10 Things South Africans Did Well In 2017
No matter our political, social or religious views – we all want some bragging rights about our home country.
You deserve a break from all that negativity – so without further ado, some good things South Africans have achieved in the year 2017…
South African gymnast sets Guinness World Record
If you haven’t heard, South Africa has been put on the map once more by 26-year-old gymnast Zama Mofokeng set a new Guinness World Record this year when he achieved the most consecutive one-handed backflips – 34 to be exact.
Mofokeng stated that he would like to inspire South African youths to achieve their dreams and hopes to create a training centre where they can learn gymnastic skills.
South African brands win at international branding awards
The World Branding Awards is an event many international brands look forward to each year – and receiving such coveted award is something all businesses and countries strive for.
This year’s awards, celebrated for the fourth time at Kensington Palace, honoured 245 brands from across the world. South Africa took top honours in the National Tier category with a total of seven awards for brands like Amarula, Bokomo Weet-Bix, DSTV and more.
Consumer votes account for 70% of the total vote count, with industry specialists determining the remaining 30% of each vote.
South African wins wildlife photographer of the year award
The Natural History Museum of London’s 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition invited participants from across the globe to submit their wildlife photos.
But it would be none other than South African, Brent Stirton, who walked away with the coveted award.
Stirton’s image titled “Memorial to a Species” was picked as winner from over 50 000 entries by participants from 92 countries.
The judges felt that the image was not only most memorable in all judging categories, but that it had sculptural power in communicating the devastation and plight of a species on the brink of extinction – the black rhino.
South African wins British army photography competition
South Africa walked away with another British photography prize this year.
Sergeant Jonathan van Zyl won the Professional Portrait and Best Overall Image awards in the Army Photographic Competition. His winning photography is dubbed “1000 miles” and is a black and white portrait of a soldier on exercise.
Van Zyl is a South African expat who left for the UK at the age of 19 on a work visa. Not knowing what to do with his life, he saw a sign which encouraged youths to join the army, and the rest is history.
Monash South Africa student wins Global Business Plan competition
Proving that South Africans aren’t just good at taking snapshots, Bronwyn Dugtig has won $25 000 in funding and mentorship in the McGuire Business Plan Competition for her team’s business plan.
The South African team competed against 25 other countries in the Laureate International Universities’ entrepreneurship competition. The global network is the largest of its kind comprising degree-granting higher education institutions with millions of students. The competition saw a total of 150 business plans submitted from 34 network institutions.
South Africa artist wins Spanish Asturias Art prize
Famed South African artist, William Kentridge, was another saffa to receive global accolades this year.
Kentridge was awarded one of the annual Princess of Asturias prizes. His artworks were described by the organisers as Africa’s most outstanding contribution to international contemporary art. He was lauded, in particular for his depictions of emotions and metaphors relavent to South African history and socio-political realities.
Kentridg’es $54 600 award is one of eight prizes awarded annually in different categories each year.
South African wine wins platinum at Decanter World Wine Awards 2017
With the drought in the Western Cape being an unfortunate reality, it’s great to know our sommeliers are still on top of their game.
In fact, Klein Constantia Estate from South Africa walked away with top honours at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2017. The wine farm won the platinum medal for their Vin de Constance 2013 wine. The wine is said to be a recreation of a famed wine of the 18th and 19th centuries. Vin de Constance 2013 scored 96 out of 100 points in the blind tasting. It was aged for three years in a barrel comprised of French Oak, Hungarian oak and French acacia before being blended and spending a further six months in tank before seeing the light in its final bottled form.
South African choir takes gold at 10th Orientale Concentus International Choral Festival in Singapore
South Africa’s Kearsney choir took gold in the Folklore category at the 10th Orientale Concentus International Choral Festival in Singapore this year.
Not only is Kearsney the second most decorated choir in the world, but they are the first choir to have earned a Grade 1 Gold in any category in 2017 with their 92,2 score at the festival.
South African conservationist wins world’s most coveted conservation award
There truly are few of us who can claim that our work is narrated by famed conservationist, Sir David Attenborough, and yet this is exactly what South African, Dr Ian Little can claim.
Little has been working tirelessly from his position within the Endangered Wildlife Trust, to secure a legally protected grassland habitat corridor across the Drakensberg escarpment to conserve natural resources.
His nomination was submitted among 169 applications across the globe to the Whitley Fund For Nature awards, which singled Little’s work out among the six finalists as and awarded him top conservation honours.
The award is deemed the “Green Oscars” of conservation and seen as the most prestigious honour a conservationist could see in their lifetime. In addition to £35‚000 in project funding, Little has been linked to influential donors and supporters from the UK to assist him in his conservation efforts.
South African chef wins best Lady Chef in the World award
And as if these international accolades weren’t enough, South Africa has also taken top spot at the 2017 Best Chef Awards in Warsaw, Poland.
Chantel Dartnall who is a chef at Restaurant Mosaic in Elandsfonteint, Pretoria was named the Best Lady Chef in the World this year. Dartnall took th 32nd spot overall among 100 chefs worldwide in addition to her top spot among the ladies. She’s also been nominated as one of the 18 Best Female Chefs in the World.
Go out and brag a bit!
So there you have it, some really good news about saffas across the globe to make our hearts proud. Go spread the news! Rand Rescue would like to congratulate all other South Africans who are making a difference, excelling in their fields and flying the flag across the globe. Let’s see even more of this in 2018!