'CELEBRATE': Mike Ntsasa, group executive public sector and founder of The Young Independents.
Fifteen young people who are achieving great things have been selected by Independent Media for the 2017 Young Independent Awards.

The winners will be announced at an event to be held at the Houghton Golf Club on Wednesday. They stand a chance to win R250 000 towards their community development work.

“While we cannot reach all of the youth making a difference across South Africa, we have selected those doing exceptionally phenomenal work,” said Saajida Francis, editor of The Young Independents.

“Our aim is to recognise and support the efforts being made by the youth of South Africa towards the upliftment of our communities.

“It’s exciting because all 100 candidates and the 15 finalists have been nominated by the public or scouted by our journalism team, so it really is an award from and for the people.”

The Young Independent Awards are aimed at celebrating the efforts of youth in a society where young people are traditionally portrayed as troublemakers.

According to Mike Ntsasa, group executive public sector and founder of The Young Independents: “A lot of the time, especially in South Africa, the youth only make headline news when they are involved in troublemaking or when there is an education crisis. We see framed images of youth in protests and violence. When the tide turns, we must celebrate.”

Dr Iqbal Survé, executive chairman of Independent Media, added: “We want to nurture a culture of leadership among South Africa’s youth, and incentivising good leadership practices will enable us to groom the kind of leaders we want to run our country, teach our children and heal the nation.” - Staff Reporter