South African Heroes – Emile Jansen

Emile Jansen is a hip-hop pioneer from Cape Town. He is also the founder of both Heal the Hood Project and Black Noise. The Heal the hood project is currently active in 8 schools around the Western Cape, teaching Hip hop Dance, Art and writing (rap and short stories). Emile wants young people to see their potential, travel overseas and see their artistic ability as a way to survive. He has spoken to more than 80 000 youth through national motivational school’s tours and He has helped over 189 kids who traveled to performed internationally. An ex-school teacher, Emile is very active in the local communities as a teacher and guidance counsellor and he’s also written several books and released DVDs on hip hop culture.


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South African Heroes – Lerato Machetela

Lerato Machetela is a clinical psychologist based in the old impoverished mining town of Jagersfontein. She assembled a group of 14 young men who call themselves Jagersfontein’s Diamonds in the Rough. Combining elements from psychology, education, and entertainment, Machetele has established a platform that grounds these young ones adrift in circumstances. By means of song and dance, these young ones have become grounded through creativity. Lerato also runs a literacy and photography project at the schools. 


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South African Heroes – Ons Plek

Ons Plek Projects runs a girls’ shelter in Cape Town. Each year almost 100 – 150 girls between 6 and 18 years leave home to fend for themselves on the streets of Cape Town. The girls have left home to escape physical abuse and neglect or have been sent away as their families cannot support them. Through its various projects and support structures Ons Plek strives to ensure that these girls get off the streets, back into the education system and reunite with their families, where possible.


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South African Heroes – Carol Hofmeyr

Dr Carol Hofmeyr lives in the tiny hamlet of Hamburg in the Eastern Cape on the Keiskamma River, a small community ravaged by poverty and HIV. She offers living proof that art is good medicine. She is the founder of The Keiskamma Trust is a unique project in one of the poorest areas of South Africa. The Trust combines the medical care of AIDS and HIV sufferers with ambitious art projects, which enable women to learn new skills and earn money to support themselves and their families.

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Matt Conrad

Mark Conrad started working as cleaner at Entheos Boxing Academy in the small town of Swellendam. After observing the sport, owner Dries Morris gave him an opportunity to become a trainer. While working as a trainer, he assisted by putting together new fitness programmes. When they opened their doors to taking in non-paying students, he would take in all the kids not doing sport at school and teach them about boxing. There are currently 45 boxers from age 12 to 35 who are attending free classes. The academy isn’t only focused on boxing but they help with homework and teach basic computer skills and first aid. Entheos Boxing has become their second home.


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Kelly Grevler

Kelly Grevler is the founder of a community project called Sidewalk Sessions – which offers free guitar lessons to children in downtown Johannesburg, Maboneng Precinct. Held under a tree by one of the street sidewalks, Kelly teaches up to 25 students a session, they sit and learn their instrument on the sidewalk. The motive behind Sidewalk Sessions is simple: Music is a universal language that Kelly believes connects people despite age or race.


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SARDA Gauteng

SARDA Gauteng is a Non-Profit Organization that offers free therapeutic riding to physically and mentally challenged children and young adults who cannot afford it. They also offer other interactive equine activities to those unable, too frail or too elderly to ride. Their aim is to interact with the whole person; strengthening the body, challenging the mind and lifting the spirit. Therapeutic riding assists our riders in breaking out of marginalization and integrating into a productive society.

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South African Heroes – Black Mamba

The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) was founded in 2013 to protect the Olifants West Region of Balule Nature Reserve by Craig Spencer, the Managing Director of Transfrontier Africa and Warden of Balule Nature Reserve. Starting with a team of 6 women in the beginning and one year later expanding to cover the entire Balule Nature Reserve. All of the women that have been selected and joined the Black Mamba APU have a huge passion for wildlife, they are there to do their part to protect their natural heritage and want their children and children’s, children to enjoy nature as they are so fortunate to do so today.

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South African Heroes – Wendell Petersen

Wendell Petersen is the owner of Hustle Dog Food Truck, a full time business that he uses to give back to the less fortunate, hungry and homeless people around Cape Town. He started it 3 years ago with his wife Bryony and together they run the project at their own expense. Among other philanthropic projects, once a month Wendell visits 200 kids living in poverty in Belhar. He makes a big pot of food for the kids and collaborates with hip hop artists to inspire, entertain and motivate them.


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