Legends inspire the next generation

By Drum Digital
06 December 2016

Kwa-Thema legends were honoured at a gala dinner on Friday night

The amazing Jazz singer, Showman Mokgotsi (Lead Vocalist of the legendary “The African Inkspots”– a group that had the late Dolly Rathebe as lead vocalist in the 50’s) and Teenage Dladla (the legendary midfield maestro who plied his trade with Kaizer Chiefs FC) were honoured in Kwa Thema Skills Centre on the 2nd December 2016.

This honour administered by SMILE Music was aimed at identifying heroes to inspire the next generation of Kwa-Thema leaders. These Kwa-Thema born legends had their inspiring stories told through art.

This inspirational “dust to glory” story was supported by other Kwa-Thema icons such as Joe Nina, Makhosonke Mrubata, Skheshe Mkhonza, Sputla Nhlapo, amongst others.


The purpose of this presentation was  to inspire the young people of Kwa-Thema, Springs to recognise that greatness can come out of Kwa-Thema.  The programme was directed by Mpho Molepo (“Fats” from Rhythm City).

“This exciting initiative was designed to be a vehicle to expose township legends to young people of Kwa Thema, Ekurhuleni and all other townships in South Africa. The legends we expose, originate from Kwa-Thema and yet have had an international impact in various disciplines ranging from the arts, politics, leadership, sports, fashion and academia” said Mr Sipho Mnyakeni (event producer and CEO: Smile Music).

In light of the high rate of the scourge of youth unemployment, inequality and poverty, this annual event promises to be one attempt to save our youth from the all-too-common downward spiral brought about by our difficult environment.

The dinner proved a huge success as The African Inkspots Music was performed by a youthful quarter which brought Showman to tears.


A stage play honouring Teenage Dladla was one of the highlights.


There was a sense of generational artistic conversations as the young Thembelihle Sivuyile Binda, 11years old  who is moving to grade 6 next year. Sivuyile, who is from Bloemfontein, was making a special appearance that was well received.  At her tender age she has a strong voice and a presence on stage, that will surely get better as she grows.

15355702_546803128858476_6253139171557662924_n “All I hope for with this event, is for one young person to be saved from crime or nyaope by seeing that other legends overcame the odds and impacted their world”, said Mnyakeni, who has dedicated all of his life to youth empowerment in Gauteng and Bloemfontein.

See more pictures of the event below:

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