Facebook / Neville Manchu
A collection of inspiring stories to make you feel good about South Africa.
Facebook / Neville Manchu
Good news in South Africa is hard to come by. If anything, the media is responsible for always perpetrating the bad side of everything that happens in this country.
Nonetheless, it is also our responsibility to inform and where there are impactful events, we will be there to cover it. This does, however, shade all the amazing things that people of this country go through that is newsworthy.
Read – Good news stories of 2018 that you may have missed
This is why we return at the turn of every week to dish out all the good news you may have missed out on. This week’s stories have taught us about not giving up and the importance of always choosing to work hard, no matter the circumstance.
The story of the 25-year-old Channel Classen picked up steam on social media when photos of her dressed in her graduation gown surfaced online.
Classen comes from the crime-ridden Cape Flats township of Bonteheuwel. That is a place where most people deem it as where all dreams go to die. Classen’s dream of becoming a doctor, however, shone brighter than her adversities.
She is of the firm belief that where you are from does not define where you are going in life. Who would have thought that Classen, hailing from Kensington High School would turn up at Stellenbosch University, ready to accept her scroll as a graduate in medicine?
Read – Cape Flats resident rises above challenges to become a doctor
” I thought about becoming a doctor but never thought it could be possible because there isn’t one doctor in my family. I would be a first-generation university student. I’ve got a single mother and it was just too expensive to study. But God knew. And my mom believed in me,” Classen state in an IOL News article.
If anything, her story should inspire kids younger than her who are in a place she once was: looking into the sky and only dreaming of a better future in a place where you could die at any given time.
Shamila Mpinga is the daughter of a domestic worker. The 23-year-old grew up in the dusty streets of Dambuza township, an informal settlement just outside of Pietermaritzburg.
Life could have gone either way for Mpinga. Her mother was away for the most part of her upbringing, and the township she grew up in was not exactly the safest haven.
Read – Former KZN township resident secures scholarship at Oxford University
However, thanks to the Muslim religion she grew up following, as well as the help she received from her aunt and uncle, Mpinga has carved out a bright future for herself.
Her mother, although not physically around, was always there for whatver Mpinga needed.
“Notwithstanding the limited resources, my mother always ensured that I was well taken care of. I was also taught independence at a young age. I voluntarily started working at the age of 12, mostly as a cashier at local shops, and have not stopped since,” she was quoted as saying in an IOL New article.
Mpinga enrolled at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal carrying five distinctions from her final year in high school. In the first year of her law degree, she scored a place in the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for being part of the 25 top performing first-year students.
Read – Christmas miracle: Newborn in Muizenberg ‘dumped at sea’ survives the impossible
Fast-forward to 2017, after obtaining a degree with summa cum laude, Mpinga was selected to study her Masters of Science (MSc) in law and finance, as well as an MBA, at the University of Oxford.
Her journey is inspiring to say the least and what’s even more amazing is how, after all that she has achieved, she has remained grounded and humble.
” Although my family are not wealthy, I don’t feel that I have struggled through life because I have been surrounded by supportive people. At school, a close friend of mine brought me lunch every day since Grade 8.
I have truly felt the effects of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. I’m the first person in my family to get a degree.
” I trust that my earning the Rhodes Scholarship provides hope for individuals with backgrounds similar to mine to push the boundaries, surpass expectations and to not be victims of circumstance,” she added.
We wish Mpinga all the best and hope that her story will serve its purpose: to inspire those who feel as if there is no way out of their adversities.
Neville Manchu’s story will challenge the stereotypes you have of the people who live in South Africa.
You see, the divisive narrative of racial tensions is one that sells the most because people are drawn to negativity. Well, we would like to thank Manchu for challenging this false narrative because, as he stated, you’ll never find a beautiful country like South Africa.
Read – “Our land is healed” – says stranded motorist helped by two ‘ooms’
Manchu found himself stranded on the side of a highway without the tools he needed to change his worn car tyre. Not only that, but there was no way he could remove the spare tyre beneath the bakkie.
After hours of trying to get roadside assistant from passerbys, Manchu was astounded to see two old white ooms approach him to assist.
The ooms were on hand to give Manchu the car jack and wheel spanner he needed to change the tyre. However, such as life is, they hit a snag and usually, this is where people shrug their shoulders and walk away proud that they had stopped to help anyway.
But this was not what happened to Manchu, who shared the rest of his story in his Facebook post that has since gone viral with more than 18 000 reactions and 8 000 shares, which you can read below.
We, like Manchu, will forever have hope that one day, we will all see this country for what it is: a beautiful home and one of the most amazing places to live in.