Jewellery artist Kevin Friedman believes that if something "has beauty, it deserves to exist". He finds the beauty in the ordinary, then embellishes it with the sparkle of diamonds, to the coveted acclaim of the luxury goods market and his fellow artists.
Dreaming big, Richard Maponya started out small selling clothing offcuts. Today he owns Maponya Group, with interests in property, retail, horseracing and vehicle sales. The determined entrepreneur also opened Soweto's first major shopping centre, Maponya Mall, in 2007.
Thojane Organic Farm combines traditional African knowledge systems with supportive permaculture techniques to produce retail-worthy organic produce. The small-scale farm, run by PhD candidate Kenalemang Kgoroeadira, also provides the surrounding communities with nutrient-rich food, and a sustainable source of income.
On 9 August 1956, 20 000 voices cried out: "You strike a woman, you strike a rock". South Africa's women had spoken, saying they were neither meek nor mild, but the bedrock on which their communities were founded, and they would not let their freedoms be trespassed upon.
Catherine Constantinides is one of the Mail & Guardian's 2014 Top 200 Young South Africans. The former Miss Earth South Africa is now the pageant's executive director, and uses her platform to raise awareness around how sustainable development can improve Africa's prosperity.
Homesick, yet forbidden to return home, Nat Nakasa died alone in New York. He was just 29 years old. Forty-nine years later his remains are returning to be reburied near his hometown, and South Africa remembers his transcendental writing, his successful bid to have black voices heard, and his dark, pathos-laden humour.
Nontsikelelo Qwelane forgets her aching knees when she takes up her chalk at the beginning of a school day. At age 94, after 73 years in front of a classroom, this lifelong teacher insists she is not tired. She remains devoted to her vocation, and her pupils.