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South Africans on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio

We asked South Africans their thoughts on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

We're a few days away from the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. I asked a few South Africans which teams they're most eager to see, who they think will be bringing home the gold and some of their thoughts on the host city.


What do you think of the decision to make Rio this year's host?

"I think it's great. Rio is a beautiful city and Brazilians have a reputation as some of the friendliest people in the world." – Shingai Darangwa, 23, writer, Johannesburg

"Rio is a vibrant city which has a great setting for the summer Olympics. However, making Rio the host was not the best choice from an economic standpoint. The people of Brazil are clearly unhappy that it has to host the 2016 Olympics due to the cuts in funding to social services to pay for the infrastructure for the Olympics and also compounded by the fact that it has just hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup.” – Nicholas Ho, 23, student, Johannesburg

"Generally a good decision. It's always inspiring to see one of the underdogs host a sporting spectacle and get it right. My only concern is about the Zika virus and its spread thereof after the games." – Tshireletso Mentor, 21, student, Johannesburg

Shingai Darangwa, 23, writer, Johannesburg

Which event are you most excited to watch?

"Soccer and the sprint events. Soccer is life and of course I want to see Usain Bolt." – Tapiwa Samanga, 46, Chief Director at Department of Trade & Industry, Centurion

"Archery because I will be personally involved in the Olympics as I am an International Judge [in other sports referred to as the umpire] appointed by World Archery as part of the Judging Commission to judge the archery." – Charmaine Ho, 53, archery umpire, Johannesburg

"Handball and athletics as they are the only disciplines I enjoy and fully understand." – Keith Masvikeni, 21, student, Cape Town

Which South African team are you most excited to watch?

"The Sevens boys will have my vote on this one. They are great at what they do and finishing the World Series second only to Fiji for two years running will be even more of a drive." – Pirow Bekker, 22, student, Johannesburg

"The South African swimming and rowing teams as I would like to see them win gold again like in London 2012." – Nicholas Ho, 23, student, Johannesburg

Atang Biyela, 21, student, Johannesburg

Which South African athlete are you most excited to watch?

"Wayde van Niekerk – he's the best sprinter in South Africa right now." – Atang Biyela, 21, student, Johannesburg

"Caster Semenya. She's been running some of her best times in the run-up to the Olympics and with everything she's been through I'm just so desperate for her to destroy the field and break the world record." – Shingai Darangwa, 23, writer, Johannesburg

"Brandon Stone - the golfer. He went to my high school. Was a few years ahead of me. Didn't have the chance to properly converse but I do feel a sense of common ground!" – Michael Yang, 21, student, Johannesburg

Who from South Africa has the best chance of taking home gold?

"Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Sumenya." – Atang Biyela, 21, student, Johannesburg

"Chad le Clos – I think he'll repeat his 2012 success in London." – Ari Nundkoomar, 21, student, Johannesburg

"Caster Semenya, Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh." – Mahlanga Mahatlane, 22, quantitative analyst, Johannesburg

Thabiso Dlamini, 23, student, Cape Town

Where do you plan to watch the Games?

"I'll be watching the Games from home." – Simbarashe Chimutengwende, 21, student, Johannesburg

"I will actually be at the Olympics in Rio." – Charmaine Ho, 53, archery umpire, Johannesburg

"From home, my phone, the internet, pubs, fanparks and wherever else it's being shown. The beautiful thing about the Olympics is that there is always something cool to watch because there are so many events taking place." – Pirow Bekker, 22, student, Johannesburg

What should be South Africa's official Olympics song?

"'Umshini wam' – it's a legitimate war cry." –Tshireletso Mentor, 21, student, Johannesburg

"It has to be 'Wololo' by Babes Wodumo." –Thabiso Dlamini, 23, student, Cape Town

"'Shosholoza' as I think that it is representative of the people of our country and is a very catchy song." – Charmaine Ho, 53, archery umpire, Johannesburg

Should South Africa care about the Olympics?

"Yes. It's an excellent platform for athletes to showcase their talents and gain global exposure." – Mthembeni Dumisa, 22, student, Johannesburg

"Yes. National pride is on the line and we need to support our ladies and gentlemen flying our flag high." – Mahlanga Mahatlane, 22, quantitative analyst, Johannesburg

"Yes we should care, we should want to put South Africa on the world map. The better we do, the [more] money will be invested into our sport." – Dishon Hiebner, 26, student, Johannesburg

Rufaro Samanga is an intellectual, aspiring literary great, feminist and most importantly, a fiercely passionate African.

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Introducing OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020 List

Celebrating African Women Laying the Groundwork for the Future

It would not be hyperbole to consider the individuals we're honoring for OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2020 list as architects of the future.

This is to say that these women are building infrastructure, both literally and metaphorically, for future generations in Africa and in the Diaspora. And they are doing so intentionally, reaching back, laterally, and forward to bridge gaps and make sure the steps they built—and not without hard work, mines of microaggressions, and challenges—are sturdy enough for the next ascent.

In short, the women on this year's list are laying the groundwork for other women to follow. It's what late author and American novelist Toni Morrison would call your "real job."

"I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else."

And that's what inspired us in the curation of this year's list. Our honorees use various mediums to get the job done—DJ's, fashion designers, historians, anthropologists, and even venture capitalists—but each with the mission to clear the road ahead for generations to come. Incredible African women like Eden Ghebreselassie, a marketing lead at ESPN who created a non-profit to fight energy poverty in Eritrea; or Baratang Miya, who is quite literally building technology clubs for disadvantaged youth in South Africa.

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In a time of uncertainty in the world, there's assuredness in the mission to bring up our people. We know this moment of global challenge won't last. It is why we are moving forward to share this labor of love with you, our trusted and loyal audience. We hope that this list serves as a beacon for you during this moment—insurance that future generations will be alright. And we have our honorees to thank for securing that future.

EXPERIENCE 100 WOMEN 2020

The annual OkayAfrica 100 Women List is our effort to acknowledge and uplift African women, not only as a resource that has and will continue to enrich the world we live in, but as a group that deserves to be recognized, reinforced and treasured on a global scale. In the spirit of building infrastructure, this year's list will go beyond the month of March (Women's History Month in America) and close in September during Women's Month in South Africa.

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