100 World Class South Africans: Thulani Madondo

2013-07-12 11:57

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Beacon of hope

While rapper 50 Cent plans to feed one billion people in Africa (with proceeds from sales of his energy drink), when he took to the stage at the CNN Heroes event in LA this past December, he wasn’t the centre of attention.

Thulani Madondo was, and the musician was there to pay tribute to the man who co-founded the Kliptown Youth Programme. One of 10 CNN Heroes of 2012, Madondo was hailed for providing the support he sorely lacked during high school.

He was the only African honoree; the other Heroes came from Haiti, Nepal, Columbia and the US.

One of eight children, Madondo did odd jobs to pay for his education and was one of only three siblings to matriculate.

His own experiences, and the challenges he witnessed in Soweto, inspired him to start KYP with friends.

In the past five years, the organisation has provided tutoring, after-school activities and daily meals to hundreds of children, feeding bodies and minds.

Its matric pass rate has been consistently high, and 21 KYP attendees have gone on to tertiary studies.

Though he hasn’t managed to go to university himself, Madondo will be able to equip more kids for further education with his $50 000 prize.

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