Langa revives community awards

2016-04-21 06:00
 Thulani Nxumalo, Director of Umbon’ Omhle Youth Development Organisation (far left), and his team regularly engage the Langa community to bring diverse activities into the township.

Thulani Nxumalo, Director of Umbon’ Omhle Youth Development Organisation (far left), and his team regularly engage the Langa community to bring diverse activities into the township.

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After a 5-year lull, the Langa Community Activist Awards are back!

The campaign puts responsible citizenship in the spotlight, and will turn Langa on its head, as the search to find the township’s top activists begins.

Umbon’ Omhle is a non-profit youth organisation active for the past eight years.

It has taken on the hefty task of managing this socially significant campaign with the goal of celebrating those individuals and organisations that are adding value to their communities.

Umbon’ Omhle’s Thulani Nxumalo says that this campaign aims to promote community activism and participation, and will demonstrate how the work of activists go towards creating a ‘safer and more self-reliant society, that reflects the principles of humanity.’

“The Langa Community Activist Awards is an important initiative and ties-in well with our vision of creating new possibilities for the community through inter-disciplinary engagement, promoting knowledge of self, skills development and the use of art, culture, sport and technology.

Through this initiative, we will honour people who consider active participation in society a must. We also hope to encourage other members of the community to get involved and help bring this campaign to life.”

Nxumalo says that people are doing great things in Langa.

Umlibo Kantu, Vuka Nomtobhoyi, and the Brothers For Life, are just some of the many locally run organisations that are making a significant community

“By shedding light on the work of activists in the community, the campaign also has the power to motivate ordinary people from Langa and other communities to encourage community members to also become agents of change,” he continues.

Langa provides the perfect setting for the Community Activist Awards campaign, particularly since the township has a long history with positive social action.

In 1937, when authorities refused to provide for a secondary school in the area, a group of parents and clergy successfully put pressure on authorities to change their decision so that pupils could aspire to pursue tertiary education and careers.

But stories like these have been forgotten, and therefore highlight the importance of programs such as this one to allow for meaningful engagement with the active members of our community.

This year’s campaign rolls out a series of street events dubbed the Langa Home Cooked Streets and culminates in a final award event later this year.

People can look out for the posters that provide profiles of these members of our community. Nominations are welcome.

The first ‘Home Cooked’ event, happening on 1 May, serves as an information day and a dry-run to test the event as a voting platform, and will involve a number of individuals and organisations already active in the community, as well as giving locals the chance to get in on the action.

Inspired by the wildly successful and highly-inclusive ‘Open Streets’ initiative, the streets of Langa will come alive in an event that promises to be a feast for the senses.

Nominated activists will have the opportunity to share their projects and products, and potentially solicit investment into their causes.

Further ‘Home Cooked’ events are planned for later this year and will also include an International Activists Symposium to encourage activist movements from around the world to participate in this initiative somehow.

“People need to realise that they should be their biggest investment, and we should start nurturing that investment by taking better care of ourselves, our environments and of each other.

An activist is really someone who takes responsibility to make their world a better place.

Activists are progressive and think out of the box because they actively seek to gain the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive difference in our world,” says Nxumalo.

For example, if you are unhappy about something in your neighbourhood and want to see it changed for the better, and you actually do something about it , then you are an activist.

Maybe you realise that there is no wheelchair access at your local community centre, and you write a letter to your municipality to have them installed.

Or you form a scholar walking group, to help community kids get to and from school safely.

For more information on how you can participate, or support the Langa Community Activist Awards initiative, or to nominate a community activist, please contact Thulani Nxumalo on 076 971 9268 or and Gracious Diko on 063 128 5431 or

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