troupe. With his knowledge of various Indian dance styles,
Valodia fuses these forms to create a unique experience that portrays its diversity.
Taare have performed their crafted shows at prestigious establishments such as the
Artscape Theatre Centre and Taj Hotel. They’ve also contributed to fundraisers for
cancer awareness and autism. In pursuing the life he’s always wanted, Valodia is
empowering others.

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Beautiful News

25 September 2019 10:04 PM

Guests :

Nazeema Jacobs
Nazeema Jacobs never imagined herself blossoming like this. After leading a life of
non-stop clubbing and drug addiction, everything took a turn for the worse. For five
years, she had nowhere to live but the streets of Cape Town. Her story isn’t an isolated
case. According to the Western Cape Government, there are close to 5 000 people who
are homeless in the city. Simply providing shelter and handouts isn’t working. So how do
we end the cycle of homelessness and addiction?
Three years ago, Jacobs joined Streetscapes, a gardening project that rehabilitates and
uplifts the homeless. Their urban garden grows vegetables to be sold to local
businesses and is tended by people who come off the street. The profits, along with
donations, go toward paying these budding gardeners. Working the land, gently
planting each seed, and watering the crops has given Jacobs a routine, responsibility,
and an income.
Andile Qongqo
Andile Qongqo writes notes to remember. When the artist’s fingers sweep across the
keys of a piano, a stillness descends. The smooth sounds of jazz are his forte, and in his
hands, the genre takes on an African resonance. That’s because Qongqo is narrating his
own profound tale.
Growing up in the dusty streets of Mangaung, there were no music programmes
available. As a result, Qongqo only began playing the piano at the age of 15. To hone his
talents, Qongqo practised in churches and amateur bands throughout his teenage
years. Today, he expresses the struggles, tears, and joys that he has witnessed and
experienced through music.
Last year, Qongqo released his debut album, Q Signature, which received multiple
nominations at the 2019 Mzantsi Jazz Awards.

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 away.
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. The models
that sashay in his work aren’t reed thin. Instead, their curves accentuate the finer details
of the designs, while the outfits ramp up the wearer’s confidence.

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