The most deserving philanthropists in the country were honoured at the ninth annual Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards, which celebrate and honour those people whose personal giving has contributed towards sustainable social change in our country.
Initiated by Inyathelo The South African Institute for Advancement, the awards took place on 5 November at the V &A Waterfront in Cape Town. All of the awardees demonstrated initiative and leadership and had used their personal funds in a strategic way to make a difference, said Inyathelo executive director Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge.
“Philanthropy is dependent on the interest, passion, commitment, generosity and foresight of individuals like those we have honoured today,” she said. “Our awards seek to inspire others to give by recognising the incredible role models that live and work amongst us.
“We believe philanthropists play a critical role in effecting real systemic change as they are able to support more innovative and often unconventional solutions to our numerous social, environmental and economic challenges in South Africa.”
LEADERS IN PHILANTHROPY
In the nine years of its existence, Inyathelo has honoured over 90 philanthropists from very different backgrounds, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; 10-year-old rhino campaigner Afeefah Patel; founder of the Hope Warriors Children’s Charity Patrick Mashanda; former vice-chancellor of Rhodes University Dr Saleem Badat; Paul Bruns, who set up a project to rehabilitate convicted offenders; co-founder of the Spread Luv Movement Kgomotso Mokoena; and Alice Wamundiya, a former car guard from Rwanda who established an organisation to provide tertiary education for refugees.
According to Madlala‐Routledge, individual or private giving is now the second biggest source of income for civil society organisations and anchor institutions like universities.
“I believe anyone can be a philanthropist. South Africa is a nation of givers. The spirit of ubuntu is ingrained in us all. It really doesn’t matter how much you give, it’s what you are able to achieve with what you share that really counts.
“Growing philanthropy in support of our civil society and higher education institutions will help strengthen our democracy and realise its fruits for those who have been excluded and marginalised. We hope the passion, commitment, generosity and vision demonstrated by all our awardees will inspire others in South Africa to go out and make a difference.”
This year’s winners are: Paul Modjadji, Tyrone Aaron, Judy Stuart, Nonkululeko Xulu, and Shamillah Wilson.
Modjadji is an internationally acclaimed choreographer, dancer and director of Dare to Dream. He is the recipient of the 2015 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in the Arts.
He established Dare to Dream five years ago in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, where he grew up, with the intention of empowering young people to follow their own dreams by offering free art, drama and leadership programmes to disadvantaged youngsters. Since then, he has reached over 10 000 young people across South Africa.
A two-time world dance champion, in August US President Barak Obama presented Modjadji with the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship Young African Leaders Award at a ceremony in Washington DC. In the past two years, he was crowned top dancer globally by the New York-based Talent America Showcase and he made history by being crowned the first African dancer to win the European Star Dance Union World Championships.
Modjadji’s next project is to raise funds to build dance academies in South Africa’s townships.
Tyrone is a 13-year-old pianist and community activist. He is the recipient of the 2015 Inyathelo Award for Children in Philanthropy.
With a father as a musician, his passion for the piano was ignited when he was just six. He started on the keyboards and within a few years he was composing his own songs.
When Tyrone heard about the possible closure of an organisation that cared for people with intellectual disabilities just before his 10th birthday, he asked his mother to organise a concert to raise funds for the home. The concert raised R25 000.
It was his first but not last effort for others. Since then, he has helped children who suffered during the xenophobia crisis as well as the Marikana mining strikes by providing them with warm clothing and shoes. He recently raised over R45 000 for the Sabi Sands Conservation Trust and Rhino SA after reading about the brutal killing of more rhinos by poachers in Mpumalanga.
Tyrone is due to release a CD of original songs later this year, including a song about the rhinos which he hopes will help create awareness and raise funds for those working to stop the slaughter.
Stuart is a Howick dairy farmer and the founder of the Future Farmers Foundation. She is the recipient of the 2015 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in Economic Development. She initiated an informal farming apprentice placement programme in 2006 for disadvantaged learners from Zakhe Agricultural College in KwaZulu-Natal.
In addition, Stuart organises for young people to serve apprenticeships on commercial farms. She also finds placements for the best students on globally competitive farms around the world. On their return to South Africa, she helps them to find jobs with local farmers.
Xulu is an entrepreneur and founder of The X Foundation. She is the recipient of 2015 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in Education.
Her passion is to uplift and empower disadvantaged youngsters by providing them with bursaries and the necessary resources they need to support their studies. Like many South Africans, she believes education is one of the pathways out of poverty.
The X Foundation was established in 2010 and targets schoolchildren in Umlazi, Durban.