Riaad Moosa remembers the final performance of his debut one-man show, Strictly Halaal, at the Nelson Mandela Theatre in Johannesburg in 2006. He was on top form that night, performing for an expressive crowd — the perfect setting for his first DVD recording. In that moment he remembers feeling as if he had achieved all he wanted to. And then it happened — with the timing and construction of a fatalistic farce he found out that the film crew had messed up and there was no recording of his “waiting to exhale” moment. (more…)
Alan Knott-Craig Jr says he’s living the dream. Wearing his preferred attire of slip-slops and T-shirt, engrossed in the running of his new e-business, and revelling in the lifestyle in his new hometown of Stellenbosch, it’s easy to believe him.
For a man who reckons he hardly made a decision for himself until he was 25, he made an awfully big one in late 2011. Surprised by the vastness of the struggling mobile communications company MXit (more…)
Shaka Sisulu is the perfect example of how much good you can do when you use your privilege for the benefit of society. In continuing the legacy of the great Sisulu family, 32-year-old Sisulu is an Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow, sits on the advisory council of the Public Sector Excellence Awards and the boards of both LoveLife and the Foundation for a Safer South Africa. Plus, he’s “The Big Cheese” — the incredible guy behind Cheesekids for Humanity. (more…)
Kelly Gillespie sees teaching young South Africans “to think critically” as both a pleasure and her political duty. It’s partly the reason she returned from the US, having completed a PhD in anthropology on scholarship to the University of Chicago. In her view, universities should be turning out “thoughtful, eloquent and critical citizens”, not churning out a production line of employable youth. (more…)
Xolani Lawo saves lives. Penguin lives. He takes them from the verge of death to the point where he can release them back into their natural habitat. Lawo wanted to be a policeman, but while training as a guide at the Seal Point Lighthouse in Cape St Francis, he got to play with the penguins at the rehabilitation facility next door. His affection for the birds was instant and he quickly landed a job there. As animal manager, Lawo is responsible for the daily management of all birds, staff and volunteers at the centre and is on 24-hour standby (more…)
Dr Praveena Maharaj doesn’t understand limits, especially time limits. In 2009, Maharaj completed her chiropractic degree at the Durban University of Technology in five-and-a-half years, instead of the usual seven. She broke another record working with 800 patients during her internship. Such extensive experience gave her the dexterity and confidence to start the Reservoir Hills Chiropractic Clinic at the age of 23. Where she finds the time to lecture and do community service in addition to running her own (more…)
“I really want your job,” said Janine Jellars to Khwezi Magwaza, then editor of Seventeen magazine, at a fashion event in 2009. So when Magwaza was planning to resign from her day job, guess who she called up? Jellars went from features writer at Fair Lady and Elle to editor of Seventeen in 2011 at the age of 27, five years ahead of her plan. After a BA in international relations at Stellenbosch University, her determination and hard work got her into the postgraduate journalism programme with a Media 24 scholarship (more…)
Stella Ndabeni is making her second appearance on these pages, having featured last year as an ordinary MP sitting on the oversight committee on communications. This time around, Ndabeni is making a bigger impact as a member of President Jacob Zuma’s executive. She was appointed deputy minister of communications in October 2011, a big comeback considering that she was expelled from the ANC Youth League in 2010 for supporting an opponent of Julius Malema. (more…)
James Mason recalls a boyhood fascination with building balsa-wood gliders. He’d throw them from the balcony at home in Durban, hoping they’d soar into the adjacent valley. Today his playing field is light years larger, but his ballistic curiosity is unchanged. Mason studied physics and applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town, followed by his honours at the associated national astrophysics and space science programme. (more…)
The first time Amanda Dlamini played football, she was just standing in to make up the numbers for some local boys. But she had good fun, so she joined a club and before the age of 20 she had debuted for the national side. Later this year “Toki”, as teammates know her, will captain Banyana Banyana for their Olympic debut in London.
Dlamini was a solid footballer when she began her studies at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in 2007, (more…)
The M&G has celebrated its sixth annual 200 Young South Africans event in Johannesburg. We discussed what it meant to be a young South African.