I’m ecstatic to be South African and I truly embrace and appreciate all of the bumps and bruises that make us all different.

But I’m mostly excited about being a South African youth, because I feel that this is such a great time to be young in this country.

And then I get even more excited when inspiring initiatives such as the first SA Youth Awards emerge from all of the bad news and negative statistics about youth in South Africa.

The National Youth Development Agency may have plenty challenges to deal with. However, the youth awards are arguably one of the greatest ideas that they have ever had.

They will give awards to youth who are not traditionally celebrated at awards ceremonies, youth who have gone out of their way in their neck of the woods to help out their communities in different ways.

Lebogang Bogopane is one of the women nominated for this award.

She is a volunteer at a 24-hour centre for abused and abandoned women and children, where she spends her days counselling, feeding and even bathing the residents.

This young woman brings tears to my eyes because while some debate whether Ubuntu still exists or not, she exemplifies it.

I am so proud of these awards and more so of the recipients.