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Nelson Mandela greets a young child. (Getty Images)
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We launch our second instalment of the News24 100 Young Mandelas of the Future in a week that the focus has been on our twisted past.
Overwhelmed by our daily struggles against crime, corruption, unemployment and abuse, we now run the risk of falling further into cynicism because of the unfinished business of the past.
Weary and tired of our daily struggles, we have started to question the ideals our late former president Nelson Mandela fought for.
As I read through the profiles of 2019’s 100 Young Mandelas, chosen by News24’s journalists, I felt shame for feeling cynicism and despair.
Because they have reminded me that regardless of the failures in our political and social arena, there is always a reason to believe in our great nation.
Meet the News24 2019 100 Young Mandelas of the Future
These 100 young people, chosen from hundreds more nominations, remind us that the characteristics Mandela embodied; compassion, creativity, leadership, vision and resilience, are still thriving today.
These young people are compassionate: they are mentoring drug-addicts from the Cape Flats after experiencing how drugs stole the joy from their own life.
They are creative: composing music and melodies to shine a light on the physical and sexual abuse mothers, daughters and boys experience too often in South Africa.
They show leadership: highlighting the plight of people with albinism in South Africa, trying to ensure that not one additional person is killed due to a lack of awareness.
They are visionary: raising the next generation of female scientists and engineers by mentoring young girls in rural communities, and supplying science kits to needy schools.
And they show resilience: returning to school after many years, working in scrap yards to pay for their own school-fees, and starting organisations to help pay the textbooks of fellow first-year students.
These are just some of this year’s stories and they are the reason why we dare not lose hope in South Africa.
They should inspire us to be brave and courageous as we take the road ahead.
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