No year can be as bad as 2016 was right? – Think Donald Trump, the Syrian refugee crisis, a record number of terrorist attacks, Zika virus, politics in South Africa was at its most tense and disappointing. Not to mention losing Prince, Bowie, Carrie Fisher, Professor Snape AKA Alan Rickman and George Michael.

So as a tribute to 2017 – a better year by a long shot despite increasing sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood, the severe drought we are still experiencing, more terrorist attacks, and of course (still) Trump – the Marie Claire team rounds up their happiest/bravest/craziest/most inspirational/most exciting/most memorable moments of 2017:

Danielle Viljoen – Fashion assistant

‘The highlight of my year was going to Madagascar and having my first ever yacht experience with my loved ones. And a very close second would be my work trip to Mozambique – my very first time there.’


Lynette Botha – Deputy editor

‘My highlight of the year was returning to the Seychelles for a work-travel trip – three years after moving back from the islands. The archipelago has a very, very special place in my heart, and I still believe that I may live there again one day, but to return for five days and celebrate my 32nd birthday there meant the world to me. My most challenging-yet-rewarding moment of the year was being thrown into the hot-seat as Marie Claire‘s acting editor of the August Power Issue, with the incredible Thando Hopa as our cover star, as well as putting together our Future Shapers campaign. All in all, a busy but successful year.’

Edwain Steenkamp – Features

‘For me it was finding love. I went on a date in June, and never expected it to be a night that would change my life. Since then, these have been some of the happiest months of my life; and I’m really looking forward to all the adventures that lie ahead.’

Tarryn Oppel – Fashion director

‘The highlight of my year was joining the Marie Claire team! Since then I have made a whole load of new friends, produced my very first Naked shoot with amazing personalities all for a good cause, travelled to Mozambique to shoot our November issue fashion stories, shot a cover with the inspiring Thando Hopa and had the opportunity to attend the official opening of the Zeitz Mocca museum where I met the deputy editor of Fantastic Man… Beat that 2018!’

/ @xx_niquita_xx /

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Jocelyn Stiebel – Copy editor

‘I’m lucky enough to have three things on my “2017 made” list. First, I started at Marie Claire and couldn’t be happier with or more fulfilled by my job. My team is incredible, they are my genuine friends. Second, the most exciting thing I did this year was shave all my hair off and go platinum blonde – and now I don’t think I can ever go back to long hair. And last, but by no means least, my boyfriend and I got ourselves a little addition to our family, Phillip, a pitch-black lab who lights up our lives.’

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Lian Lombard – Acting editor

‘Mine was seeing the Bella Hadid issue – my first as acting editor – on shelf. Hands down. So much work went into making that cover happen – definitely a highlight!’

Abigail McDougall – Online editor

‘The moment I got my first and rather large tattoo in October. It’s a beautiful magpie in black and white, with impossibly delicate shading and detail. It reminds me of the year I lived in England, and how it changed me. The design was much bigger than I expected but I decided to trust the artist and go with it. It hurt (duh!) and took two weeks to heal. I love it.’

Fatiema Johnson – Art editor

‘Spending my 34th birthday with my oldest friend in my favourite city in the world, Paris, was an obvious and major highlight.’

Mia Ardene – Online content producer

‘My 2017 highlights are performing at the McGregor Poetry Festival, finding the love of my life, and being approached by a publisher to write a novel.’

Juan Geel – Art director

 Bali, bali, bali, bali, bali. Enough said.


Margot van Zyl – Managing editor

‘My year was all about adventures, nature and the beauty of simplicity. I went away to the Transkei where I saw how people live in rural areas, who walk kilometres for drinking water. It made me realise how easy some live and yet complain about so many things each day. My second highlight for 2017 was to conquer the Otter Trail. This trail should be on everyone’s bucket lists – it was so beautiful and worth every step! I can say with confidence that I’m ready for 2018.’


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Ncumisa Makhonjwa – Beauty editor

‘I have been taking regular trips to Joburg for work this year and this means I managed to see a lot of my friends who live there. Another highlight was a photoshoot I did with my mom for a feature in Marie Claire. That was really special.’

Credit: Damon Fourie/SNCM

Kira Gimpel – Fashion assistant

‘One of the highlights of my year was producing my first ever published fashion shoot in our September issue. I was practically buzzing when it came out! Another major highlight was taking a trip to Israel with my Dad. We walked the beautiful streets, took in all the culture and sipped on Arak (a very strong spirit) at 2am in a market.’


Happy end of the year everyone – enjoy the exciting festivities and beautiful weather leading up to Christmas and 2018.
And in case you forgot how truly terrible 2016 was, here’s a reminder: