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, 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
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 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
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.
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
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.