The Berg River Marathon is probably the most gruelling way to spend four days in mid-winter. The canoe race sets off from Paarl and ends 240 kilometres away in Velddrif, in the Western Cape. Throw in howling wind, driving rain and lots of portage, and you've got a recipe for extreme sport.
Nelson Mandela taught the world plenty of things; notably, don't let your circumstances stop you from achieving greatness. Mandla Maseko is doing just that. A part-time DJ from Mabopane who had to put his studies on hold because of financial constraints, he is to be the first black astronaut.
Starting at Manaye Hall in Imbali – where he gave his last speech as a free man – and ending at the Capture Site, where the Black Pimpernel was finally caught, the Mandela Day Marathon is symbolic of the triumph of the human spirit. There are also shorter distances, a trail run and mountain bike rides.
With helmets on their heads and leather riding boots protecting their feet, bikers selflessly travel across South Africa each year, stopping off to help where they are needed. This year, among their many outreach activities, Bikers for Nelson Mandela Day will hand over handmade blankets.
Young, urban and talented, Zethu Mashika is a self-taught musician and composer, and is South Africa's first and so far only black film composer. He has won the best score award twice in the 48 Hours Film Project, and is the man behind the organic sound of 'Zama Zama'. For him, it is a spiritual and emotional exercise.
Basketball opened up the world for Jerome Du Plooy, and now he is using what he has learned and earned to help other children out of a world of poverty and deprivation in the south of Joburg. Slim Cares helps to feed and clothe youngsters, and gives them hope that there is a path out of poverty.
Shaka Sisulu is living up to the names of his grandparents – both known for their humanity – by founding and running an organisation that prompts well-off youngsters to roll up their sleeves and get to work building a better world for those without their privileges.