FEEL GOOD | From Siya to Zozibini - South Africans who gave us something to smile about in 2019

2019-12-31 06:00
Zozibini Tunzi, the Springboks and Nkosikho Mbele make up a few of the Feel Good highlights of 2019. (Images via AFP)

Zozibini Tunzi, the Springboks and Nkosikho Mbele make up a few of the Feel Good highlights of 2019. (Images via AFP)

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Of the many issues that have gripped South Africa in 2019 - rising unemployment, a pitiful economy and a high rate of violence against women and children - there have been moments, thanks to the collective and individual brilliance and kindness of people, that have brought smiles to our faces.

Some may say the moments pale in comparison to our day-to-day struggles, but as a people, we haven't allowed the moments to pass without giving them their full recognition.

News24 picks some of those moments:

Zozibini Tunzi capped off a wonderful year for South Africa when she replaced her Miss South Africa crown with that of Miss Universe on December 8 - becoming the third South African to take the coveted title.

Just hours before winning, the local star shared a positive message, thanking her parents for raising her to become the confident and grounded woman she is. 

She wrote to them in an Instagram caption: "I am because you are. You have given me life, you've raised me to be the woman I am, so that I can stand in a faraway land proudly knowing I'm rooted and where I'm from."

A month or so before her breathtaking win in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA, Springbok Captain Siya Kolisi hoisted the William Webb Ellis Cup into the Yokohama sky on November 2, signalling the Springboks' third Rugby World Cup win in as many finals (1995 and 2007).

And, another chapter was written in the Kolisi story that evening. He became the first black captain to lift the cup. He did so, playing in his 50th game for the Springboks.

READ | Siya Kolisi's mentor on what it takes to nurture a future Bok captain

In February, the Soweto Gospel Choir took home the Grammy award for the Best World Music Album for their collection of songs, Freedom.

Freedom was recorded in June 2018 as part of the group's tribute to the 100 Years of Mandela celebrations. It features a selection of South African struggle songs, including their scintillating version of Johnny Clegg's poignant 'Asimbonanga'.

The Ndlovu Youth Choir - established in Moutse Valley in rural Limpopo in January 2009 - captured the imagination of millions during their incredible run on America's Got Talent.

After losing in the final, it was confirmed that the group had been offered a deal with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Entertainment which is a global joint venture together with Sony Music Entertainment Africa.

They released their debut album, titled Africa, under the label in November of 2019 and achieved critical acclaim.

Ndlovu Youth Choir

Ndlovu Youth Choir (Getty Images)

The year also saw the South African women's football team, Banyana Banyana, play in their first ever FIFA Women's World Cup in France this year.

As a result, the team and coach Desiree Ellis have been nominated for the CAF Women's Team of the Year and the Women's Coach of the Year award.

The team also won the Cosafa Cup in August - making it a hat-trick.

READ MORE | Banyana captain pens heartfelt letter after World Cup exit

See this? Bet you do because in going against WWE John Cena's famous tagline 'You can't see me', Sho Madjozi definitely got to see the wrestler, who surprised her as she performed her hit song, 'John Cena' on the Kelly Clarkson show, which first came into our consciousness when the Limpopo born artist performed on the YouTube COLORS page, which spotlights new artists from around the world.

In June, Sho Madjozi received a BET Award for Best New International Act at the BET Awards.

But ordinary South Africans have also given us goosebumps and feel-good moments throughout the year.

Cape Town petrol attendant Nkosikho Mbele won over the hearts of locals after helping a customer who forgot her bank card at home. His goodwill? Lending her R100 - enough for her to get to get to her destination and back to repay him.

ALSO READ | Petrol attendant lauded for lending woman R100 for petrol

"I was just doing what anyone else would have done, from the heart and God's will. I believe there is no black and white, I wish to bring peace and to bring people together," Mbele later told News24.

A BackaBuddy campaign was started for Mbele, which has to date, raised more than R500 000, eclipsing the initial R100 000 target.

Another heartwarming story is that of Sibongiseni Nkosi, who helped motorist Vic Campher push his broken down car, and is now proudly earning his keep as a petrol attendant after his act of kindness landed him a job.

Nkosi, who lived on the streets for more than three years, said he was grateful that he no longer had to deal with the hardships of being homeless.

feel good

As a recovering drug addict, Nkosi told News24 that he wanted to build a new life for himself by going back to school. (Chante Schatz).

"It was tough. In winter, if I left my blanket somewhere, when I got back, someone would've already taken it from me."

"I'm just happy that I am getting my complexion back again because the sun is so bad when you are in the streets," he told News24 in an interview.

And, given that the current mood of the country is all things festive, a wedding seems to be the best way to end 2019 and usher in 2020, thanks to South Africa's favourite couple - Nonhlanhla Soldaat and Hector Mkansi - aka the KFC couple, who set December 31 as the day they will tie the knot for the second time.

The couple took social media by storm after Mkansi, 37, was captured on video proposing to Soldaat, 38.It later emerged that the couple was already married after it turned out Mkansi had taken the rings for a cleaning when he was captured "proposing".

The video elicited an outpouring of positivity, with social media users seemingly taken with the woman's overwhelmed reaction, and the man's broad, joyous smile.


Have you got a Feel Good story to tell? We want to hear it! Mail us your story at feelgood@news24.com and one of our journalists could be giving you a call. If you'd just like to read about the good South Africans are doing daily, head over to our Feel Good section!

Compiled by Kamva Somdyala


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