Celebrating young innovators

Second place in the Healer's category, Dr Nokwethemba Matshali-Hadebe and PR and communications manager of The Young Independents, Jane Folodi

The Houghton Golf Club was filled with enthusiasm as The Young Independent Awards took place, celebrating inspirational young leaders from various fields on 16 August.

Themed ‘African Youth: Be your Own Liberator. We support you.’ The Young Independent Awards are aimed at celebrating the efforts of youth in a society where young people are traditionally portrayed as trouble makers. The award is headed by The Young Independent, a youth-run news website, which is a subsidiary of the Independent Media Group.

The awards seek to highlight and celebrate young people who are leaders in their fields while supporting and inspiring various communities throughout South Africa.

Editor of The Young Independent, Saajida Francis said, “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.”

Read: Local producer makes music to reflect current times for the youth

The glittering affair was led by master of ceremonies and actor Mpho Molepo, with music from Zandisile Nyana Nongqotho.

The Young Independent group executive, Mike Ntsasa said, “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.”

The final award winners were as follows:

  • In the Disruptors category, which celebrated young people who challenged the status quo with their unconventional ideas and actions, was won by filmmaker Sib Shongwe La-Mer; with second place going to Dr Anastacia Tomson; and third place going to Naadiya Moosajee.
  • In the Healers category, which includes medical practitioners, environmental and NGO workers, was won by Jessica Dewhurst; with second and third place awards going to Dr Nokwethemba Matshali-Hadebe and Dr Thulani Makhalanyane respectively.
  • Within the Influencers category, which hosted a plethora of government leaders, trendsetters, social media gurus and critics, had Anati Mnyago win first place; while Thabang Moleya and Vutiswa Mutshekwane took second and third.
  • The Innovators celebrates young people inventing new products and business ideas or services that are changing the way we live. Founder of Water Hygiene Convenience Paseka Lesolang came first in the category, with Nthabeleng Likotsi and Dave Blakey taking second and third.
  • Among the international and national sports, academic and performance heroes and heroines in the Trailblazers category was won by Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk. Opera star Pretty Yende came second, while Paralympic champion Hilton Langenhoven came in third.

Details: www.tyi.co.za

By Andrei van Wyk

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