Kliptown hero up for big CNN prize

2012-10-06 14:58

Kliptown Youth Programme executive director Thulani Madondo would like all South Africans to vote for him in this year’s CNN Hero of the Year Awards.

“Imagine if every South African votes, everybody. That’s 49 million votes every day,” Madondo said in an interview at the youth programme’s headquarters in Kliptown, Soweto.

It’s been two weeks since Madondo was told that he was a finalist in CNN’s annual television special, which honours individuals making extraordinary contributions to humanitarian aid.

“We celebrated until our voices became hoarse,” said Madondo, who is the Kliptown Youth Programme’s third director.

He insisted that the nomination was not his, but belonged to the organisation.

“If I wasn’t leading the Kliptown Youth Programme, I wouldn’t have been nominated.”

Madondo is up against nine other finalists from the US, Nepal, Colombia and Haiti.

He is the first South African to be nominated as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes since its inception in 2007.

As a finalist, Madondo will receive a $50 000 (R439 740) grant for his work at the Kliptown Youth Programme.

If he is voted this year’s winner, to be announced on December 2 in Los Angeles, he will get an additional $250 000.

“It’s inspiring to be leading an organisation from ikasi I grew up in. The truth is, no one enjoys staying in these conditions.”



The Kliptown Youth Programme employs six teachers for its high school programme and has volunteers assisting 400 children from across Kliptown.

It offers computer classes and access to its modest library to the rest of the community.

Aspirant pilot Sibusiso Ngobeni (9), a Grade 3 pupil at Wisani Primary School in Pimville, Soweto, said he spent most of his spare time at the programme.

“I love Maths,” said Sibusiso, adding that he attended extra English and Life Skills classes.

Madondo said the nomination, and the possibility of the big prize, would help the Kliptown Youth Programme strengthen its programmes and empower its team of workers and volunteers to continue helping the community.

The Dean of New York’s Fordham University Business School, Dr David Gautschi, nominated Madondo.

The Kliptown Youth Programme has a long-standing relationship with Fordham, which sends a group of students to Soweto every two years as volunteers.

“He was inspired by our work. That’s why he nominated me,” Madondo said.

»To vote, visit: heroes.cnn.com


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/World

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.