12 of the happiest feel good stories of 2019

South Africa: In 2019, South Africa won the Rugby World Cup. The Blitzbokke took the World Sevens Series title, the Ndlovu Youth choir was signed by global super producer Simon Cowell and our very own Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe. Good news stories abound in South Africa, and Sanlam<https://www.sanlam.co.za/Pages/default.aspx> believes it is time for us to give them a lot more airtime.

Sydney Mbhele<https://www.linkedin.com/in/sydney-nhlanhla-mbhele-cm-sa-5067b04/?originalSubdomain=za>, Chief Executive of Sanlam Brand, says all too often, our news feeds are dominated by negativity in our country. “It is easy to miss how much good happens here every day. We believe there has never been a better time<https://www.sanlam.co.za/campaigns/neverbeenabettertime/Pages/default.aspx> for South Africans to help each other by doing good, celebrating good and sharing the good. Positivity is key to securing a great future for our nation.”

Sanlam has selected 12 of the most positive stories from South Africa this year to close out 2019 on a happy note.


  1. When a name meaning “To do Good” (Enzokuhle ) became the most popular name for both boys and girls in South Africa for two years in a row. A powerful symbol of positivity in South Africa.
  2. When seven-year-old Omphile Mabitsela was so saddened by seeing people living on the street that he started his own business in order to create jobs for the unemployed.
  3. When 11-year-old Othembele Dyantyi became an activist for climate change as part of the Extinction Rebellion. Dyantyi and her army of youth activists are spreading awareness about the causes and severity of the climate crisis.
  4. When a South African named Teddy Nzama beat 15 000 Starbucks employees to be crowned top Starbucks barista for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
  5. When Soweto-woman Nokuthula Fihla started her own washing powder business, Gogo’s Washing Powder at the ‘tender’ age” of 50!
  6. When 20-year-old Mokgadi Machaba built his own car from scrap parts that he found in his village of Ga-Rammutla.
  7. When the Mother City was voted the best city in the world for the 7th time.
  8. When the National Department of South Africa certified the country polio-free.
  9. When Yococo (a diary-free ice-cream brand) founded by Sinenhlanhla Ndlela, made it on to the Mail & Guardian Top 200 list.
  10. When 9 of South Africa’s 23 universities were ranked in the top 4% of the 20 000 registered universities worldwide, and 11 were in the top 8%.
  11. When South African maths students performed exceptionally well at The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).
  12. When Dr Debra Roberts was named one of the world’s most influential people in setting global climate-change policies.
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