It's a long way from Mabopane to outer space, but Mandla Maseko has strapped on his boots and is on the way there. The young DJ will be the first black African astronaut, after beating a million or so contestants to win the global Axe Apollo Space Academy competition.
Nthabiseng Hibbert is an ordinary South African woman who, for the past two decades, has lived in a modest home in Katlehong, one of the country's largest – and poorest – black urban townships. Only one thing sets her apart from her neighbours: Nthabiseng is white.
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.