Young South Africans to be honoured at awards

2012-07-26 12:22

Young South Africans making meaningful change in their communities and the country will get their chance to shine at the inaugural South African Youth Awards.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) will host the event at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on Saturday to recognise outstanding achievements by those between 14 and 35 years old.

According to CEO Steven Ngubeni, the awards are aimed at inspiring the youth.

“We want (the youth) to learn from these extraordinary South Africans and learn to do it for themselves.

Their stories will serve as a great motivation (and show that) your circumstances don’t determine your future,” he said at a media briefing in Newtown earlier today.

Themed Against All Odds, categories include academic excellence, arts and entertainment, entrepreneurship, extraordinary champions, health and wellbeing, science and technology, social cohesion and environment.

Winners in each category will receive R50 000 and runners-up R20 000, while the overall winner will walk away with the presidential award and an additional R100 000.

Ngubeni said that young South Africans were “getting desperate (and) weary” due to a lack of information about the achievements of their peers.

“The purpose (of the awards) is to expose things happening in corners that young people do not see. In Alexandra, Tsomo, youth are achieving big time. We want to ensure the youth is motivated and contributing to society,” he said.

Chief operations officer, Magdalene Moonsamy, added that this “is what young South Africans have been looking for”.

“These awards are going to have a bulldozer effect and will sustain themselves.”

Ngubeni also issued a challenge to the public and private sectors to recognise the good work done by the youth.

“We must not give young people the impression that everything is bad, but show them that among them there are great young men and women.”

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