Five extraordinary individuals have been honoured at the prestigious annual Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards at the Waterfront in Cape Town today (Thursday 5 November 2015), including a 13-year-old musical protégé, a dairywoman from KwaZulu-Natal and international dance sensation Paul Modjadji.
The gala event, which has established itself as the Oscars of the Philanthropy sector over the past nine years, was initiated by Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement to acknowledge, celebrate and honour those whose personal giving has contributed towards sustainable social change in our country.
The following individuals were presented with awards:
- Internationally-acclaimed choreographer, dance sensation and Director of Dare to Dream, Paul Modjadji, is the recipient of the 2015 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in the Arts.
- 13-year-old pianist and community activist, Tyrone Aaron, is the recipient of the 2015 Inyathelo Award for Children in Philanthropy.
- Howick dairywoman and Founder of the Future Farmers Foundation, Judy Stuart, is the recipient of the 2015 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in Economic Development.
- Human Rights Lawyer and Founder of The X Foundation, Nonkululeko Xulu, is the recipient of 2015 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in Education.
- Life Coach and Founder of Project Ignition, Shamillah Wilson, is the recipient of the 2015 Inyathelo Award for Women in Philanthropy.
Inyathelo Executive Director Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge says all of the awardees demonstrate initiative and leadership, and have used their personal funds in a strategic way to make a difference. “Philanthropy is dependent on the interest, passion, commitment, generosity and foresight of individuals like those we have honoured today. 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,” explains Madlala-Routledge.
Over ninety philanthropists from very different backgrounds have so far been honoured with Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards, 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-Founders 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.
Madlala-Routledge says 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,” says Madlala‐Routledge.