Youth fo­cus earns pair Cit­i­zen of Year gongs

The Herald (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE - Amir Chetty chettyam@ti­soblack­star.co.za

STEP­PING out of their own com­fort zones to im­prove the lives of un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren has earned two Nel­son Man­dela Bay good fel­lows hon­ours as the Bay’s top cit­i­zens.

St Ge­orge’s Park res­i­dent Lukholo Badi, 36, walked away with the Her­ald Cit­i­zen of the Year award in the open cat­e­gory, while Wes­ter­ing res­i­dent Duwayne Put­ter, 22, re­ceived the Youth Cit­i­zen of the Year ac­co­lade.

Badi is founder of the Imveli Cy­cling Academy in Kwaza­khele, a com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment project which pro­vides cy­cling, run­ning and swim­ming pro­grammes ded­i­cated to youth de­vel­op­ment.

Put­ter op­er­ates a full-time care cen­tre for poor and abused chil­dren in Walmer Town­ship.

The Come and Learn Ed­u­ca­tional and Youth De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre pro­vides tu­tor­ing for strug­gling pupils and house­hold essen­tials, hosts soup kitchens and as­sists shack fire vic­tims.

The awards cer­e­mony was held at the Radis­son Blu Ho­tel on Fri­day evening, where video clips of the nom­i­nees’ work were screened.

The Her­ald and Week­end Post ed­i­tor Brett Horner con­grat­u­lated the two, say­ing they were wor­thy winners.

“I trust the Cit­i­zen of the Year will be a good plat­form for them to take their com­mu­nity work to greater heights,” Horner said. He com­pli­mented host part­ner Radis­son Blu, say­ing it had done a ster­ling job in host­ing the event.

Badi said he was sur­prised and hon­oured when his name was called.

He is the youth and de­vel­op­ment com­mis­sion head for Nel­son Man­dela Bay dis­trict cy­cling and is also the pres­i­dent of Eastern Cape cy­cling.

“To have my name on this pres­ti­gious tro­phy is some­thing I will cher­ish, be­cause this is not about be­ing ed­u­cated, it’s about giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity,” an elated Badi said.

He said win­ning the award gave him and the Imveli academy cred­i­bil­ity and came with a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity as peo­ple would now look up to him.

Put­ter said he was hum­bled at be­ing hon­oured and now aimed to take his project to the rest of the metro.

He said win­ning the award would al­low him to con­nect with more peo­ple and hope­fully help achieve his dream of rid­ding the metro of poverty.

Mem­bers of the judg­ing panel were blown away by the en­trants this year.

Radis­son Blu gen­eral man­ager Yashvir Jithoo said the ho­tel was proud to part­ner with The Her­ald on the event. He com­mended the winners for the hard work they had put into their projects.

Each win­ner re­ceives a R15 000 cash prize and a 12-month dig­i­tal sub­scrip­tion to The Her­ald and Week­end Post.

Pic­ture: BRIAN WIT­BOOI

HON­OURS: The Her­ald ed­i­tor Brett Horner, with Duwayne Put­ter and Lukholo Badi, and Radis­son Blu’s Yashvir Jithoo

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