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Tonight with Lester Kiewit
Beautiful news
Beautiful News

Beautiful News

28 August 2019 10:05 PM

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.
Michael Mazibuko
When Michael Mazibuko speaks, hearts shatter. The thespian’s voice penetrates the
soul of all who listen. Mazibuko’s intensity stems from his history. He was kicked out of
home in matric after defying his father’s wishes for him to leave school. Mazibuko spent
countless nights fighting the biting cold. As time passed, he began to understand how
life on the street renders people invisible. But this dreamer grasped on to his hope for a
career in the arts – and it paid off.
In 2016, Mazibuko joined Johannesburg Awakening Minds, a troupe founded by Dorothy
Ann Gould. The award-winning actress uses theatre to upskill, uplift, and channel the
voices of those who are homeless.
At the Hillbrow Theatre, they perform Shakespeare’s timeless scripts. The depth in the
Bard’s tales, particularly his tragedies, relates to their experiences and enables them to
express their emotions.
Mazibuko and the J.A.M group are now making waves on screen. They’ve been extras for
South African soapie, Generations, as well as other short films. With the income from
their work, the actors have been able to find homes. But their biggest gain is the
restoration of their dignity. Each performance has shown them how much their voices
Jenny Cullinan
Jenny Cullinan is allergic to bees – but that doesn’t stop her from advocating for them.
Across the world, the insects are bred in hives for their production of honey. Cullinan
believes they deserve a bigger buzz. The precious creatures are responsible for
pollinating crops, and their wild nests are integral to functioning ecosystems. But
globally, bee populations are on the decline. As a conservationist and avid sculptor,
Cullinan is protecting South Africa’s colonies and promoting their role in nature.
Cullinan is a member of Ujubee, a conservation initiative dedicated to the Cape
In South Africa, nearly 85 percent of colonies exist in the wild. Cullinan fearlessly treks
into fynbos to find them, confident of their gentle nature. Cullinan’s knowledge and
commitment extends to her art. Delicately carving larger-than-life sculptures, she uses
the medium to express a deeper message. “Having exhibited everywhere from Maputo
to Berlin, she’s highlighting the significance of bees around the globe.
Husnaa Adams from Beautiful News joins us for this regular feature

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