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Looking back at every single proudly South African accomplishment earned in 2019 in our beautiful country!

 

Johannesburg, South Africa – It’s been an exceptional year to be South African… not only have many of us found our sense of pride in our country again, but we have also realised that we truly are STRONGER TOGETHER.

Along the way, many South Africans have done incredible things and the team at Good Things Guy have spent the year capturing those stories highlighting all the awards, accolades and accomplishments.

We rise by lifting others, and so many South Africans keep helping us and each other rise.

A valued reader came forward and asked us to list every prize, medal, record or other accomplishments earned by South Africans in 2019. It is tricky to list every single accomplishment but we like a challenge and so we decided to sift through all stories featured on Good Things Guy this year and put them into one giant list. And with your help – in case we missed a few – we might be able to create a complete list!

So if you see something missing, or believe that someone belongs on this list, please comment below!

We have separated them into a few different categories, like sports, lifestyle, education, musical and other. So let’s get started.

These are all the people that flew the South African flag high in 2019 (and made us all feel extremely proudly South African in the process):

Education

  • Eastern Cape School, wins the annual Youth Citizens Actions Programme (YCAP) National Championships for stellar feeding scheme. Read the full story here.
  • A team of South African women took on a Sea Expedition of epic proportions to research one of the harshest and remote places on the planet, the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Read the full story here.
  • UCT was ranked in the global top 10 for development studies. Read the full story here.
  • Reading encouragement campaign won an amazing international award. Read the story here.
  • SA student studying plastic problem published in an international scientific journal. Read her story here.
  • 6 South Africans attended the International Maths Olympiad, came home with great results. Read the full story here.

Lifestyle

  • STROOP, the documentary about rhino poaching and horn consumption wins its first 10 International awards. You can read the full story here.
  • South Africa is voted the 5th most Instagrammable country in the world. Read the full story here.
  • South African Professor, Mashudu Tshifularo, made history by performing the world’s first 3D inner-ear surgery! You can read his full story here.
  • South African Independent film ‘Recce’ won an award at the 10th Idyllwild International film festival in California. Read the full story here.
  • South African winery awarded as one of the ‘World’s Most Admired’ wines! Read the full story here.
  • The Queen of England was spotted wearing a beautiful piece of jewellery, made by a South African jeweller. Read the full story here.
  • STROOP won BIG at the leading International Wildlife Film Festival! Read the full story here.
  • South Africa listed 2nd on the global Top 50 Sexiest Accents list. Read the full story here.
  • Hermanus listed as the best Whale watching holiday in the world!!! Read the full story here.
  • Top SA creatives to judge worlds best work for Cannes Lions 2019. Read the full story here.
  • South African artist gets artworks featured in the London Underground. Read the full story here.
  • Five South African films were screened at the prestigious Festival de Cannes. Read the full story here.
  • South African Escape Room added to the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame. Read the story here.
  • South Africans are the 6th sexiest nation in the world according to travellers. Read the story here.
  • Acclaimed South African film STROOP wins another prestigious international award
! Read the story here.
  • South African wine estate has just been voted best in Africa!!! Read the story here.
  • SA lodge takes top honours in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2019! Read the story here.
  • South African Rhino Poaching film wins another prestigious international award
! Read the story here.
  • Cape Town pizzeria named best on the continent, they do so much good too. Read the full story here.
  • Cape Town scores top ten spot in global bucket list of places to visit. Read the story here.
  • A South African Zombie film went to Hollywood! Read the story here.
  • A little Joburg neighbourhood has just made it onto a list of the Top 50 in the world!!! Read the full story here.
  • Cape Town ice-cream parlour named BEST in the world! Read the full story here.
  • SA raise the flag at the Nando’s International Grillers Challenge in Dublin. Read the full story here.
  • Uniquely South African Chocolate showcased in New York Food Festival. Read the full story here.
  • These South African resorts have just been announced as the best in the world!!! Read the story here.
  • South African restaurant said to have the best wine list in the world! Read the full story here.
  • Cape Town restaurant receives global awards for best SA cuisine on global level. Read the story here.
  • Cape Town named 5th sexiest city in the world for singles and romance. Read the story here.
  • South African lodge brings home 3 International Awards! Read the full story here.
  • Cape Winelands makes Lonely Planet’s Top 10 travel destinations for 2020. Read the story here.
  • STROOP – journey into the Rhino horn war wins 25th award!!! Read the full story here.
  • Khayelitsha restaurant given top award thanks to secret international food critic. Read the full story here.
  • Stellenbosch Christmas Market named as one of the best in the World! Read the story here.
  • Young SA chefs earn Bronze at Shanghai Young Chefs Challenge. Read the full story here.
  • Cape Town restaurant wins coveted Sustainability award for the second time! Read the full story here.
  • South African Facebook Group #ImStaying unites the country with almost 1 million members. Read the full story here.
  • Cape Town voted BEST CITY IN THE WORLD for 7th year running! Read the full story here.
  • South African restaurant gets highest ranking at the World Restaurant Awards! Read the story here.
  • South Africa comes in tops in global tourism industry! Read the story here.
  • Cape Town named in Top 50 “Most Festive Cities” in the world. Read the story here.

Musical

  • Soweto Gospel Choir won the Best World Music Album award for their new recording “Freedom” at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Read the full story here.
  • SA Gospel singer debuted at second place on YouTube Charts Top Trending List. Read his full story here.
  • South African songwriter, Don Clarke, received an international award for his song about Rhino Poaching. Read the full story here.
  • Bloem choir sing “Pata Pata” on stage with musician André Rieu. Read the full story here.
  • Ndlovu youth choir auditioned for America’s Got Talent and blew everyone away. Read the full story here.
  • Watch: Ndlovu Youth Choir’s final performance on America’s Got Talent! Read the full story here.
  • Ndlovu Youth Choir & Wouter Kellerman win an award for music video collaboration. Read the full story here.

Sports

  • Ross Taggart became the first South African to compete in and complete the World Marathon Challenge. Read his full story here.
  • Caster Semenya was featured in the 2019 Nike advert. Read the full story here.
  • Team South finished Special Olympics with 59 medals! Read the full story here.
  • Simthandile Tshabalala took the golf world by storm and made South Africa proud! Read the full story here.
  • Young SA Kung Fu artists bag record 8 medals at global championship! Read the full story here.
  • An Inspirational South African completed 10 marathons in 10 days! Read his story here.
  • Nomsa Mahlangu was recognised for her contribution to varsity sport, elected as the first female president of the Federation of African University Sports. Read her full story here.
  • SA Men’s 30 won the silver at the Touch World Cup in Malaysia. Read the full story here.
  • Two South African Match officials selected for Rugby World Cup 2019. Read the full story here.
  • University of Johannesburg para-athlete sets new SA javelin record. Read the full story here.
  • 84-year-old South African finishes 265km mountain bike race!!! Read his full story here.
  • South African wins 8th International para-cycling race in a row, inspiring once again. Read his full story here.
  • South African makes history at the Hyundai Archery World Cup. Read the full story here.
  • Joburg Youth Dance Company earned 23 podium places at DanceStar in Croatia. Read their story here.
  • Caster Semenya won 2,000m at the Meeting de Montreuil. Read the full story here.
  • South African swimmer sets new African record at World Student Games. Read her story here.
  • South Africa set to host the 2023 Netball World Cup. Read the full story here.
  • Young South African Swimmer wins GOLD at World Championships! Read the full story here.
  • Meet Kirsten Landman: One of Africa’s first female Dakar Rally riders!!! Read the full story here.
  • SA u23 rowing women won silver World Rowing Championship in USA. Read the full story here.
  • SA win final at Homeless World Cup, a tournament we never knew we needed! Read the story here.
  • South African Junior Rowers win Silver at the World Rowing Championships. Read the full story here.
  • Top five finish for South Africa’s young Para Athletes!!! Read the full story here.
  • South African players on international draughts stage. Read the story here.
  • South African skateboarding prodigy set to compete on the world stage. Read the story here.
  • South African athletes bring honour to SA at World Transplant Games. Read the story here.
  • Capetonian becomes first South African to complete world’s toughest mountain race. Read the story here.
  • South African woman crowned World Long Drive champion in the USA. Read the full story here.
  • South African gymnast has qualified for the 2020 Olympics. Read her story here.
  • Springbok Women’s Sevens crowned champions of Africa. Read the story here.
  • Stronger Together – Springboks crowned 2019 Rugby World Cup champions! Read the story here.
  • Springboks awarded three World Rugby awards to cap stellar year!!! Read the story here.
  • South Africa’s Brad Binder claims awesome victory in Malaysia! Read the full story here.
  • Pride of South Africa – Erasmus and Kolisi win at SA Sports Awards! Read the story here.
  • South Africa bags first gold medal at World Para Athletics Championships! Read the full story here.
  • South African bags another gold at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships. Read the full story here.
  • South African man wins 55th Bowling World Cup in Indonesia. Read the full story here.
  • Champions in Dubai: South Africa crowned kings of the desert! Read the story here.
  • Junior SA Ballerinas become 2019 World Ballet Champions. Read the story here.
  • South African Women’s Ice Hockey go for Gold and Score!!! Read the story here.

Environment

  • Dr Jackie King was recognised for her efforts in highlighting the importance of rivers across the globe by the Stockholm International Water Institute. Read her full story here.
  • Two South Africans made the world’s “100 Most Influential People In Climate Policy” list. Read the full story here.
  • A new species of Button Spider was discovered in South Africa. Read the full story here.
  • South African Aquarium wins gold at the 2019 African Responsibility Tourism Awards. Read the full story here.
  • Cape Point included on the list of 5 impressive funicular systems in the world. Read the full story here.
  • SA does it again, earning Gold at Chelsea Flower Show. Read the story here.
  • Black Mambas: All-Female Anti-Poaching Unit win incredible international accolades!!! Read the full story here.
  • South African duo win a prestigious international award for their conservation efforts! Read the full story here.
  • A new species of Dragonfly has just been found in South Africa! Read the story here.
  • Legendary Cheetah – Sibella’s genes spread beyond South Africa. Read the story here.
  • World First: Pangolin to Pangolin blood transfusion might save this little one’s life! Read the full story here.
  • South African NPO wins global Climate Action Award. Read the story here.
  • Endangered Wildlife Trust wins a prestigious international award. Read the full story here.
  • South Africa announced as one of the top 3 biodiverse nations of the world! Read the full story here.
  • SA Conservationist accepted into prestigious UK Geographical Society! Read the full story here.

People

  • Brett Bailey, a local playwright, was awarded the award of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters) on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron. Read the full story here.
  • Katherine Young proved to be one of South Africa’s top exports, by bagging a nod in the 2019 Sony World Photographer Awards. Read her full story here.
  • Mandisa Mfeka was named as the world’s first Black African female fighter pilot and she is from South Africa. Read her story here.
  • Thuso Mbedu became the first South African actress to lead an American series. Read her story here.
  • Time Magazine featured the artwork of Nelson Makamo on their February cover this year. Read the full story here.
  • Thebe Magugu from South Africa won at the International Fashion Showcase 2019. Read his full story here.
  • Lieutenant Gillian Malouw became the first female officer in South Africa able to navigate a submarine. Read her story here.
  • Prof. Bonita Meyersfeld was honoured with the highest French “National Order of Merit” award in recognition of over 20 years of work addressing gender-based violence in SA. Read the full story here.
  • South African student, Martin Wierzbicki, named as one of the best scientists in the world! Read the full story here.
  • Cape Town mom becomes SA’s first female Audi master technician!!! Read her story here.
  • Stacey Fru a 12-year-old South African author was honoured by Egyptian president! Read her full story here.
  • Saray Khumalo became the first black African woman to reach the top of the world. Read her story here.
  • Five South Africans listed on Contiki’s “35 under 35 Changemakers 2019”. Read the story here.
  • Inspiring South African, Emile Gouws spoke for Autism rights in front of the United Nations. Read his story here.
  • The former Public Protector was bestowed with an honorary doctorate by the University of the North West for her work in law reform and the role she played in promoting democracy in South Africa. Read the full story here.
  • From Gugulethu to France: Young pastry chef is finally living his dream! Read his story here.
  • Meet South Africa’s first female African Cardiothoracic surgeon. Read the story here.
  • Thuli Madonsela successfully summits Kilimanjaro for a good cause! Read the full story here.
  • New 9 Peak Challenge record set by all women mountaineering team!!! Read their story here.
  • 7-year-old South African DJ WOWs on Britain’s Got Talent! Read his story here.
  • South African teenager wins an international photographic award. Read his story here.
  • Head Chefs win at the 3rd annual ‘Clash of the Chefs’. Read the full story here.
  • Call centre agent wins international ‘Hero’ award for changing lives! Read the full story here.
  • 7-year-old breaks record for winning the most consecutive chess games! Read his story here.
  • South African Chef wins prestigious Michelin Star! Read the story here.
  • South African announced as The Justice Desk’s Global Goodwill Ambassador. Read his story here.
  • This is the only South African to be chosen as one of the BBC top 100 Women of 2019! Read her story here.
  • 18-year old wins award for incredible South African photo! Read the full story here.
  • SA student scoops Green Talents award in Berlin, Germany. Read her story here.
  • South African writer wins a prestigious award for his incredible novel! Read the story here.
  • Teddy Nzama – Scooped international title at Starbucks Barista competition, proving he is the very best in the company. You can read his story here.
  • Cartoonist Zapiro receives the highest honour for Arts from French President. Read the full story here.
  • Proudly South African actor awarded International Broadway award. Read his story here.
  • Local artist has done it! Another Guinness World Record for South Africa! Read the story here.
  • Miss South Africa crowned as Miss Universe 2019! Read her story here.
  • South Africa’s Phumelela Mapukata wins Mr Deaf World 2019! Read the story here.

Other

  • 67 Blankets broke the record for most people simultaneously knitting at the same time. Read the full story here.
  • Johannesburg mammography service is awarded international accreditation. Read the full story here.
  • South Africa was awarded the 2019 title of Best Contemporary Event Coin at the Coin Of The Year Awards. Read the full story here.
  • South African gamers got to represent at World Electronic Sports Games 2019 in China. Read the full story here.
  • Cape Town was selected for a prestigious study on global destinations! Read the full story here.
  • 4 young South Africans selected to compete in Beijing science competition. Read the full story here.
  • A South African based company created the world’s largest digital heart and earned a Guinness World Record. Read the full story here.
  • 20 South African words were added to the Oxford Dictionary. Read the full story here.
  • 5 South African traditional healers honoured in the USA! Read the full story here.
  • South African Reserve Bank currency mobile app wins global recognition. Read the full story here.
  • Local business scoops international nomination in prestigious global award!!! Read the story here.
  • South Africans set new record for highest altitude reached with amateur rocket!!! Read the full story here.
  • South Africa has just helped achieve another World Record! The most paper planes flown at one time! Read the story here.
  • South Africans develop award-winning UK forex exchange. Read the story here.
  • World Health Organisation: South Africa officially certified as polio-free. Read the story here.
  • South Africa breaks another world record… this time for mental health awareness! Read the story here.
  • South African YouTube channel hits 1 billion views. Read the full story here.
  • These two incredible SA initiatives just won prestigious awards! Read the story here.

As mentioned above, if we have missed anyone or anything, please list them in the comment section below:


Sources: Good Things Guy Stories – Various Links Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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