16 July 2012 by Denise Slabbert

A big fat dose of feel-good

The Inspiring New Ways video from Brand South Africa epitomises the ‘can-do’ spirit of ordinary and not-so-ordinary South Africans.

Shaun Tomson, surfing world champion and home-grown hero

Shaun Tomson is middle-aged. There’s a hint of pepper at his temples and the lines of his face speak of someone who has spent a generous amount of time in the sun. His voice is metred, but still has traces of a Durban-boy accent.

His smile – well, it’s the same one that had every South African schoolgirl wishing she could book a ticket to the Gunston 500 and meet him in person (and had every young oke wishing he could have an ounce of that Thompson talent).

Founder of Stoned Cherrie and businesswoman of note Nkhensani Nkosi

Tomson is an author, businessman and a former world champion surfer who epitomises the spirit of what it is to be South African. He’s in good company: he features as 1 of the 23 amazing South Africans in the Inspiring New Ways commercial launched recently by Brand South Africa. The commercial showcases some of our finest athletes, artists and ambassadors – rock star Trevor Rabin, swimmer Natalie du Toit, soccer hero Lucas Radebe, designer David Tlale, comedian Trevor Noah, entrepreneur Nkhensani Nkosi and many others.

Then there are also not-so-well-known South Africans like Emile Engel (scientist and HIV/Aids researcher), Zibusiso Mkhwanazi (web entrepreneur), Dr Andile Dube (academic), and businesswoman and entrepreneur Tebogo Skwambane, all added in to the well-balanced mix that perfectly delivers the essence of what it is to be South African.

Emile Engel, promising scientist

He’s in good company: he features as 1 of the 23 amazing South Africans in the Inspiring New Ways commercial launched by Brand South Africa.

The commercial was shot in South African and Los Angeles, and the celebrities and non-celebrities all add their bit to pack an emotional punch in the commercial.

Miller Matola, who heads up Brand South Africa, says of the mix of personalities featured in the commercial: 'Whether it's Baby Jake Matlala proving that he was not too small to become a world champion boxer, or Oyama Matomela becoming a commercial pilot at the age of just 20, or astronomer Simon Ratcliffe who helped bring the SKA [Square Kilometre Array] project to our country, these people all portray the essential spirit of South Africa and South Africans.'

Brand South Africa also put together behind-the-scenes YouTube clips of each and every person featured in the commercial, giving some serious insight into the 'can-do' attitude of these incredible South Africans. It's goosebump stuff from start to finish.

Musician Trevor Rabin

Category: Culture & History

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