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10 Moments That Will Make You Feel Proudly South African

Author: Melissa Cohen
Date: 2017-09-21
This month, we celebrate our beautiful Rainbow Nation. We look at the various moments that have brought us together as one proud nation.
You cannot deny that South Africa is a very special place. We are a melting pot of culture and diversity. The fact that we celebrate our differences and embrace each others beliefs and cultures and take them on as our own, sets us aside from every other country in the world. There have, however, been very specific events that have united the whole country in a split second and made us incredibly proud to be a part of this wonderful rainbow nation. Here are our top proudest moments:

1. The World's First Heart Transplant - 1967

On December 3, Dr Christiaan Barnard performed the world's first human to human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. This nine hour operation was the first of its kind and proved to be a success. This opened up the door for other medical firsts in SA such as the first penis transplant.    

2. Nelson Mandela's Release From Prison - 1990

Nelson Mandela's release from prison was a turning point in South Africa's history. This was the first step towards a democracy in South Africa. Does this bring back memories?    
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3. South Africa Wins 1995 Rugby World Cup - 1995

This event will forever be one of the first iconic moments that many South Africans find themselves reminiscing about. Who could forget the moment that the jumbo jet did a low flyover over the stadium? Or the proud moment the whole crowd stood to sing Nkosi SikeleliAfrika. Or the moment Nelson Mandela proudly handed the trophy over to a visibly emotional Francois Pienaar. This moment will forever go down in South Africa's history.    

4. First South African In Space - 2002

Welkom-born, Mark Shuttleworth became the first citizen of an independent African country to travel to space as a tourist. He was also the world's second self-funded tourist. Shuttleworth is the founder of the non-profit organisation, Shuttleworth Foundation that aims to assist in social development.    

5. Elon Musk Launches Tesla And Space X - 2002/2003

South African born, Elon Musk became a multimillionaire in his late 20's and his success has continued to grow.  In May 2012,  Musk made headlines when SpaceX launched a rocket that would send the first commercial vehicle to the International Space Station. When Musk isn't busy launching rockets, he's making the world's first electric motor car.    

6. Actress Charlize Theron Wins Oscar - 2003

We can't forget the time when South African Actress, Charlize Theron won South Africa's first Oscar. This was for her role in the outstanding thriller, Monster. She did us proud during her acceptance speech. Do you remember this?    

7. SA's First Goal In The 2010 Soccer World Cup - 2010

It has been seven years since South Africa hosted the Soccer World Cup! As soccer fever gripped the nation and all eyes turned to us,  the country was at a fever pitch by the time the first game was played.  The country seemed to explode when in the first match, magic happened. In the 55th minute Siphiwe Tshabalala scored the first goal for South Africa and the crowd went wild! Take a look.    

8. Chad Le Clos Beats Michael Phelps - 2012

In an unbelievable race to the finish line, Le Clos beat the world number one American swimmer, Michael Phelps. Le Clos won this spot for the 200m butterfly final at the 2012 London Olympics. For the first time, Phelps settled for second spot while Le Clos stood proud on the number one spot on the podium. I bet your heart was racing when you watched this... Due to restrictions by the Olympic Committee, you can watch the video here.  

9. Trevor Noah Takes Over The Daily Show

South Africa's very own comical genius, Trevor Noah is making it big in the US. From living in a small township in SA to making headlines on the Daily Show, Noah is definitely making us proud.    

10. Wayde Van Niekerk Sets New Record At Olympics - 2016

  In 2016, Van Niekerk broke Michael Johnson's 17-year-old record for the 400m sprint winning him a gold medal. He was the first South African to win the first gold medal of the games. Not only was it his first gold medal, but it was the first time anyone has won in lane eight. Here's a reminder of his victory... Due to restrictions by the Olympic Committee, you can watch the video here.  

Bonus: Songs That Will Make Your Feel Like You're Home

Apart from sporting moments, there is nothing that brings our country together quite like music. Take our national anthem for example. If you have made the move to a foreign country, the sound of the anthem being boomed out across the stadium will surely invoke a deep sense of homesickness. Who could forget this tear-jerking moment when the PA system failed, and the whole crowd took over the anthem in the most beautiful way possible.     Or what about the struggle song that dates back to the apartheid era that also promotes unity. Shosholoza is a favourite among South Africans. This song was made famous by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and was featured in the movie, Invictus.     The last song is something very special. If you aren't sobbing by the end, you aren't as easily moved as we are. Unsuspecting shoppers were surprised by this moving tribute to Madiba on his death. The joining of the Soweto Gospel Choir and Woolworths made for one of the most special tributes to our fallen leader.      

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