Tonight with Lester Podcast

Beautiful News

Guests : Tebogo Mabye Tebogo Mabye was dreaming of success, even while living on the streets. His hometown, Hillbrow, is synonymous with poverty, crime, and constant police sirens – but also a community who refuses to give up.Though he wasn’t ashamed of being raised in shelters, Mabye wanted more out of life. After finishing matric, Mabye interned at Mould Empower Serve, an NGO that assists impoverished people. At work, Mabye developed a penchant for the caffeine culture that fuelled his co-workers. Whether chatting with each other or engaging in meetings, people in the office always had a cup of freshly-pressed java in hand. With the heartbeat of Hillbrow pounding inside him, Mabye envisioned starting a café. Exactly two years after announcing his goal, he opened the doors of Hillbrewed Coffee Co – named in homage to the place that inspired him. Grace Grace, a Brown Swiss cow, was in tremendous pain. She was just shy of five months old when she fell off the back of a truck. Immediately after, another stroke of bad luck hit her – a car collision. Her injuries, which included a dislocated hip, were critical. Fortunately, Grace received a second chance at life. In the process, she made history. At the site of the accident, Grace was extremely vocal. It was obvious that she needed medical help. Grace was transported to Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, where she became the very first cow to receive a hip transplant. After surgery, Grace arrived at Asher’s Farm Sanctuary with a new skip in her step, moo’ing profusely as if to thank her helpers. If the accident didn’t happen, it’s likely that Grace would have been auctioned. Her breed of cow is the second largest used for dairy farming. Once they stop producing milk, they’re sold to become meat at the young age of four, only a fifth of their average lifespan. Cows never forget this suffering. Now, Grace can live a long and loving life under the care of those who value her welfare. Animals are sentient beings. They deserve our respect. Jesse Breytenbach Jesse Breytenbach had too many friends lose the battle against breast cancer. The disease is unrelenting and information about it is scarce, making each attack a strike from the shadows. When people are diagnosed, they don’t always understand what warfare their body is about to face. So Breytenbach is shedding light on the fear and myths with something stronger – laughter. In collaboration with PinkDrive, an NGO that raises awareness to ensure early detection, Breytenbach created Girl Talk. The weekly comic strip is a humorous weapon addressing questions, interjecting stigmas, and spreading messages of hope. The primary characters of the comic, Thuli and Jo, represent the everyday lives of South Africans as they steer conversations towards breast cancer. The intimations braided into the colourful illustrations encourage those who aren't ill to attend regular check-ups, all while helping patients deal with their reality. Chanene van As Children are our future leaders, but are we doing enough to prepare them? The youth have the right to schooling. They also deserve additional resources that will open doors later on in life. Yet unlike bustling cities, many smaller areas only have access to the basics of education. Jamestown, a settlement on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, used to be one of them. Until Chanene van As saw an opportunity to do what she does best – facilitate the growth of young minds. Van As founded the Green Door Project, an after-school initiative to assist primary school girls who are at risk academically. With 18 years of teaching experience under her belt, Van As helps children discover and develop their talents. Between four and five in the afternoon, they learn to use their time constructively by choosing from a range of creative classes and participating in environmental exercises such as recycling and gardening. Tony Miyambo How do you express your truth? Tony Miyambo uses theatre to channel authenticity. Each of his globally-renowned shows displays the power of performance when it comes from an honest place. But keeping intentions pure can be tricky in an industry where acts are shaped to fit what society wants to see. In the harmony of poetry and acting, he found his calling. His father’s encouragement was the catalyst to Miyambo’s future as a performer. When he passed away, Miyambo created The Cenotaph of Dan wa Moriri. The one-man act recreates his unabated grief and pulls at the audience’s heartstrings. By writing, directing, and acting in his own productions, Miyambo fully inhabits his characters. The stage becomes a foundation of purpose and a space to work through issues of racism, suffering, and transformation. Aaniyah Omardien Talking about marine conservation isn’t enough. The shocking state of our beaches demands immediate action. At coastal rock pools across the world, octopus, starfish, and anemone compete for space with cooldrink bottles, sweet wrappers, and fishing gut. These plastic items absorb harmful chemicals and pollutants. Over time, they break down and are ingested by sea creatures, bringing toxins into the food chain. A crisis of this magnitude warrants a collective movement. Aaniyah Omardien is gathering the masses to clean up this mess. In 2015, Omardien founded The Beach Co-op, a non-profit organisation committed to keeping South Africa’s seas healthy and plastic-free. The all-female team meet with volunteers every new moon to remove pollution from Surfer’s Corner on Muizenberg Beach. As an environmental scientist, Omardien also hosts events to track the ‘Dirty Dozen’, a selection of marine refuse that repeatedly washes up. This includes items such as earbuds, lighters, and lollipop sticks. Collecting and recording the debris allows Omardien’s team to observe the levels of trash in the water. With data, they can substantiate the urgency for a response.

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