Innovation, potential, and hope. Your year in Beautiful News

 
 
 

2017 has been a roller-coaster year for South Africa. Devastating fires, disastrous floods, economic instability, and distrust in the government punctuated the last 12 months. But it’s also been a time of innovation, astounding talent and hope. The potential for positivity abounds. In the face of adversity, South Africans and those who call this place home have found a way to create positive change.

When cruelty, environmental decline and human encroachment threatened our wildlife, locals came together to preserve the country’s diverse animal populations. Stories ranged from Nasreen Peer, the scientist who discovered a new species of crab, to Hunter Mitchell, the 11-year-old who dedicated his life to rhinos and Jenni Trethowan, the conservationist who gave everything for baboons. As fires, floods and droughts ravaged the country, South Africans rose to the challenge, finding innovative solutions to climate change. Imtiaz Sooliman brought relief to victims of the Knysna fires, Jill Farrant is developing drought-resistant crops, and Pfarelo Ramugondo is ensuring clean water is available in her village. In the wake of the #MeToo campaign and increasing reports of gender abuse and inequality, women like Nadiyaa Moosajee, Laura Windvogel and Kay Faith continued to create safer spaces for women to thrive.

While the South African education system remains in crisis, people were motivated to rise against failure by Jerry Mbowane, the teacher who taught for more than 20 years under a tree, Doctor Tebello Nyokong, the humble shepherd who grew up to become an award-winning scientist and Musawenkosi Saurombe, the youngest female PHD graduate in Africa. As another year dawns, the youth of this country can be counted on to defy negative perceptions and rise to make a better place for all South Africans. There is potential yet to be discovered. Initiative yet to be acknowledged. And talent yet to shine. It’s in every person who commits to the spirit of ubuntu. South Africans have taken on the last year with strength, courage and conviction. Here’s to another one.