The Awards will help your initiative gain recognition and traction…”
The 4th of February 2023 marked the opening for entries for the South African Heroes Awards (SAHAs) 5th annual instalment, charging all community heroes to nominate themselves, or be nominated by others in the aim to give recognition and celebrate these ordinary community leaders making extra ordinary moves, as they impact change to the status quo.
“A closed hand is a lazy one” – and SAHAs team is honoured to be annually celebrating the works of the hands of those heroes that have stayed open to the benefit of our communities as the nation.
Just as life changing as the aura of the award ceremonies held in the past successful years, was the successful committee meeting held yesterday in Melville, Johannesburg. In attendance was the SAHAs’ founder, philanthropist and author of Destiny Path, Amanda Matshaka – the now former 2022 SAHA ambassador, community activist and actress Linda Njotini-Ugbobuaku as the facilitator of the meeting, and the newly introduced 2023 SAHAs ambassador, motivational speaker, sexual and child abuse survivor and activist and Mrs Township South Africa 2023 Naomi Mosiane, to name but a few. It was a heavy-weight of a charged up team of visionaries and ministry workers.
“Can you believe that we’re in year 5?”, left speechless and in awe of the unbelievable successful journey it has been, uttering the words is the committed founder Mrs Matshaka and Mrs Njotini-Ugbobuaku who successfully carried the year 2022 in her ambassadorship of the SAHAs – awards that recognise selfless works of our ordinary South Africans, and their servanthood spirits.
“At around 8 years of age I cried over seeing a boy without a proper school jersey” – Matshaka tracked us back to the time she can remember when it all began with this burdensome of a ministry to lend a hand to those in need.
However with the assignment growing even greater, the need for extra helping hands arises and beautifully so, she is not the only one assigned with this burden. She founded SAHAs all in the purpose to recognise the important social and environmental contributions made by organisations through the excellence of service, commitment to their beneficiaries/communities, and environmental sustainability amongst other core reasons.
These awards praise and honour those unsung, unrecognised and moreover -not so much supported organisations and community heroes providing extra-ordinary work to uplift their communities. Practically, this award initiative is giving honour where it is due.
The many different organisations across the nation are recognised in these eight award categories; Youth Empowerment –uplifting young people through various programmes, Business Empowerment –offering assistance to start ups/small businesses to help them succeed, Specialised care –people who take care of vulnerable groups like orphans and the likes, Community Service –voluntary community work in different NGOs to benefit fellow community members; e.g. community policing forums, Community Health –health centres initiated and run by community members as well as primary care, Rural Development –projects that uplift rural communities, Women Empowerment –programmes meant for upliftment and empowerment of women, and lastly is the newly introduced, now closing a year – the Green award that recognises people who run projects/programmes for environmental preservation.
As if that is not enough for the award categories, SAHAs committee has seen a need to add an extra two categories, one which is making its way back after being last featured in the year 2019 – The Ubuntu Honorary award –for those leaders whose impact still lingers even after years of retiring from active community work. These are called Legends. The second new feature is the SA Hero of the Year –here all the SAHAs finalists get to recognise from among themselves, that one deserving of a greater honour, acknowledging the magnitude of the great work they do in their communities or for the nation as a whole.
Introduced as the 2023 ambassador, Naomi Mosiane also known as Madichaba (translated – mother of nations), changed the atmosphere of the room with her testimony, in what you may want to believe was her proving testament as to why she is the one taking on the 2023 ambassadorship of the SAHAs, from a very committed and still impactful 2022 ambassador – Mrs Njotini-Ugbobuaku.
Mosiane bared heart in sharing her story, and the current work she is doing to impact and bring about change in the communities and spaces she is called into. One of many that speaks of excellence, is her work done through her Kananelo M Foundation where they offer great assistance in form of counselling, baby clothes etc., to women who encounter premature births. The foundation provides a host of services extending to younger women with sex education and the related topics. This foundation was birthed from an excruciating experience of sexual abuse, conceiving struggles amongst a few traumatic experiences shared by Mosiame.
This communicates how serious SAHAs consider representation –where these community heroes given awards as form of recognition and honour, they too are people who have experienced a misfortune of sort and are committing to never stand by the sideways and watch misfortunes continue to ravage the society when they can help change the status quo, by joining in hands that can help prevent – however small a measure of change – to tackle poverty, segregation, and youth unemployment.
The SAHAs 2023 ambassador therefore urges and advises all those heroes impacting communities to “never let the opportunity pass by. Don’t take it lightly –nominate yourselves and others for brand awareness purposes amongst many other reasons, but more so people can vote for you, helping your initiative to gain recognition and traction, helping in expansion of your reach.”
To put in entries a few easy requirements to be adhered to are as follows: Simply tell South Africans why you are nominating yourself as their hero, or others if you are not the eligible hero: What selfless works do you do? Attach works of evidence and existing recipients of your services in form of links or images and short videos. Entries opened on February 04 until 31 March 2023.
Email your nominations and details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winners are voted for by the public via sms, details on these are made available on www.saheroesawards.co.za once a selection of finalists by the judging panel has been done.
Of-course, with intention of not foregoing the opportunity to thank the long standing faithful sponsor of this movement –Mohlalefi Engineering, Matshaka thanked the sponsor, and also the SAHAs’ Overseer, Ms Ntsiki Ncoco, who helps give direction to this magnitude of an assignment.
Matshaka also requested any one and any organisation that wants to sponsor a particular category in the ones listed above, or as an overall sponsor to the SAHAs, to never hesitate reaching out through the various social media platforms listed below and also directly to her Matshaka on 0798318759
For more information and background to the stories that shaped this vision and mission, a live recording was captured and can be viewed on the various SAHAs and SA Positive News’ social media platforms.
Facebook: South African Heroes Awards
By Cindy Motloung