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Friday, 2 November, 2001, 17:02 GMT
South Africans told to cheer up
Cheryl Carolus, Beverley Knight and members of the Corrs at Celebrating South Africa, Trafalgar Square, London
Stars celebrated South Africa in London early this year
South Africans are being enouraged to stop complaining for one day, which campaigners are calling B+ - or Be Positive - Day.

The organiser of the event, Stephanie Vermuelen, wants people to take a break from discussing the economy, corruption, declining standards and crime.

With the high crime rate and Aids statistics, what are we to be positive about?

Radio caller

Many South Africans have been disappointed by the slow pace of improvements in their lives in the post-apartheid period.

Ms Vermeulen, an emotional intelligence trainer, told the Independent newspaper in London that the country had become "a mass vomitorium".

"Whiners must go be sick elsewhere", on B+ Day, 2 November, she added.

Mixed responses

South Africans have phoned their reactions to a morning radio programme.

Nelson Mandela dances in presence of singer  Andrea Corr
Mandela: An example of positive thinking

"It's a fantastic idea, we must be more positive," said a caller.

But another asked: "With the high crime rate and Aids statistics, what are we to be positive about?"

Celebrities are also asked to take part.

Contestants in the Big Brother, reality TV show now screening in South Africa, are writing 80 reasons why they should be positive.

Negativity wont bring success - we've declared a ceasefire on whining

Stephanie Vemeulen

There is also a motorcycle ride by a group of Harley Davidson fans.

But the B+ campaign is not having it all its own way.

The Independent reports that opponents have come up with reasons to talk South Africa into even deeper gloom by moaning about the currency.

But Ms Vermeulen is not giving up, she tells the paper: "South Africans don't appreciate what they've been through. Negativity won't lead to success. We've declared a ceasefire on whining."

See also:

09 Jun 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
South Africa still divided
30 Apr 01 | Entertainment
Mandela's concert message
06 Apr 01 | Music
Stars to celebrate South Africa
12 Jun 01 | Business
Investing in South Africa
21 Feb 01 | Africa
Poor benefit from SA budget
27 Jul 00 | Africa
SA poverty gap remains
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