As 2013 winds down, City Press speaks to a few of our biggest stars as they reflect on the year and count their blessings Lerato Kganyago: The Link presenter Lerato Kganyago. Picture: FHM I am thankful for people who have supported me and my brand, and encouraged me to do better. The biggest break of my life was The Link. It has opened so many doors for me and I can see that 2014 will be even more hectic. I have been on the Always Platinum Always Platinum platform for five months and to represent it is a blessing because I am all about female power. I’m thankful for the MC gigs that came through this year, hosting amazing events and Come Duze Live on New Year’s Eve, and I’m grateful for the confidence SABC1 has in me. The not-so-good experiences have made me stronger. They test me and make me strong. I’m grateful for my health, especially after I had my op. Boity Thulo: TV presenter Boitumelo Thulo. Picture: Muntu Vilakazi /City Press The year 2013 has been filled with incredible and unexpected blessings. It has answered my prayers, and helped me find new love and friendships. I could not have asked for a brighter year. My biggest achievement was my first acting gig on Rockville. I’m starting a new journey alongside industry legends. Another was the honour of being a USN ambassador, joining the likes of rugby player Francois Hougaard and Olympic gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh. I was voted South Africa’s most loved celebrity of 2013, taking first place in the annual Heat Magazine Hot 100. I was the digital host of the 19th annual SA Music Awards (Samas). Big Brother Africa was another big achievement that grew my social-media following and my career. There are also a few other things, like being named South Africa’s sexiest woman by the Sowetan for the second consecutive year, being nominated for a You Spectacular award, being a presenter on SkyRoom Live, becoming an ambassador for Plum Shoes, an ambassador for my favourite work-out spot S.W.E.A.T 1000 and most definitely buying my first car. Khuli Chana: Hip-hop artist Khuli Chana. Picture: Thys Dullaart I can only give thanks to Modimo [God] for such an amazing year. It’s been a challenging year, but also very rewarding. Some of my highlights definitely include winning three Samas, my collaboration with The Parlotones, performing at the Delicious Festival and at Maftown Heights. I’m grateful for friends and family, and to be doing what I love doing best. As I look towards 2014, I’m looking forward to learning and growing more as a musician and a businessman. I’m also looking forward to creating more and writing more. Lira: Singer-songwriter Lira. Picture: Muntu Vilakazi/City Press I’m grateful for my family’s wellbeing, and for their love and unending support. I had an awesome start to the year. Instead of taking January off to rest, I was invited to perform be a part of at the opening of the CAF soccer tournament. Immediately after that performance, I left for Washington with my band to perform at the inaugural Ambassadors Ball in honour of Barack and Michelle Obama. It was held at Mount Vernon Square, along with the main ball. It was an honour to be a part of this historic event. It’s one of my career highlights and led to an interview on CNN and an interview on Voice of America. I celebrated 10 years of music by releasing my Rise Again album, which is a “Best of” compilation of songs from my albums released in the past decade. I recorded two DVDs to celebrate my first decade, an unplugged show at The Lyric theatre and my First Decade Concert, which attracted 6?600 fans. I wrote also made time to write my autobiography, Lira: Making HerStory – A Decade of Achievement, which shares the most intimate details of my life in my words. I am grateful for my fans, who love and support me in all that I do. David Tlale: Fashion designer David Tlale. Picture David Tlale The passing of Nelson Mandela, the man from Qunu who became a world icon, made me reflect on everything he had fought for. This gives me confidence that even though I may be from Vosloorus, I have the potential to be a world icon in fashion. My brand has been made in South Africa by South Africans, which makes me grateful to be a South African, a nation with possibilities, charting new ways and grateful to inspire new ways. I’m grateful for God’s grace and mercy upon my life – I wouldn’t be here without His mercy – and for everything that has happened in my life. Showcasing at the Nelson Mandela Bridge, the Mint, the unfinished highway in Cape Town, at Rovos Rail, they add up to say these things would not have happened if South Africa didn’t believe in me. I’m grateful for the team I have. I’m grateful for my mum, my family and all the challenges I face along the way. I see them as training moments to say that to be greater on earth you have to go through so much as I go on to build this brand. I’ve been in the fashion industry for 10 years and am grateful that, since 2003, I have gone from Vosloorus to Kelvin to New York. Things may not have looked up, but I kept the faith and am standing here today. I’m grateful for the KZN internship programme. They believed in my dream and imparted knowledge to two learners, two interns who will work with us from January 6. I’m grateful I can impart my knowledge to a new crop of designers. I’m still standing because of God’s hand in my life. In God I am, I stand, I will be.