The diminutive Nkosi Johnson, his 12-year-old body wracked by the Aids infection that eventually killed him, became the face of the disease in the late 1990s. His adoptive mother, Gail Johnson, remembers his gentle concern for mothers and children separated by the pandemic.
In 1923 wealthy socialite Frida Hartley left London for Johannesburg to open a shelter for destitute women, a solid one-storey brick building in Bellevue. Today that building is still a refuge for the penniless and abandoned, while its sister Bethany Home helps victims of abuse.
Using ancient knowledge of indigenous herbs passed down through generations of healers in her family, throwing in some modern know-how, and mixing it all up with clay, Adolphina Setsena is creating a thoroughly up-to-date product – anti-ageing cosmetics and make-up. It's such a good idea, she won an SAB Foundation Social Innovation Award.
Abandoned bowling greens in the old, run-down suburb of Bertrams in central Johannesburg are sprouting new life with the Bambanani Food and Herb Garden, a certified organic produce initiative, run by volunteers, that helps feed poor people in the inner city.
Introduced by German immigrants, intricately patterned shweshwe is a South African fashion staple, worn by township dwellers, suburbanites and rural women. The durable fabric is used to sew anything from wedding dresses to trendy gear, and has been seen on international catwalks.
A childhood in the impoverished and degraded landscape of the rural Eastern Cape has given Ashanti Mbanga, Miss Earth South Africa, a passion for working to protect and repair the environment for the benefit of ordinary people. She’ll be taking that passion to the Philippines in December, where she will join 115 other young women for the international leg of the competition.