SA’s Unsung Heroes Honoured in Style

Musician Bonginkosi Zola7 Dlamini attending the South African Heroes Awards 2023 at Joburg Theatre where he received the Ubuntu Honorary Award

The 5th instalment of the South African heroes Awards honoured Mzansi’s unsung heroes in style at the Joburg Theatre. Guests came from far and near draped in their heritage best, to celebrate and support the stars of the event, the community builders.

It was a night of glitz and glamour. The fashion was top notch this year – all the guests understood the assignment. They all looked drop dead gorgeous on the red carpet. The ambiance was stellar – fitting to celebrate our unsung heroes. The South African Heroes Awards are all about giving community builders their flowers while they can still smell them.

The prestigious awards founded by media personality Amanda Matshaka celebrate ordinary South Africans who are doing extraordinary things to empower communities.

Lesedi Theatre at the magnificent Joburg Theatre was packed to the bream and what a venue to celebrate our heroes. The lights, the stage, the talent on that stage – world class!

Entertainment icons Bonginkosi Zola 7 Dlamani and Khabonina Qubeka received their flowers. An electrifying tribute to Zola 7 had the audience and the man of the moment on their feet as they were taken down memory lane, performing to Zola 7’s nostalgic hits.

To have the legendary Zola 7 present was indeed the highlight of the night for many attendees. His aura and calm demeanour is quite remarkable and admirable.

Actress Linda Njontini – Ugbobuako Mc’d the event that she also creatively curated. Radio personality Thabo Matshaka, the voice over artist for the prestigious event ate and left no crumbs.

Along the dignitaries in attendance were honourable member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Refiloe Nts’ekhe and SAPS Ekurhuleni Commissioner Major General Anna Sithole to name a few.

Sambulo and the 5 stars Theatre Group kicked off the evening’s festivities with a bang, with dance and brilliant opera/choral music. Music performances from Ntokozo George and band, gospel, afro pop and hip-hop was one of the evening’s highlights.

SA Heroes Awards 2023 Community Health winner Mamello Makhanya with Specialized Care & Community Builder of the Year award winner, Elvis P. Seroka

Hip-hop artist and TV presenter Maraza’s performance was so magical to such an extent that the legendary Zola 7 alluded to a collaboration with the star.

“It’s such an honour to perform in front of an icon I grew up listening to – I remember my early days in the industry, I tried rapping to your song “Mdlwembe” with my squeaky voice in a performance and I must say, that experience didn’t go as expected”, an Elated Maraza said.

Among those who were honoured were founder and CEO of Cheeky media and Cheeky pictures, Yusuf Stevens who received the Leader of influence award, and Diana Marcellin Musara who is the Director of Earthly Touch Solutions, who received the Green honorary award. SABC TV news producer Lilitha Ntsundwani was honoured with the Language Preservation award.

Taking to the stage to receive his Ubuntu honorary award, Zola 7 recalled the time he was bedridden for 5 weeks with epilepsy. “God gave me the strength to get up again, He said my work is not done yet. I’m grateful for the recognition here tonight, let’s all come together and make a difference.”

Everyone at the Lesedi Theatre was on their feet, some shed tears. It was such a monumental moment – Gauteng Provincial Legislature member honourable Refiloe Nts’ekhe handed the award to Zola 7 and she couldn’t hold back the tears too.

Mzolisto as he is affectionately known deserves this honour for his heart-warming work that he’s done for communities over the years.

He is a philanthropist and through his show “Zola 7” which aired on SABC 1, he helped a lot of people achieve their personal and social goals such as building libraries for their communities.

SAPS Ekurhuleni District Commissioner Major General Anna Sithole with South African Heroes Awards CEO, Amanda Matshaka 

It was a memorable night of celebrations, ululations, standing ovations and a deep feeling of nostalgia were the order of the day. The growth rate from the 1st annual South African Heroes Awards to now – The 5th instalment of the prestigious event is massive. We stan the hard-working team under the leadership of founder and CEO, Amanda Matshaka.

Here is the list of winners:

Woman Empowerment

2st Runner-up: Woman of Stature

1st Runner-up: Frida Hartley Shelter

Winner: Nomsa Cynthia Dinalane

Business Empowerment

Winner: Keabecoe Moiloa Foundation

Youth Empowerment

2nd Runner-up: Tshepo Makola

1st Runner-up: Luthando Mpho Molefe

Winner: SK Sanitary Towels

Rural Development

2nd Runner-up: Naledi Ramaboea

1st Runner-up: Nqamakwe Parliament

Winner: Boitumelo Maila

Community Health

Winner: Mamello Makhanya

Specialized Care

2nd Runner-up: Dan Kubayi

1st Runner-up: Ahlehang Foundation

Winner: Elvis P. Seroka

Community Service

2nd Runner-up: Siyonqoba Simunye Foundation

1st Runner-up: Ankarien Oelefse

Winner: Mokgele Foundation

South African Heroes Awards 2023 Community Builder of the year

Winner: Elvis P. Seroka

Congratulations are in order to all the winners.

By Sinenzolo Mondi – Nduku