Award­ing youth for their hard work

Vuk'uzenzele - - Youth - Al­bert Pule

When Khathut­sh­elo Ra­mukumba, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the Na­tional Youth De­vel­op­ment Agency (NYDA), spoke at the re­cent South African Youth Awards he re­minded the au­di­ence that South Africa was a coun­try where dreams could come true. De­spite cir­cum­stances or back­ground, “… you can achieve your dream and live the life that you’ve imag­ined”.

With this op­por­tu­nity, Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency re­spon­si­ble for Plan­ning, Mon­i­tor­ing and Eval­u­a­tion, Jeff Radebe, re­minded nom­i­nees and win­ners, came re­spon­si­bil­ity. “The na­tion will look up to you to play sig­nif­i­cant lead­er­ship roles in so­ci­ety. You are the faces of the fu­ture of our coun­try. You are ex­pected to play an ac­tive role in up­lift­ing your com­mu­ni­ties. You are ex­pected to as­sist in em­pow­er­ing other young peo­ple. You are ex­pected to con­trib­ute to na­tional de­vel­op­ment.”

Rec­og­niz­ing and Re­ward­ing Achieve­ment

Youth­ful entrepreneurs were rec­og­nized across eight cat­e­gories plus an over­all win­ner re­ceived the Pres­i­den­tial Award. Aca­demic ex­cel­lence, busi­ness savvy, so­cial entrepreneurs and peo­ple work­ing in the health field were all recog­nised.

The over­all win­ner was Nneile Nkholise the owner of a med­i­cal tech­nol­ogy com­pany that pro­duces be­spoke pros­the­sis. In col­lect­ing her prize, Nkholise said, “This is one of those times where I’m grate­ful to be South African and to be a young per­son and to have a gov­ern­ment that is so sup­port­ive.”

An en­vi­ron­ment for growth

Deputy Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Buti Manamela, speak­ing at the awards, high­lighted the im­por­tance of recog­nis­ing young peo­ple who were mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the coun­try and their com­mu­nity. “To­day you will hear sto­ries of young women and men mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in their com­mu­ni­ties and in their own lives. They con­tinue to make South Africa a bet­ter place. They con­tinue to bring a smile to our faces. We don’t hear about them of­ten. We don’t read about them of­ten. We don’t see their faces of­ten. But they ex­ist. And they are here to­day rep­re­sent­ing the thou­sands of or­di­nary youth in Mzansi do­ing ex­tra-or­di­nary things.”

Min­is­ter Radebe re­minded guests dur­ing his key­note ad­dress that it was the na­tion’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to recog­nise and cel­e­brate the ac­com­plish­ments of the young. They, he con­tin­ued, will de­fine the fu­ture of the coun­try.

“Through the South African Youth Awards we are say­ing the youth is here and ready to lead. This is also the rea­son why the no­tion of “in­ter­gen­er­a­tional mix” must be an in­te­gral part of or­gan­i­sa­tional strate­gies.”

It is time, he said, for young South Africans to con­tinue the jour­ney to a bet­ter and more pros­per­ous fu­ture.

Nneile Nkholise won the Pres­i­den­tial Award from Min­is­ter Jeff Radebe

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