South Africans Shine On The International Scene

South Africans Shine On The International Scene

South Africans Shine On The International Scene

With so much to lament in SA, it’s tough to see a silver lining at times. As the country struggles to stay afloat and keep the lights on, it’s easy to overlook the things that are worth celebrating.

Rand Rescue takes a look at some South African people and organisations who have impressed the globe in the past few months.

Celebrating success

We’re taking a break from all the doom and gloom to focus on the things that still make us proud to be South African.

Dr Patricia Mathabe nominated for 2023 Women Changing the World award

South African women have flown the flag for us numerous times in academics and industry – so it’s no surprise that Dr Patricia Mathebe has been nominated as finalist in the Women in Agriculture category of the 2023 Women Changing the World Awards. The results will be announced at the awards ceremony in London this April.

My Better World wins Emmy Award

The South African program ‘My Better World’ recently won an International Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in the category of Kids: Factual & Entertainment. The Award was shared between Fundi Films – a platform specialising in telling stories that make a difference in the world – and MAAN Creative – a Johannesburg-based design and animation studio.

Thuso Mbedu wins at the Black Reel Awards

South Africa’s Thuso Mbedu was awarded as ‘Winner Outstanding Breakthrough Actress’ for her role in The Woman King at the 23rd Annual Black Reel Awards. The film was shot on location in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. Mbedu was also listed by the New York Times as one of the 10 best actors of the year in December 2022.

Leane Naude in the Top 3 at the Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards

With only 33% of researchers around the globe being women, Leane Naude has certainly not rested on her laurels. This 25-year-old student Mastering in Chemical Engineering was named no.3 in the world at the Blue Sky Young Researchers Innovation Awards programme in February.

The Black Mermaid nominated for World Ocean Awards

The Black Mermaid Foundation was founded by South Africa’s Zandile Ndhlovu in 2020 in an effort to share her passion for the ocean with her community. As the first black African freediving instructor in South Africa she’s also gained international recognition for her commitment to helping other black and African people to protect the oceans – starting with swimming lessons. Ndhlovu’s short film, The Black Mermaid, is featured on WaterBear and she was nominated for a World Ocean Award in the category ‘Public Awareness’.

Ndhlovu has been recognised in other fronts as well  – she was recently named in Conde Nast Traveler on the ‘Power List’ of women in travel alongside people like Eva Longoria, Lily Kwong and Padma Lakshmi.

JAN awarded Michel Star for 8th consecutive year

What more can we say about restaurant JAN in France that hasn’t already been said? We believe the proof is in the pudding! With their 8th consecutive Michelin star in a row, this South African culinary crew is surely making us proud.

Pretty Yende to perform at the King’s Coronation

The world has been looking forward to the grand event – King Charles’ Coronation – which will take place in May this year. Such event takes much prepping, planning and vetting – so South Africans were excited to year that South African opera singer Pretty Yende has been chosen to perform at the coronation later this year.

Trevor Noah takes the Dutch Erasmus Prize

Noah has received multiple awards over the years, but he can now claim to be only the second humourist to receive the Dutch Erasmus Prize since Charlie Chaplin in 1965. Noah was awarded for his ‘inspired contribution to the theme ‘In Praise of Folly’, which is the title of Erasmus’s most famous book.

Lethukthula Bhengu wins at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards

Not everyone can say that they received an international award at the age of three – unless their Lethukthula Bhengu. This SA toddler has wooed the world and walked away with the ‘Favourite African Kidfluencer’ award at the 2023 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Trevor Noah also grabbed an award for the Favourite African Star.

Nomcebo Zikode takes multiple honours

Not only did Nomcebo Zikode grab a Grammy for SA alongside Zakes Bantwini and Wouter Kellerman at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards for their song Bayethe, but she is honoured on other fronts as well. Zikode was recognised by Forbes Africa as one of Africa’s top entertainers at the 2023 Forbes Woman Africa Awards this year.

Other South African winners are Michaela Mycroft an ability activist, Prof Rabia Johnson, Senior Researcher at the South African Medical Research Council, Nonkulukelo Gobodo – CEO of AWAKENED Global,  as well as Gloria Serobe and Louisa Mojela – the first women-owned and led company listed on the JSE.

Aldrich Potgieter grabs the Boys Junior Invitational title in Graniteville

If there’s one area South Africans have always excelled at it’s definitely golfing. So it’s great to see the youngsters also making it big abroad. Mossel Bay native Aldrich Potgieter is one of those youths who recently walked away as winner at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club in Graniteville, South Carolina.

Brenda Scholtz chosen to mentor for the MIS Quarterly

Prof Brenda Scholtz – a lecturer in Computer Science at Nelson Mandela University – has been chosen as one of 44 mentors across the globe to participate in the MIS Quarterly Scholarly Development Programme in the USA. She is one of only two mentors chosen from Africa, and also one of only three panellists among the group to speak during the first contact session in February.   

South Africans shine at Portrait of Humanity awards

The Portrait of Humanity awards focused on the theme ‘Love has many shapes’ for their last awards theme and two South African photographers are included in among the 15 international prize-winners.

Tatenda Chidora from South Africa entered her photograph ‘Social Distance I’ from the series ‘If Covid Was a Colour’, while Bongani Tshabalala from Welkom entered his photograph ‘Montsho’ which means black.

Pitso Mosimane honoured as coach in Saudi-Arabia

South African football coach Pitso Mosimane is making waves in Saudi-Arabia. Under his leadership, Al Ahli has only seen two defeats since Mosimane joined as coach. Mosimane received the Top Coach of the Month award in March 2023.

SA wins at Skytrax World Airport Awards

Service delivery may not be South Africa’s forte, but we did manage to bag a few awards at the Skytrax World Airport Awards in the Netherlands earlier this month.

Among the winners are CAPE International Airport which received the Best Airport in Africa and Best Airport Staff in Africa awards. King Shaka International Airport was named the Best Regional Airport in Africa, while the InterContinental Hotel OR Tambo scooped the Best Airport Hotel in Africa awards respectively.

Standard Bank Wealth and Investment wins Best Private Bank Award 2023

Standard Bank was recently honoured as the World’s Best Private Bank at the Global Finance Awards earlier this year. The awards focus on institutions that not only deliver on the numbers, but also prove their dedication to customer care.

Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba nabs Anthem Award

Johannesburg-based radio star and podcaster Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba was honoured at the Anthem Awards in New York City for her podcast series ‘Don’t hold back’ in collaboration with Jacaranda FM, East Coast Radio and German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. The podcast is considered a first-of-its-kind and is used to broadcast discussions around contentious and taboo issues which impact young South Africans.

TLC marketing nabs international Frankie Award

The Annual Frankie Awards, named after the late founder, Frank True, celebrates marketing agencies who excel in their field. TLC Marketing South Africa was announced as the Agency of the Year at the 9th Annual Frankie Awards – taking the title for the 3rd year in a row. They have now taken more awards than any other agency in the world – with wins in 12 other categories over the 9 years.

Singhita to be Forbes Woman Africa’s youngest speaker at summit

She may be only 15 years old, but Singhita – a South African singer, songwriter and activist is making her mark on the world. She was  invited to speak at the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit 2023 – the youngest speaker at the event.

Love has no borders – the Guinness World Record proves

South African freediver Beth Neale and her beau, Miles Cloutier from Canada, recently broke the Guinness World Record for the longest underwater kiss in the Maldives on 4 February 2023 – proving that love transcends borders (and breath, apparently).

Richard Kohler kayaks to victory

South Africa’s Richard Kohler has made history by becoming the first person to cross the Southern Atlantic Ocean from Cape town to Brazil in a kayak. Kohler left Granger Bay in Cape Town on 19 December 2022 and arrived in Brazil two months later.

More good news?

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