Sunday World (South Africa)

Social change awards a rather dreary affair


In my bid to become sportswoma­n-like, moi graced the Sport for Social Change Network Africa 2022 Awards at the SABC Radio Studios in Auckland Park on Wednesday night. Had you ever heard of the awards before, as Shwa whispers in your ear?

It all started with a dull red-carpet affair with no sports personalit­ies insight, but is this not about using sport as a mainstream tool to effect social change?

I must say the hosts Mo Mothebe and Nicole Bessick held it down and compliment­ed each other well – tall, dark and handsome alongside a short but beautiful belle.

As the night unfolded, Shwa realised the event was an NGO & NPO recognitio­n awards do, with SSCN dishing out a portion of the accolades to, wait for it, their own members.

Picture how the setup looked like – the front tables were occupied by family members of the organisati­on’s members; the decor had glamour written all over it – with a touch of flowers on each table. Wedding vibes!

A jazz musical item was belted out by Julia Lambert and her band, which gave some life to the dreariness.

It would be a travesty not to mention how unprepared the speakers were. They really did let the scriptwrit­ers down.

To the organisers, compliment­s for having delivered in honouring all the social activists in their respective communitie­s across the continent – which saw Namibian Charles Nyambe walk away with the biggest award, literally.

Looking dapper in a green blazer, Nyambe won himself the Leading Like Mandela Award, for “exhibiting leadership qualities synonymous with Madiba”. The Namibian’s long speech got the producer a little bit uneasy backstage. Hectic, right!

In attendance was Ndileka Mandela, the granddaugh­ter of the global icon, Nelson Mandela, since partnering with the organisati­on through her Leading Like Mandela programme.

How can I forget the grand (late) entrance of the Nigerian prince and his entourage. Ugomike Enwerem looked slick in his traditiona­l attire. The prince described the shindig as “wonderful”.

Great, there was an open bar. Was it boredom as many made nonstop trips to refill during speeches? And dinner! Let us rather not talk much about the food. Dead steak.

Overall, the SSCN Africa Awards 2022 were overhyped, as there was no prominent sports star in sight, even sports minister Nathi Mthethwa was MIA. Could he be concocting some ridiculous project, much like the massive R20m Flag idea, again?

Someone was roped in to deliver his speech, thanks to the deputy director-general of SSCN Sumayya Khan. Moi hopes the 2023 SSCN awards will deliver.

 ?? / Shona Burh ?? SCCN Awards winners.
/ Shona Burh SCCN Awards winners.
 ?? ?? Ugomike Enwerem
Ugomike Enwerem
 ?? ?? Ndileka Mandela
Ndileka Mandela

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