Phambili, South Africa: Meet some of the good people who keep this country going

South Africa:  a beautiful country filled with bold, brave, and glass-half-full people who push ahead.

As the biggest digital news publisher in Mzansi, we know the news cycle can often feel like a groot gemors.

There's no shortage of crises, political scandals, investigative bombshells, and cringe-worthy corporate blunders in the country - but it's not all mgowo and state capture skollies.

We've put together a Good News project, highlighting some of the heart-warming stories of hope in our country.

You'll meet the tenacious teachers, artists, entrepreneurs, security guards, aunties and uncles who are transforming tears into triumph and taking the country forward.  

So if you're looking for a little hope, have a read through some of the beautiful News24 stories focusing on the best of South Africa!

Your support affords us the time and resources to go out and find the best in South Africa.

Good news story of the week

Cape Town mom sets up night school for adults who want to finish matric – now there are four campuses

It’s that time of the year again, when hundreds of thousands of students prepare for their end-of-school exams – which will hopefully set them on course for the future and see their dreams come true. 

And the matric pupils at this school are no different. A matric certificate is a passport to tertiary education and jobs, and they’re studying long and hard to get that all-important piece of paper in their hands. 

Even if they aren’t teenagers anymore. 

The Hopeful Leaders Night School in Primrose Park, Manenberg, in Cape Town is a haven for more than 600 learners – from 20-somethings all the way to 60-somethings – who all share a common goal: to finish school. 

It’s the brainchild of Manenberg’s Yumna Alexander (36) who, like her students, is a high school drop-out – she fell pregnant at 18, left school and didn’t complete her matric until a decade later. 

The good news keeps coming

This Cape Town barista has been crowned one of the best coffee-makers in the business: 'It was my proudest moment'

SA’s Phuti Mmotla has shown his hand on the world’s stage and it’s safe to say the coffee pros like his work a latte!

Why these Mpumalanga quadruplets with protruding teeth are looking forward to smiling with confidence

17-year-old quadruplets Thembeka, Thandeka, Thembisile and Thandazo Masango from Emalahleni in Mpumalanga are well on their way to having a whole new lease on life.

'Wow, what big ears you have': meet the Garden Route women who run with wolves

Robin McDonald, Francette Jerling and Amritha Djohoun have made it their mission to care for wolves that have been bred as exotic pets and then discarded when their true wild nature became evident.

This German student mastered isiXhosa in a year and encourages others to do the same: 'It's a respect thing'

German student Noah Baier spent a year mastering the art of speaking and writing isiXhosa at the University of Cape Town. Now, he's become an internet sensation for posting videos of himself speaking to people in isiXhosa on the city streets.

Matric girl walks 16km every day to get to and from school: 'I do this for my family, especially my grandmother'

Come rain or shine, Zinhle Jiane walks 16km to school every day because she desperately wants to be the first in her family to obtain matric.

SA Idols cop might have won a million but he's not about to quit his day job

Thapelo Molomo, the singing cop who stole hearts during season 18 of Idols SA, is now R1 million richer and a whole lot more famous – but he has no intention of quitting his day job.

A 26-year-old South African is teaching the Dutch about African coffee

Swahili-speaking South African Stean Fasol has introduced beans from Rwanda and Kenya to one of the world’s oldest coffee cultures.

The maths magician: meet Antonette Jordaan, the teacher making shapes and numbers fun and practical

There’s no such thing as “I can’t do maths, Miss,” or “It’s too difficult, Miss”. In Antonette Jordaan’s classroom, there’s a permanent ban on those phrases.

Lockdown nearly broke this exotic-pet-food exporter. Now it is in 270 Checkers stores.

Maneli Pets, founded by Nhalnhla Dlamini, is a South African business that makes pet food and treats and now supplies to 270 Checkers stores nationwide.

'A glimpse of God in a fearless, free fall': Paarl woman breaks bungee world record

In what may seem a crazy feat to many, Linda Potgieter now holds the Guinness World Record for accomplishing 23 bungee jumps in one hour, something she describes as “a glimpse of God in a fearless, free fall”.

From losing her job to turning a profit: Khayelitsha mom used lockdown to make an upturn

Many South Africans were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic with some losing their jobs and subsequent lockdown regulations which banished them into their houses. Lungiswa Bonda was no different.

WATCH | Cat's nine lives intact after Cape Town firefighter rescues it from telephone pole

A Cape Town cat nearly lost one of its nine lives when it got stuck up a telephone pole, but Epping Fire and Rescue service saved the day.

'I know what it feels like to not have money': Father of three tells how he wrote book

Frank Bantsijang (52) from Kraaifontein works in a supermarket in Tyger Valley during the day, but at night follows his passion as a writer and illustrator.

She started baking at night during lockdown. Now this vegan baker supplies 40 Checkers stores.

When Heidi Dempers' full-time job in the tourism industry could no longer sustain her during the Covid-19 lockdown, she turned to baking to make ends meet. Now she supplies vegan treats to more than 40 Checkers stores in Gauteng.

PICS | Keeping it wheel: Gugulethu goes gaga for go-karts

Two large wheelchair wheels and two dustbin wheels. Wooden planks, bearings, rods and nails. These are the materials children have used in Gugulethu to build go-karts to race through the township streets.

Gauteng baby girl who was the weight of a small bag of sugar at birth finally goes home after seven months in hospital

Little Marné Muller is seven months old now and weighs 3,7kg, the size of a healthy newborn. But when you consider she weighed just 630g at birth, her growth is nothing short of remarkable.

WATCH | MPs help clean up Cape Town canal to raise awareness of single-use plastic

To raise awareness of the impact single-use plastic has on oceans and waterways, members of the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment on Monday carried out a clean-up in Cape Town.

PICS | South African para surfers hope to make waves at World Champs

Fourteen para surfers from across the country hope to make waves at the World Championships in Pismo, California, in December.

Meet the Eastern Cape man who overcame abject poverty to become a neurosurgeon

Neurosurgeon Dr Zwelithini Mpungana says his impoverished start in life didn’t hold him back.

PROFILE | How Andile Hote went from teller to Sasfin’s head of commercial banking

Andile Hote started his career as a bank teller at FNB in Gqeberha. Today, he is head of commercial banking at Sasfin.

He sold ice cream to pay for his school uniform – now this Rhodes University lecturer is about to start his doctorate

As a teenager he started selling ice lollies to holidaymakers – he wanted to make enough money to buy school clothes. Thoughts of tertiary education and degrees were so far removed from Sisipho Hamlomo’s mind that he didn’t even consider them a possibility.

Meet the Joburg man who feeds 400 mouths daily and offers afterschool classes too

Percy Malepe (27) from Diepsloot in Johannesburg is the founder and chairperson of Ikemeleng Foundation – an NPO that feeds 400 people a day, offers free sports and afterschool classes to learners and a food garden.

How a local graduate of Obama's young African leaders initiative is inspiring underprivileged pupils

A product of former US president Barack Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is using skills acquired in the programme to train underprivileged Eastern Cape high school pupils to become leaders of tomorrow.

'The thrill of racing is what I like most about sailing' – Young SA sailor ready to take on Cape2Rio

When 22-year-old Azile Arosi took up sailing, she knew nothing of the sport, only that she loved water – despite not being a confident swimmer.

Powering it forward: Backup device gifted to teacher whose business was shut down by load shedding

A Free State woman, who threw in the towel after she lost 80% of her international student clients in her online teaching business due to load shedding, has been given a lifeline by a Good Samaritan who sponsored her with a backup power device.

Meet the Soshanguve animal lover who's changing children’s attitudes toward dogs

Tebogo Maredi is hard at work encouraging the next generation of animal lovers. Every Friday at 4 pm, children gather outside his house with their dogs. Then they go for a walk, and they're taught how to take better care of their furry friends. The pets are also treated to a wash. 

Doctors told her parents she'd never walk but this Paarl woman has just walked 100km to help other disabled people like her

Against all the odds, Brittany (25) not only learnt to walk, she's walked 100km to raise funds for the Paarl School for kids with disabilities in Brackenfell, Cape Town, so it can buy wheelchairs and other necessities for its pupils.

eSports, blockchain, coding – how this Johannesburg school is revolutionising the way kids learn

Don’t dare say the word “classroom” at this school – it could get you into big trouble. The correct term is “learning hub” and it’s where you’ll usually find learners lounging on beanbags with their laptops as they learn to code or are taught about cryptocurrency.

One stitch at a time: Homeless woman who escaped abusive marriage finds courage making 'worry dolls'

For years Odette Oliver struggled with drug addiction, the tortures of an abusive marriage, and a short stint living on the streets of Cape Town, before she found refuge making African "worry dolls" for Souper Troopers, a non-profit organisation assisting the homeless.

Heroes who look - and speak - like us: Two women are bringing African folktales to young readers

The women noted a shortage of literature in their mother tongue so they decided to balance the scales by starting their store six years ago and becoming instrumental in helping children to learn in their mother tongue as it enhances cognitive development and learning abilities.

WATCH | 'Have that relationship with your child' – Soweto businessman who carries his son while working

Mncube has been baking and selling biscuits since 2020 and carries his 10-month-old son to sell biscuits on the roadside, or when he delivers orders to clients, a sight unfamiliar to many.

How a KZN nurse is providing a life-changing gift of shoes for girls at rural schools

Zinhle Ndlovu, who works at the Netcare Kingsway Hospital in Amanzimtoti, used her savings to start the Sinomusa Sonke Foundation in 2018.

How a Soweto woman's prosthetics company is giving hope to amputees

A 32-year-old Soweto woman continues to forge her way in the biotechnology and healthcare industry - and has become a beacon of hope for amputees in South Africa.

OPINION | Jonathan Ancer: Cutting-edge heritage

Jonathan Ancer describes the journey of a giant pair of scissors that made their way from Poland to South Africa. He writes that it is a piece of history that links him to a Polish village, whose name he can't pronounce, but also it connects him to his grandfather.

Dancer to designer: Verushka Pather blends her Indian and African heritage to create stunning garments

Verushka Pather is on a mission to take the best of South Africa and share it with the world, and she's doing it all through fashion.

The Banyana effect: History-makers inspire next-gen in promising teen Saaniyah Domingo

Banyana's Women's Africa Cup of Nations win has inspired the next generation of women footballers, such as Espanyol Academy product Saaniyah Domingo.

Woman says her street hawker mom is the reason for her success - 'I was never ashamed'

Bomikazi Chinhamo spent her childhood watching her mother, who was a street hawker, selling chickens, vegetables, and eggs on the side of the road. She says it is exciting to see South Africans and Africans embrace their heritage through art as it is a weapon to rewrite a distorted history.

Braai, friends and pickled kumquats - Kriya Gangiah shares her take on Heritage Day

For TV and radio personality Kriya Gangiah, honouring her Indian heritage is so important, which is why she takes every chance to celebrate it.

 Service on a bike: How Eldorado Park man took the plunge to bring much-needed services to his community

Armed with inspiration from another business and a community with few delivery services, an Eldorado Park resident has taken the plunge and launched his own delivery service.

WATCH | Sisters pass on secret ingredients to preserve culture through cooking

Shenaaz and Sydda Essop grew up in the Karoo, where their mother taught them how to cook Indian food. Now, the sisters are passing on the secret ingredients to preserving culture through cooking to their children and grandchildren.

The garden box that's generating R5k per month for poor households

Reel Gardening has started providing gardening boxes to vulnerable households for subsistence and to generate an income of R5 000 from just one box of seeds.

'Proud Motswana' makes heritage part of his tourist offering

As a proud Motswana, his culture and heritage form an important part of Percy Koji's tour operator and travel agency business, Travel With Confidence (TWC), which was established in 2005.

A seat at the table: Conscious Carnivores creators on city's first curated halaal market

Makers Landing will host the city's first-ever "curated halaal market," as Conscious Carnivores' Mohamed Mohidien calls it, on 24 and 25 September.

A worm farm rewards Diepsloot communities with food and clothes for their food waste

"Wastepreneur" Nondumiso Sibiya and her business partner have a "worm farm" that's turning food scraps into organic compost and they are bartering for waste with clothes and food.

'Absolutely surreal': 29-year-old Durban author books her place among publishing giants

Keli Hariparsad left a career in medicine to start her Durban-based publishing company, Krest Publishers, which is nominated alongside publishing giants for the Book Behind Best Publishing Company Award.

Durban boy, 11, couldn't find a 'child-friendly' book on conservation. So he wrote his own

Romario Valentine, who has previously worked with the United Nations to further his environmental awareness cause says his passion to protect the planet continues to burn strong.

Exclusive Mercedes-Maybach S 680 sold for millions on auction to raise funds for Gift of the Givers

Mercedes South Africa has reportedly donated R6 950 000 to the Gift of the Givers Foundation following the auction of a Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4MATIC "Edition 100". 

Joburg woman ranked world no.1 in aerial sports after spinal injury

Six years after falling and breaking her back during training, Kaitlin Rawson has not only made a remarkable recovery but is now ranked world number one in pole and aerial sports.

WATCH | How 5FM's Dan Corder learned to drive in 2 months – 'I'd been through 3 learners' licences'

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post sits down with 5FM breakfast host Dan Corder to find out about his journey and what it was like learning to drive from scratch and getting his licence in just two months.

'I'm blessed' - Dad of 24, Ace Ncobo, urges men to embrace fatherhood

While the idea of parenthood might make some people nervous, former FIFA referee and television personality Ace Ncobo is proud to be the father of 24 children - and he has no plans to stop expanding his family any time soon.

 Home baker helps make SA's favourite treats vegan

In the land of braaivleis and biltong, veganism is not exactly synonymous with being South African, least of all on Heritage Day, when meat seems to be the order of the day. 

SA sailing team to make history at iconic Cape2Rio yacht race

Six young South Africans will be making history at the upcoming Cape2Rio race as the first complete crew from marginalised communities to take part in the iconic event.

How a Hartbeespoort rugby club tackled Covid head-on... and achieved a rapid rise

Wolverines, a community rugby club in Skeerpoort near Hartbeespoort, made the brave decision to form slap-bang in the Covid pandemic and have been rewarded with a meteoric rise.

How Ford's V6 engines for next Ranger are built in Gqeberha, and why the SA factory is so unique

There's a new thrum of activity inside Ford's Struandale Plant as the first V6 engine, which will go into the locally-built flagship next-generation Ranger, leaves the assembly line to much fanfare and applause.

Take care of yourself, please.

Sometimes the world can seem pretty dark, and we know that the news might seem overwhelming at times. Our Wellness team has curated some top tips to help you lift your mood and go about your day in a happier, kinder way.