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Beautiful News South Africa celebrates a second year

Positive news platform creates 878 million opportunities for South Africans to inspire hope
Beautiful News South Africa was founded to reflect the spirit, tenacity, and ability of South African people. As a counter-narrative to negative press, Beautiful News shares stories of positivity and inspiration – a celebration of the diversity of voices that represent the best of our nation.

Created by Ginkgo Agency, and made possible by Mercedes-Benz South Africa, the positive news platform has, for the second year running, proved that in spite of adversity, South Africans are filled with positivity, strength, and determination to overcome.

Every day at 4:14pm, in honour of the time Nelson Mandela gained his freedom from prison, Beautiful News has released a short film about a citizen who is contributing to the transformation of the nation.

In 2018, Beautiful News stories demonstrated every aspect of the latter, from Mpho Makatu, the self-taught robot-maker who creates his work from trash, to Tom David and Warren Handley, the friends who walked 6,000 kilometres to raise funding for orphaned children. The nation was inspired by Sindiwe Magona, the writer who went from being a domestic worker to working for the United Nations, as well as William Baartman, the man who made it to Everest despite having permanent third-degree burns.

In addition, Beautiful News launched My Beautiful South Africa, a series that celebrates the nation’s heartfelt connections to the most awe-inspiring destinations in the country. From the fairytale forests of Hogsback, towering peaks of the Drakensberg, and vast open spaces of the Cederberg to the heady gentrification of New Town Johannesburg and other cityscapes, locals and celebrated public figures shared their anecdotes that hold personal meaning over the destinations.

The impact of this platform on South Africa has been unprecedented. The story of Mbali Mahlale, the 11-year-old who was born without arms, was viewed 2.4 million times on Facebook alone. In total, the stories released this year achieved more than 118 million views, with a reach of over 800 million on social media. After starting from a base audience of zero, Beautiful News followers have increased to 599,337 people within two years, becoming the fastest-growing media page in the country, and ranked 22 in South Africa according to research and reporting by Social Bakers.

Taking over the screens of South Africa, Beautiful News was shared by Mango Airlines, Airport TV, the V&A Waterfront, in Ubers through Hubble Africa, and at universities through Boo! Media. In 2018, content also dominated the airwaves with radio stations like Jacaranda FM, East Coast Radio, and Cape Talk among others featuring Beautiful News stories and interviewing subjects on air.

As the patron of positive news and the enabler of the celebration of South African destinations, Mercedes-Benz South Africa is breaking ground as a purpose-led brand. Now more than ever before, audiences are seeking brands that offer positive contributions to society and the environment. The upward trajectory of audience reach and loyalty stands as proof that the reach of big business can hold value beyond economic stability.

Thanks to the support of these partners and their shared vision to reframe South Africa, Beautiful News managed to reach millions of people and has for another year rewritten narratives, redefined the limits of capability, and reimagined the future.

Apollo Zake, Programme Manager of Beautiful News, comments, “These partnerships are about celebrating the South African spirit and honoring people who have dedicated their lives to making a difference. We'd like to thank each and every one of our partners for sharing Beautiful News and spreading positivity across the country. Together we've been able to touch the hearts of millions of people and amplify the goodness of South Africa.”

Talysa Rudah, Deputy-Commissioning Editor of Beautiful News, comments, “As storytellers we’ve had the opportunity to be agents of change aiming to do justice to people who have trusted us with their stories. Each narrative that we’ve shared since we began on 1 November 2016 has been a true reflection and celebration of the full potential and beauty of the South African community. In the next version of Beautiful News we will continue to be a part of the social fabric of South Africa.”

Beautiful News will continue to release one short film at 4:14pm every day. For more information visit and connect on Facebook and Instagram.

To see or submit a story to Beautiful News, visit, email or join the conversation with #BeautifulNews.

For further information, contact: +27 (0) 21 419 3189.

About Beautiful News

We are a vibrant, innovative, resourceful and warm-hearted people. A truth we often overlook. Beautiful News celebrates the extraordinary fabric of human nature that binds our nation by releasing one positive story every day at 4:14pm – the moment in time Nelson Mandela walked out of prison. Beautiful News’ founder, photographer and filmmaker, Adrian Steirn, previously created the 21 Icons series, which profiled the iconic individuals who led the nation’s journey to democracy and helped to unite its communities. Beautiful News is made possible by Mercedes-Benz South Africa.


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Ginkgo Agency
We are a strategic content format agency driven to create communication solutions for those who require a compelling voice within the global landscape.