This was not an easy year. But not only did you make it this far – you overcame every hurdle and triumphed.
You ran marathons on crutches.
You raised a family on R640 a month, and not once did they lack anything.
You helped students rise from the ashes when fires destroyed all they had.
You set national athletics records after learning to walk again.
You went from gardener to paramedic, prisoner to barista, domestic worker to doctor.
You summitted Mount Kilimanjaro – in a wheelchair.
You earned Michelin stars, scored Grammy Awards, and made history at the Olympics.
You fought cancer while carrying twins.
You walked 6 000 kilometres to rescue orphaned children.
You wrote a success story with your feet when you didn’t have arms.
You found solutions in the unexpected – built a new start with sandcastles, tackled animal extinction with graffiti, raised college tuition from trash.
You raised your voice – and it was heard all the way in Wakanda.
You offered free surgery that saved lives.
You made it to Mount Everest with third-degree burns.
You opened your home to 5 000 children and never looked back.
You left the world spellbound with your magic.
You fought so every person in this nation could have their freedom.
You succeeded when they said you’d fail, lived when they said you’d die.
You never gave up.
Take it from Merlin Osborne, the dragon boater who beat cancer: “Remember you are a South African and you can do anything.” Every day, you make this country one worth celebrating. As long as we stand together, we’ll continue to do it again and again. Here’s to another year of your stories