This week Coronation is using our airwaves to reflect on 25 years of South African highs - the individuals who changed history, the moments that stunned our nation.
Our recollection begins in the year Coronation started – 1993.
In that year the Nobel Peace Prize was shared by two former adversaries. Awarded jointly to Nelson
Mandela and FW de Klerk "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa", we got a sense of what a true reconciliation could be.
Fast forward just two years to another incredible moment for our young democracy - Francois Pienaar falls to his knees after the final whistle of the close-fought 1995 Rugby World Cup Final against New Zealand’s All Blacks… 100 000 supporters packed into Ellis Park spontaneously erupt into song – euphoric at the outcome over their dominant adversaries.
Thinking back on the game - the emotional release is probably best depicted by the iconic image of Captain Pienaar holding up the William Webb Ellis Trophy with President Nelson Mandela, himself dressed in a Springbok jersey.
“Looking back, 1995 became a story about us, new South Africa finding its identity through sport” Pienaar later told The Telegraph.
While South African born Elon Musk might have become a household name making headlines in the global space race, in 2002 it was a different story completely. Then wealthy individuals would pay for a seat on a rocket into space. That year entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth became the first citizen of an independent African country to travel to space. What made Shuttleworth’s trip special was how he ensured the achievement was shared by thousands back home. He streamed live from space to classrooms around the country – pushing a message about the importance of studying science. He also spoke to President Mandela from space and later posted a video of Madiba’s famous “shuffle”.
In 2004 a South African long distance runner catapulted himself onto the global stage. 10 000m record holder Hendrick Ramaala won the 2004 Mumbai Marathon and the New York City Marathon in the same year. No small feat! (The following year Ramaala came second, stumbling across the line seconds behind Kenyan Paul Tergat in one of the greatest marathon face-offs of all time.)
Interviewed by the New York Times years later in 2009, Ramaala had this to say about the FIFA World Cup due to take place a year later:
“The whole of South Africa is excited about the World Cup coming. Africa is excited about it coming to our continent for the first time. It’s going to put our country in the spotlight, and we are ready to put on a good show.”
A year later, we did put on a good show! On 11 June, Joburg roads were deserted as residents were glued to their TV’s to watch the epic 2 hour opening ceremony of the global football event. After months of preparation, finally the world’s greatest players were here! The show revealed the newly renovated Soccer City stadium, it also revealed adoring fans to popstars like Shakira while performing her Waka Waka anthem.
South African winger Siphiwe Tshabalala was the first player to score a goal in the competition, in their 1–1 draw against Mexico, the opening game of the tournament.
By 2010 South Africa had produced a number of highs on the global arts stage.
Back in 2005, the South African film "Drum", directed by Zola Maseko, became the first South African film to win the Golden Stallion of Yennenga at the pan-African Fespaco film festival in Burkina Faso. “Drum” follows a reporter in Johannesburg in the 1950s who clashes with the apartheid regime.
A year later, in March 2006, the South African film Tsotsi, starring young actors Presley Chweneyagae and Terry Pheto and directed by Gavin Woods, received the Oscar for the best foreign film at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
Another Hollywood coup would follow in 2015 when South African comedian Trevor Noah took over hosting the The Daily Show on Comedy Central, replacing long-time host Jon Stewart on one of the largest late-night talk shows in the United States – proving once again that South Africans have what it takes to dominate the world stage.
Through all the happenings of the past 25 years, the highs and lows, Coronation has never stopped working to earn South Africans’ trust and make your money work for you. See for yourself what your investment would be worth by visiting coronation.com