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View all of the latest news articles from Awesome SA and South Africa.

This next week the new Absolutely Awesome South Africa will be available in book stores countrywide. The book promised to be as popular and as much fun as the original Awesome South Africa. To appreciate our long road to freedom this Heritage Day we have included a poem which appears in the book.

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“No government, surely, has an untrammelled right to waste money, yet there’s hope for South Africa – it’s called ‘citizen power’”

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We all have our fears and the fear of personal injury must rank right up there for most of us – certainly for me. The greatest fear for me is to be confronted by my two paramount fears at the same time: the fear of personal injury and the fear of injury to my loved ones. My greatest fear is not the possible injury as such, it is the fear of having to choose between these two fears. If it should ever happen, will I fear more for my own life or will I fear more for the lives of my loved ones?

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Today many South Africans are feeling despair and have little hope about the future of South Africa. Guy, sent me an email called How Long Will South Africa Survive? - I felt the need to share the body of his letter with you. With warmth and hope – Di Smith

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Awesome SA is very excited to announce that we have been granted SED status. Why is this a big deal? It means that we are able to assist both businesses and social initiatives, the easy and socially responsible way! With the new B-BBEE laws coming into effect from May this year, many businesses are looking for social initiatives to which they can donate their Socio-Economic Development spend. Social initiatives are looking for support to continue addressing the social needs of our country. Awesome SA connects the two.

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We're excited to announce that Awesome SA has partnered with Ripple, a recently launched South African crowdfunding & crowdsourcing platform. Ripple and Awesome SA both believe in the power of the collective to drive positive change. All of us can positively affect our country’s future by collectively building the country we dream about.

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While some people are spreading the bad news of what's going down in South Africa, others are taking brooms and spades and doing what they can to be the difference.

Initiated by Christine Rose Williams, who lives in Dunoon Township in Cape Town, the community living in this culdesac in Section 31 got together on Sunday night, 19 April, to work as a team and clean their home. This is what happened...

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The Wellness Centre is our latest Change Maker on Together SA. They assist homeless and destitute people reintegrate into society, with amazing results. Here’s the inspiring story of Reggie, a previously homeless man.

"My name is Reggie, I’m 31 years of age, and originally from Empangeni. I have one child, 6 years now. I’ve been living in Durban since 1998..."

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On the 12th of February, President Jacob Zuma will present the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) to the country. During his speech, he will talk about government’s achievements of the past year and present the programme for the coming year.

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South Africans are a resilient people. Our history shows that out of tragic events and trials we find a way to unite and move forward together. Together SA is a free open platform which aims to unite South Africans behind that which is good and inspire hope to all the people of this amazing country. To this end we ran our first campaign on Together SA to support Thuli Madonsela and her team in the Public Protectors Office.

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The books by Awesome SA Publishers continue to delight people, both South Africans and people abroad. If you're looking for something special which has a positive message and will bring a smile to the reader, then anyone of our three books makes a wonderful last minute gift, especially if they come in our presentation gift boxes.

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Thuli Madonsela, is a South African advocate and the nation's public protector who helped draft the country's constitution in 1994. This courageous woman has stood firm as she fulfils her mandate to strengthen constitutional democracy and promote good governance. Her work ethic and dedication to truth has created increasing public awareness, not only awareness of who she is but also of the crucial role she plays in our democracy.

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The movement Together SA has created a social media platform and initiated an Online March to stand alongside the Public Protector and her team. The campaign is called #WeThePeople – Support our Public Protector where individual South Africans can voice their support for Madonsela by pledging a tweet or Facebook message. The Online March will culminate on 18 November where social media will be flooded with messages of support for the Public Protector.

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When Siyabulela Xuza was a young boy, he almost set his mother’s kitchen on fire while experimenting with homemade rocket fuel. Siyabulela was born in the Eastern Cape. His home town is Mthatha.

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Click, click, click for Mandela Day. That’s all you need to do to play your part in Mandela Day. Pretty easy, right?

Awesome SA is making everyday a Mandela Day by supporting people who are changing our world for the better. Many people intend getting involved and doing something for Mandela Day but just do not have the time or are not sure about how they can get involved. Organisations under the umbrella of Awesome SA are not only doing their 67 min bit on Mandela Day but are working all year round in creating positive social change in our country.

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Growing up in a community rife with drugs, violence and gangs is a common environment for many South African youth. For Ashwin Du Plooy, 18, he saw in this despair the possibility to serve, inspire his peers and care for the elderly. Ashwin is the personification of a servant leader. Today he shares what he has learnt in his short life journey.

"I have lived in Bonteheuwel all my life, my extended family dominated my home street and we lived very close together. Sunday lunch at my grandmother's place was a tradition and life was good." Ashwin comes from a strong Christian background, "my daddy and many of my uncles are pastors and very involved with the church, this was a big inspiration for me to see my family so actively involved in the community."

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Family structures define our personalities and our values. To many of us we think of families in the western world context. The mother and father who live in a house until the kids reach adulthood then they move out.

Our African forefathers had a very different idea – and we can learn a lot from them.

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In South Africa we have 11 official languages. Over the years we have developed our own South African way of speaking and have words which are unique to South Africa.

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The South African Book Fair takes place in Cape Town this weekend daily on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Derryn and Regina will be launching their new book titled Living in South Africa.

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After the tremendous success of Awesome South Africa and You’re Awesome, we are very excited to be launching the next book titled Living in South Africa.

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Inspiration Works is a project run by Awesome SA to highlight and publicise South Africa's good news stories.

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South Africans have gees and are not afraid to do things the South African way. Have a look at one of the awesome SA Neknominations that are sweeping our country.

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A pointless dare turned into a thoughtful act of kindness. It makes your heart brim with love for braais, bunnychows, vuvuzelas, Mrs Ball’s Chutney and all things South African, to know that it all changed because of a fellow countryman, Brent Lindeque.

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IT IS UP TO THE PEOPLE...

Tributes to Tata Madiba are pouring in from around the world.

We were so privileged to have had Nelson Mandela lead our country over our transmission to democracy.

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Njabulo Mdluli grew up in the KZN midlands, with very little chance of receiving a tertiary education. He came into contact with one of South Africa's Change Makers, Judy Stuart who runs the Future Farmers Foundation - an organisation which helps young farmers achieve their dreams. After completing the training programme he was given the opportunity to complete an internship at the prestigious Congressional Golf Course in Washington DC, USA.

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South Africans are a resilient people. Our history shows that out of tragic events and trials we find a way to unite and move forward together.

A recent tragedy has shown the strength of South Africans. People from all over South Africa are pulling together in support of all those involved in the horrific accident on Fields Hill in Pinetown - the victims, their loved ones and the truck driver, Sanele May.

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The Robin Hood Foundations inaugural Entrepreneurs 4 Africa Conference ran from 25-27 June at the Greek Hellenic Hall and was a huge success. Over three hundred previously disadvantaged start-up entrepreneurs and unemployed youth were trained, inspired and mentored by top class speakers, trainers, and experienced business owners.

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'The gap between the rich and the poor in South Africa is remarkable. We are the least equitable country in the whole world. This is a recipe for major strife and upheaval.'

These were the words of Dr Mo Ibrahim, the Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, during his keynote address at this year's Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture recently where he spoke about 'Building Social Cohesion' and called for all South Africans to work towards a united, cohesive, democratic and national society.

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Justin Foxton in his article writes: The journey to a country free of racism is one we must embark on intentionally - no matter our age - if we are to live free of the symptoms of this crippling disease:

The door to a non-racist South Africa is for each of us to to get to know people of colour that are different than our own. There are many South African's who do not see others by the colour of their skin - they recognise people for who they are as people. Let those of us who are working towards a non-racist society and building a better future for South Africa by being active citizens, join together on the free platform Together SA - Building Our Future, developed by South Africans for South Africans.

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If you want a good future or are taking action to build a better South Africa, then Together SA - Building Our Future has been developed for you. Thousands of us are building South Africa through our choices in reaching out to others. The Together SA website is for Change Makers. You are a Change Maker if you are an active citizen working with people on the ground to bring about positive change in your home, your community and the environment.

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The Foundation has identified a systemic challenge to economic and social transformation in Southern Africa. A large portion of the Southern African population lives in poverty whilst there are well functioning businesses, universities and civil organisations in the same context. A major contributor to this systemic challenge is the historical lack of human capital investment.

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Batandwa Alperstein was born in Cape Town but grew up in a village called Cala in rural Transkei, where he was raised singlehandedly by his mother, a health worker for the local community. Batandwa recalls a happy childhood herding animals and playing games with friends on the unspoilt Wild Coast. At the age five, he moved back to Cape Town to attend primary school. Leaving his home affected Batandwa to such an extent that for many years he would not speak Xhosa – the vernacular language of the Transkei – as the act of speaking his childhood language resuscitated too many painful memories. Batandwa notes this as the beginning of his ongoing soul-searching journey, where he began to challenge the environment around him and the constraints of modern society.

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In this open letter to the people of South Africa that was first featured in the City Press, James Motlatsi and Bobby Godsell explain how, through a concerted effort of active citizenry, they plan to make this country a better place.

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"The Little Travellers HIV/AIDS project is totally inspired. I endorse it every stitch of the way. It raises consciousness in Canada and hope in Africa. In my mind’s eye, I can just see the women of Hillcrest (a project the Stephen Lewis Foundation strongly supports) beading, and spectacularly artful "Little Travellers" emerging. Then the sales are made in Canada, and money flows to the heroic women and children and families battling the pandemic on the ground. What could be a better act of human solidarity? Buy one, buy two, buy dozens. They speak to the best of the human spirit."

- Stephen Lewis, Board Chair, Stephen Lewis Foundation

About Woza Moya

Woza Moya is an income generation project of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust. It helps those in need regain Hope and Dignity by getting them to use their creativity to earn an income.

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As part of our overall mission to stimulate entrepreneurship and experiential learning within schools The Saville Foundation has, for the past 4 years now, funded a global competition called The School Enterprise Challenge.

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This article was written by Justin Foxton and first appeared in The Mercury on 18th March 2013.

I speak with some experience when I say that families are often the hardest environment in which to create peace. Jealousy, affairs, money issues and addictions are often catalysts to feuds that last a lifetime. This is not a class issue - it is a human issue; we often find ourselves in conflict with those we love most.

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Training and performance monitoring are key to encouraging productivity in the workforce. Labour consultant Walter Blore shifts the paradigm and puts farming businesses on track. Robyn Joubert reports.

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Its 5 weeks to the Argus Cycle Race and this year Derryn will be riding. Those who know Derryn will be aware that this is no easy feat for her! She will be riding in a charity team to raise funds for uTurn, an NGO that helps homeless people move off the street and back into society.

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This past week saw much hype around the FNB advertising campaign. Talk around the country focussed on whether the FNB advert was out of line, whether the ANC reaction was justified and if FNB should have canned their advert.

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As the year comes to an end, Awesome SA would like to thank you for your support. We invite you to celebrate some of the highlights of 2012. We encourage you to make Christmas meaningful this year and here’s to an awesome 2013.

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Many South Africans share concern over the latest news headlines relating to the gap between the have and the have-nots and that thousands still remain uneducated, unskilled and unemployed.

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I really admire people who seem astutely aware of the needs of people around them and seem to have the knack of saying or doing just the right thing at just the right time to encourage, comfort, reassure or assist someone.

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South Africa is a country blessed with infinite possibilities and resources - yet many tend to concentrate on the negatives and forget that there are hundreds of people and organisations that are reaching out to others.

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"As I write this, sitting at 'my' table at Cafe Latte-Tude in the Gateway centre in Umhlanga Rocks, I am filled with a deep sadness that I cannot live here right now." This post was written by Peter Curruthers and featured originally on PetesWeekly.com.

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An article that was featured in the Teacher of September of Mail & Guardian written by Thabo Mohlala. Exposing children to chess can improve their mathematical skills dramatically.

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We grieve the loss of a father figure, a friend, and a spiritual leader - the well-known human-rights activist Rev K.E.M. Mgojo. Tribute by Di Smith (co-founder of Awesome SA).

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I speak from experience when I say that South Africans living abroad are a strange lot. It seems that as soon as we touch down at JFK, Heathrow or Auckland Airport intending to stay for any length of time, we develop a maniacal schizophrenia regarding our motherland.

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On any given school holiday, in the middle of Masiphumelele, you are likely to find a group of older white youth helping talented black pupils to prepare them for matric examinations and the beginning of university.

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One of the cornerstones of our constitution is the principle of non-sexism. As with other inequalities inherited from the past, it is an ideal that has to be worked for. In many communities men are still dominant. Not only are women treated as inferior, but they are often the victims of abuse, sometimes psychological or emotional but often brutally physical.

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Our co-founders Di Smith and Derryn Campbell will be at the Cape Town Book Fair this weekend. They will be giving daily presentations on You’re Awesome and Awesome South Africa from Friday to Sunday at the Cape Town Convention Centre.

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Never have there been greater challenges and yet also the greatest opportunities than right now - in our lifetime.

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Two awesome South African entrepreneurs have recently been included in the top five social entrepreneurs for 2012 at the World Economic Forum on Africa. Find out more about how social entrepreneurship is making a difference in Africa.

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South Africa is a country that has lived through one of the most frightening, riveting, and inspiring political revolutions in history. Real radical change faces each one of us every day. How do we deal with the mistrust that has crept in among our people from years of separation and confrontation?

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Karen de Villiers, a South African living in London writes for The South African newspaper and runs a business called Londongreenafrica and a website called London/Green/Africa.

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Sustaining the Wild Coast's (SWC) focus is on traditional rural communities living along Pondoland's Wild Coast, in the northern coastal regions of the former Transkei. We work with people resident in the area to enhance local leadership ability, skills, knowledge and entrepreneurial capacity

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Nelson Mandela's recent birthday, which was celebrated throughout the world, gives us an opportunity to reflect on the leadership qualities that has made Madiba such a great man.

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Derryn Campbell and Di Smith, co- founders of Awesome SA recently attended a talk by Dr Samuel Chand who is rated as one of the top 30 Global Leadership Gurus and an author whose books have sold worldwide.

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For many years South Africa has been promoted as a world in one country. Beaches, mountains, desserts, casinos, wildlife, shopping, we even now have snow ski resorts. How blessed we are to have it all.

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This must be a very confusing week for you. You saw the children of Cosmos High trying to overturn a police van with school bags still strapped to their backs.

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Why am I writing this email? Because I'm getting the impression there are some depressed people walking around. Now there are a couple of potential reasons for this phenomenon...

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I love her for the perfection of her days. The crisp Karoo morning. The Joburg winter noon. The late summer Cape Town sunset. The star-filled Free State night.

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I was Chairperson of the Anglo American Open Scholarship Panel for many years. Because we offered not only basic university fees but also a generous living allowance plus an overseas trip, it was like auditioning for Idols.We got an unbelievable response every year which involved some of the most intelligent matric students in South Africa.

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The words below from ex-president FW de Klerk are from the speech which he delivered to the Adele Searll Ladies 100 Club at the beginning of June. The speech includes a celebration of our achievements as a nation, a word of warning for the future and a call to action for each and every South African.

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Mr Chairman, Rector and staff, distinguished guests, parents and boys of Michaelhouse. Thank you Rector for your kind invitation to address this assembly today. I am always daunted at having to speak on so solem an occasion as a school "Speech Day: daunted by having to address two audiences at once - both who are hoping for an early lunch.

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In view of the furore around Prof. Jansens pardoning of the Reitz four a reading of the full speech is most enlightening. Sensational newspaper headlines did not help matters and after reading the speech one can see how Bishop Tutu could endorse his actions.

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Starting 3 years ago, the Presidency annually releases a set of development indicators measuring how SA is shaping up. 76 indicators, grouped around ten areas of our national life, are measured and compared over time. (A summary of this years indicators, compiled by the Presidencys Joel Netshitenze, was distributed to BoE clients electronically).

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It is my contention that in the over 40 years that I have been associated with the JSE, South Africans have always over-reacted emotionally towards the exchange. When there is a bull market people believe it is never going to stop and when there is a bear market everyone believes that the sun will never shine again.

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25 November 2008 Mr Chairman, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Like many of my contemporaries in the business world, I am frequently asked how I remain so bullish in the face of the many challenges that confront South Africa. Particularly, there is often a hint of incredulity that Pick n Pay should continue to invest so confidently in a commercial environment that is threatened by very worrying levels of crime and violence, political uncertainty and deteriorating services.

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The general feeling among South Africans is doom and gloom based on various facts and perceptions. South Africa is the crime, murder and Aids capital of the world. It used to have the best roads and now they are full of potholes.

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I wanted to spend some time with you today reflecting on the last two or three months we have experienced as a nation. Some commentators have called this the "post-Polokwane Syndrome", after the events at the ANC National Conference in December, the outcome of which many have seen as negative.

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