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Features for Heartlines and ForGood

A selection of subbed and unsubbed stories that were meant to be part of a news feature service for Heartlines’ ForGood campaign. The brief for these was to focus on everyday heroes and the value of values.


Soldiers on a special mission: to help kids with special-needs

They ride their motorcycles through roaring flames and once had a recordbreaking 56 people perched on eight motorcycles.
Now they’re tasked with sanding floors, knocking holes in walls for doors and fixing drainage.
Members of the British Army’s Royal Signals White Helmets Motorbike Display team may have expected better weather in Johannesburg. Instead, they were welcomed by the dripping summer rains. However, it’s still warmer than their weather back home, and the team walks through the Forest Town School for children with special needs, sans their white bike helmets, in shorts and t-shirts. Their mission is simple and determined…

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Township Flowers

Blurb: Elliot Mlalazi has created an oasis in the township he calls home on the West Rand. Situated in Rietvallei the flowers and green foliage are an indication of his dedication to his trade.

Read the rest by clicking here.

Bright Young Helping Hands

It’s hard to see your hand in front of your face inside the Motorcyle Spares Centre in the middle of Johannesburg town. Candles stuck in old amstel bottles provide meager illumination and it takes some time for your eyes to adjust. This darkness is not due to loadshedding in practice, it’s like this every night. The abandoned building provides shelter to approximately 30 people who would otherwise be at the mercy of the city streets. Gregory Skinner, a fourth year medical student examines a baby who’s been coughing up blood. His mother, Mamelo, one of the inhabitants, holds a crying Prince up on a rough wooden table while Skinner tries to check what’s causing the two-month-old’s symptoms…

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Teaching values through storytelling

A wise ant and a frivolous grasshopper taught millions of children the value of saving for days of necessity. This and other lessons learnt from the fables of Aesop, a slave who probably lived over two thousand years ago, still resonate with children and adults the world over. Educational psychologist and senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg Dr Elzette Fritz agrees that storytelling is an effective way to teach children about values…

Read the rest by clicking here.

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I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on www.shootcake.com) based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

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