It has been a storied year for the country, and for Brand South Africa. It started with a new chair at the African Union and passed many milestones along the way: from the deaths of musicians to the growth of women in an entrepreneurial world, among others, all underscored by the celebration of the centenary of the birth of OR Tambo.Buhle Mthethwa started writing The Big Fat Naughty Cat when she was nine years old. (Image supplied)Brand South Africa reporterAs always, it has been an interesting year in South Africa, one of uplift and some hardship. It has been a year of new beginnings and renewals, as well as endings. It’s been a year in which we have celebrated female entrepreneurs, children have embraced the digital world and we have all rejoiced as South African films and actors have made an impression internationally.We look back at the some of the stories that shaped 2017.The year began with change, with Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat replacing South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the chairperson of the African Union. We also took time out to introduce South Africa to The Skyscrapers, a Cape Town trio of pre-teen musicians taking South Africa by storm with their catchy pop music.January ended with the sad news of the death of South African gospel star Lundi Tyamara. His life, filled with tragedy and struggle, inspired the fans of the prince of South African gospel.Lundi Tyamara was one of the biggest selling gospel artists in South Africa, selling over 3 million albums. Tyamara died, aged 38, on 27 January 2017. (Image: Gallo Music)In February, we celebrated female entrepreneurs changing the face of their sectors. Mosibudi Makgato and Rosemary Padi’s YaMama Ginger Beer is winning fans looking for a truly African take on an old favourite.Mosibudi Makgato and Rosemary Padi, founders of YaMama Gemmer, want to distribute their traditional ginger beer internationally. “Our product must be something that is on tourists’ list to get whenever they come to South Africa.” (Image: Melissa Javan)In the traditionally white and male mining sector, Daphne Mashile-Nkosi continued to break new ground for women.March was a month of news good and sad for South Africa. We crowned a new Miss SA, who went on to win the Miss Universe crown in November. Route 62, the drive from Cape Town to Oudtshoorn, was also named the best and most scenic roadtrip in the world by CNN Travel.Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is crowned Miss Universe in Las Vegas on 27 November 2017. (Image: Miss Universe website)It was also the month in which we said goodbye to two people who changed the world in their own inherent way. Early in the month, celebrated actor Joe Mafela was killed in a road accident, and the month ended with the death of former Rivonia trialist and anti-apartheid struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada.Freedom Day came in April, a time to reflect on how far we had come as a nation and to celebrate those who helped its birth. We celebrated the lesser known heroes of our liberation, as well as pioneering medical researcher, Dr Glenda Gray, showing the world our good story.The more things change the more they stay the same. In May, we visited two education initiatives that celebrate old and new South Africa. In Umlazi, eThekwini, NPO Codemakers began a project to help learners understand computer programme coding. May is also Africa Month, and we celebrated the first batch of North West University indigenous knowledge systems graduates. The dancers went on to win international acclaim later in the year, but in May we attended the ATKV Riel Dance Competition.The RooiRots Riel Dancers from Elizabethfontein.In June, we met some of the most inspiring people in the country. From a youthful neurosurgeon to an urban farmer and entrepreneur changing his community using the humble vegetable, spinach, as well as a grandmother showing young explorers the beauty of Africa, we discovered them.Entrepreneur Lufefe Nomjana (Image: Spinach King / Espinaca Innovations)However, whatever else was happening in June, the country came to a standstill for the Comrades Marathon.As did the rest of the world, the following month South Africans celebrated the legacy of Nelson Mandela by devoting 67 minutes of their day to give back in his name. This year, Brand South Africa joined the men’s national hockey team volunteering at the New Jerusalem Children’s Home in Johannesburg.Inxeba, also known as The Wound, had its African premiere at the 38th Durban International Film Festival in July. It opens in South African theatres in February 2017. (Image: YouTube)We celebrated the success of isiXhosa movie Inxeba, which movingly explores the conflict of traditional rites of manhood, when initiates “go to the mountain”, with awakening pride in gay identity. And we cheered the success of the women-led Social Coding programme, initiatives to teach girls about coding and inspire them to become innovators. In July, Unesco’s World Heritage Committee also took the decision to list ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape as a world heritage site.The ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape is inscribed as a world heritage site in July 2017. (Image: Francois Odendaal Productions, via Unesco)Sadly, legendary South African guitarist Ray Phiri died of cancer at the age of 70.Ray Phiri was best known for his work with the legendary South African band Stimela and his collaborations with US singer Paul Simon. The self-taught guitarist and singer died in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, on 12 July 2017, following a battle with lung cancer. (Image: Wikipedia)In August, Brand South Africa launched its new Play Your Part television series. Broadcast weekly on SABC2, it explores active citizenship in South Africa. Once more women led the way as entrepreneurs and educators. Pretoria honey maker and bee keeper Mokgadi Mabela brought honey to South African homes while delegates at the Top Women Conference made it clear that women needed to lead the digital economy.Of heroes, in KwaZulu-Natal they used a new global positioning app to bring medical services to townships and a new fictional superhero was born in Lagos.A panel from the forthcoming Blessing In Disguise Marvel comic book, featuring Ngozi, a Nigerian girl coming to grips with her new superpowers. The title was written by acclaimed science fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor. (Image: Marvel Comics)Global South Africans did the country proud through September. Comedian Trevor Noah won an entertainment Emmy for his work on The Daily Show and singer Toya Delazy became the voice of the fourth Powerpuff Girl. Town planner Mthobisi Masinga was invited to present his innovative research on rural land development at the International Society for City and Regional Planners’ Annual Congress in Portland, while chef Nompumelelo Mqwebu’s new cookbook, Through The Eyes of an African Chef, proved successful at the Frankfurt Book Fair.Dr Meneses-Turino at work saving lives in Nepal. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Also in September, world-renowned South African humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers quietly celebrated its 25th anniversary.In this, the centenary of the birth of Oliver Reginald Tambo, South Africa feted the statesman by unveiling a statue in his honour at OR Tambo International Airport. We also remembered the stirring oratory he brought to the liberation struggle.To honour the memory of late ANC president Oliver Tambo, a statue is unveiled at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on 19 October 2017, which was declared the Year of OR Tambo by the national government. (Image: Tambo Foundation, Twitter)Brand South Africa was also recognised internationally through its nomination for a 2017 City Nation Place Awards in the Best Expression of Place Identity through Design category. With great stories to tell, such as commemorating Lucky Dube or acknowledging Ponte Tower’s place in architectural history, was it really that much of a surprise?Lucky Dube was one of South Africa’s best known and most successful musicians. He died on 18 October 2007. (Image: Gallo Music South Africa)The agency celebrates the power of South Africans busy changing their world in big and small ways. In November, we lionised Nisha Varghese, an East London woman with cerebal palsy who works to help children born with clubfoot, and chef Chantel Dartnall, the best female chef in the world for 2017 and the only South African listed in the world’s top 100 chefs.Nisha Varghese has an online campaign to raise money for at least 50 children who are born with clubfoot to get treatment. Varghese with her mother, Anne, and Play Your Part ambassador Catherine Constantinides (right). (Images supplied)November was also set aside to celebrate entrepreneurs through the South African Premier Business Awards and the Top 20 Small Business and Entrepreneurship Awards.We saved the most heartwarming story for last: in December, we spoke to Buhle Mthethwa, a 10-year-old girl on a mission to instil a culture of reading in her peers, one book at a time, starting with her own, The Big Fat Naughty Cat.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
India coach Gary Kirsten on Sunday paid rich tribute to Sachin Tendulkar for scoring a historic 50th Test ton in Centurion, describing him as professor of batting.Terming Tendulkar’s feat of scoring a half century of centuries as incredible, Kirsten credited his unmatched success to his sound technique, ability to play almost all the shots in the book and diligent preparedness.”It is an incredible feat. It must be a special one and he deserves it. He has the techniques to play almost all the shots in the book. He is the professor of batting,” Kirsten said, praising Tendulkar on becoming the first cricketer to score 50 Test tons here.”The key to his success is his approach to the game, his humility to learn and try to do better all the time. He diligently prepares for every match. For him, a Test match begins two days earlier, preparing for it. I am privileged to have associated with him for the last three years,” Kirsten said.”His success at the top level under the huge expectations in India is remarkable. It is quite different in India than other countries and the adulation he got there is amazing. At any time, Tendulkar will be surrounded by 300 people,” he said.Kirsten said despite the seniormost player in the team, Tendulkar was the one who spends most time at the nets and faces maximum number of balls.”He wants to face the maximum number of balls at the nets. You will not see him play a loose shot at the nets. He is focused all the time, he wants to do better all the time,” said Kirsten.advertisement”He has been phenomenal this year. I think he is playing better than ever. He is enjoying his cricket at present,” he said.The former South African opening batsman said despite his personal achievements, Tendulkar was a perfect team-man who wants to do his best for the team’s cause.”He is a perfect team-man and he always gives his best every time he goes out to a cricket field. He has been a huge motivational factor in the side in the past three years I have been associated with the team,” Kirsten said.About India staring defeat in the Test, Kirsten admitted South Africa are in a strong position.”We have a lot to work tomorrow. South Africa are in a strong position. But let us see what happens tomorrow. May be there is help from rain also,” he said.”But, the players have done well in the second innings.They have shown we can also play on equal terms. The strong batting display in the second innings will boost the confidence of the players in the series,” he added.- With PTI inputs
A victory to start a tournament is always welcome, and if it comes against a higher-ranked opponent, the confidence will only be high. India began their title defence of Nehru Cup with a 2-1 win over Syria and the hosts would be looking to continue the good run against Maldives on Saturday.A familiar foe for the hosts and former SAFF champions, Maldives, too, began their campaign on a bright note, beating Nepal 2-1 in their opener at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday.India, however, will hold the edge as they were impressive against the Syrians. Captain Sunil Chhetri has already put up his name on the goal scorers list and the midfield generals looked in good touch.Clifford Miranda, Lenny Rodrigues and Francis Fenandes fed Chhetri well with precise passes and pierced the Syrian defence line time and again.The newly propounded possession football was on display and the players tried hard to string along six-seven short passes, until rain forced them to tweak their style and rely on aerial shots.However, defence remains a concern for the defending champions.Raju Gaikewad will have to raise his level on the right. His under-performance against Syria put more load on the other three Gouramangi Singh, Nirmal Chhetri and Syed Rahim Nabi.With talented striker like Ali Ashfaq on the rivals ranks, the defenders need to tighten up.Against Nepal, the Maldives captain had tormented the defenders with his ability to single-handedly create openings in the front.Two rookies Abdulla Asadhulla and Umair Mohamed impressed on the flanks, and Koeverman’s need to keep a plan ready for the trio. Like India, Maldives also need to shore up its defence. The central defence manned by Abdul Ghani Akram and Mohamed Sifan had some jittery moments against Nepal.Maldives coach Istvan Urbanyi did not want to read too much into Indias win against Syria.Its impossible to comment on India at the moment. Rain played a major role in Indias match against Syria. I just cant draw any comparison between this Indian side and former ones,” he said.In their last meeting at the SAFF Championships here in December, last year, India had defeated Maldives 3-1 but even that record isnt giving Koevermans an absolute confidence.”We got three yellow cards in the first match and that remains a matter of concern. Maldives has some quality players who can create a difference,” he said.Ashfaq has already caught Koevermans attention, but the Indian coach was tight-lipped about whether he was going to mark the striker. He also refrained to comment on any change in India’s starting line-up.He might draw solace from the fact that the Maldives coach is concerned about his teams fitness.”Most of my players have just come after observing a month of Ramadan. Also we had little practice before coming here,” he said.But I am happy with the way the youngsters have played in the first match.advertisement
Kolkata: Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from various districts soon after the counting of votes started and the BJP put up a fairly good result on Thursday.Trinamool Congress and BJP activists blamed each others for triggering the violence. In some places the BJP accused Trinamool Congress workers of hurling bombs while some TMC activists alleged BJP for capturing their party office. Clashes broke out in various parts of Ranaghat Lok Sabha constituency after election results started pouring in. A BJP worker in the Bagula area identified as Kanu Biswas received serious injuries. He was taken to Krishnanagar hospital. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataTwo persons were injured when the miscreants hurled bombs at ward number 3 in Cooch Behar’s Tufangunj. It was learnt that bombs were hurled during a clash that broke out in the region on Thursday afternoon as the election results kept coming in. The local police administration is yet to confirm who were involved behind hurling of bombs. Tension broke out between at Ayush gram of East Burdwan. A party office of Trinamool Congress was ransacked allegedly by the BJP workers. The party office was later set on fire. The local Trinamool Congress leaders alleged that the BJP workers led the attack. After being informed the police reached the spot and brought the situation under control. They dispersed the mob. A probe has been initiated in this regard. A clash took place outside a counting station under Burdwan-Durgapur constituency. A chaos broke out as the supporters of both the rival parties engaged in heated altercation. A scuffle broke out turning the situation more volatile. The police personnel deployed in the area soon brought the situation under control. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateTension also ran high outside a counting station in Howrah’s Shibpur. A scuffle broke out between the BJP and TMC supporters. The police had to lathi-charge to control the situation. A huge contingent of police rushed to the spot to check a further escalation. Some BJP workers were allegedly beaten up by TMC men when the former somehow came in the way of TMC activists who were smearing each other’s faces with colours. A BJP activist had received injuries in his head. Some others were reportedly injured during the incident.
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee Saturday offered to quit as chief minister of West Bengal following her party’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls but the TMC rejected it. Addressing her first press conference after the election results were declared, she accused the BJP of polarising the people on religious lines to garner votes in West Bengal. “At TMC’s internal meeting, I offered to leave the chief minister’s post. However, the offer was rejected by the party and I may continue,” Banerjee said. She also raised suspicion over BJP’s stellar poll performance. “This huge victory is not beyond suspicion. It is quite astonishing how opposition is completely wiped out in several states. There has been some setting and foreign powers are also involved,” she claimed. The TMC chief also said that an emergency-like situation was created in the state by the BJP to win the elections.