05/12/2017 07:30 SAST | Updated 05/12/2017 07:31 SAST

These 5 South African Creatives Totally Owned 2017

It's been an amazing year to celebrate South African excellence.

South African artist Esther Mahlangu, 81, poses at her home in Mabhoko Village, Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga on March 6, 2017.
AFP/Getty Images
South African artist Esther Mahlangu, 81, poses at her home in Mabhoko Village, Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga on March 6, 2017.

It's been another crazy year for South Africa, but at this time of year it's easy to forget what strides we have made toward making the country a better, more beautiful place to live. Here's five stories we should all remember as 2017 wraps itself up.

1. Esther Mahlangu gets her own boulevard in NYC

We couldn't have been prouder when we heard the news that 81-year-old Ndebele artist, and national treasure Esther Mahlangu was honoured with a street painted in her signature Ndebele patterns in New York City. The mural was part of a tourism partnership between South African Tourism's US office, South African Airways (SAA) and bicycle-sharing platform Citi Bike, and also includes branded bikes and bicycle docking platforms. Viva Esther!

When I first came to New York to attend @prattinstitute in 2009 I didn't imagine that this would be a city I would have a child in, create lasting memories in, let alone have success in my artistry in. Creating a mural in honor of an artist I've known all my life, in a city that isn't welcoming to many, feels unreal. It feels like an aligning moment many of us have when the universe cocreates with us and is in agreement with our path. To you NYC,I present Xola, (Stay in Peace) --((A South African Name I named my daughter--*Alignment*))) a piece that is representative of a feminine energy force that is all encompassing, inclusive and awe-inspiring. Xola welcomes you to charge and open your divine feminine here amidst all that tries to stand against you. This is my form of resistance and protest-- my expression. #blessed -- photo credit (@ericmtownsend )) THANK YOU!!

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2. When Cassper Filled FNB Stadium

No one thought the local muso could fill the enormous FNB stadium, but lo-and-behold, Saturday night came and he actually did it, becoming one of the top five best attended South African concerts in history.

After he broke into the music scene he stole the hearts of many hiphop fans which led to his first fill up concert at The Dome, where 20,000 people attended in 2015.

He then moved on to fill up Orlando Stadium and now he did the unbelievable by attracting 68,000 people to his #FillUpFNB concert on Saturday night. Halala Mufasa, Halala!

3. France knights Zanele Muholi

LGBTQ visual activist Zanele Maholi's pioneering work was honoured by the French government with the prestigious Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal. Loosely translated as a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, it is one of the highest cultural cultural honours a creator can be bestowed with by the French government.

4. Trevor Noah wins an Emmy

The host of "The Daily Show" and comedian, Trevor Noah, keeps piling up the accolades and South Africans could not be more proud.

Noah's show bagged the Emmy for Best Short-Form Variety Series for the YouYube series, "The Daily Show: Between the Scenes" on 9 September in Los Angeles in the U.S.

5. South African architecture gets recognised around the world

The world's largest architectural award programme, the World Architecture Festival Awards, –– and South Africa's Ntsika Architects walked away with one of the big prizes. And to top it off two South African buildings have been shortlisted for the international Arcaid Architectural Photography Awards 2017 -- one of the world's foremost photographic prizes. Winning!