Fifteen young South Africans have made the list of finalists in Independent Media’s Young Independents Awards. Themed ‘African Youth: Be your Own Liberator. We support you’, the awards are aimed at celebrating the efforts of youth in a society where young people are traditionally portrayed as trouble makers.
“While we cannot reach all of the youth making a difference in communities across South Africa, we have selected those doing exceptionally phenomenal work. Our aim with the Young Independent Awards is to recognise and support the efforts being made by the youth of South Africa in playing their part towards the upliftment of our communities. It’s exciting because all 100 candidates and the 15 finalists have been nominated by the public or scouted by our journalism team so it really is an award from and for the people,” says Saajida Francis, editor of The Young Independents (TYI).
According to Mike Ntsasa, group executive public sector and founder of The Young Independents, “A lot of the time, especially in South Africa, the youth only make headline news when they are involved in trouble making or when there is an education crisis. We see framed images of youth in protests and violence. When the tide turns, we must celebrate. It is encouraging to see the youth making headlines for leadership and proactive efforts to innovate and improve society, and we want to encourage this kind of spirit among youth in order for them to inspire other future young people to follow suit, if not do better and more.”
Executive chairman of Young Independents, Dr Iqbal Survé, said they wanted to “nurture a culture of leadership among South Africa’s youth and incentivising good leadership practices will enable us to groom the kind of leaders we want to run our country, teach our children and heal the nation”.
Leadership was at the heart of ensuring the sustainability of economies, communities, and sustaining the fibre of society, Survé said.
The Young Independents Awards have five categories:
- The disruptors, recognising young people challenging the status quo or traditional thinking with their unconventional ideas and actions
- The healers, that includes young medical practitioners and educators, involved with environmental work such as recycling, and NGO workers
- The influencers, recognising young people who are influencing the actions and behaviours of brands, policies and people, and this includes government leaders, trendsetters, social media gurus, and critics
- The innovators that celebrates young people inventing new products, and business ideas or services that are changing the way we live, work and play; this includes young people driving business or technology, scientists, architects, and chefs
- The trailblazers that recognises young people leading their field at a local, national, or even international level. These include top sports stars, academics, scientists, and business leaders.
The finalists in each category are:
- Sibs Shongwe-La Mer
- Dr Anastacia Tomson
- Naadiya Moosajee
- Jessica Dewhurst
- Dr Nokwethemba Matshali-Hadebe
- Dr Thulani Makhalanyane
- Anati Mnyago
- Thabang Moleya
- Vuyiswa Mutshekwane
- Paseka Lesolang
- Nthabeleng Likotsi
- Dave Blakey
- Wayde Van Niekerk
- Pretty Yende
- Hilton Langenhoven
The Young Independents Awards will be held at the Houghton Golf Club on Wednesday 16 August 2017 from 09:00 am – 12:00pm.