The commitment of former Langa resident Bulelwa Basse to women empowerment was given a nod when she was chosen as the Miss South Africa Play Your Part Ambassador.
The award celebrates a proud and patriotic South African woman who displays a commitment towards active citizenship.
Organisers said Ms Basse was recognised for her tireless community development and nation-building work in South African communities, as well as on the African continent, through her youth entrepreneurial mentorship programmes and women-enablement initiative: Sisters In Solidarity South Africa.
“I believe the purpose of my work is to extend service, particularly in moments of calamity; otherwise it would defeat the intention of the work. The idea is to offer relief wherever necessary,” said Ms Basse.
Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. Play Your Part is driven by Brand South Africa, and received international recognition when it was short-listed as a finalist in the “Best Citizen Engagement” category of the 2015 City Nation Place Awards.
Eligible candidates who have already been on board as Brand South Africa Play Your Part Ambassadors were required to demonstrate how they play their part in pro-actively promoting positive social change in areas relating to education, innovation, youth development, skills development, women empowerment, entrepreneurship, social cohesion, sports art and culture, health, or poverty alleviation and job creation.
The intervention may be a timebound project, ongoing initiative, or even an innovative business practice. This was limited to female Play Your Part ambassadors because Miss SA recognises the innate potential in young South African women.
Organisers of the initiative said Ms Basse embodied undeniable patriotism that represented the ideals of nation-building and active citizenry and that her motto of “doing what you can, with what you have, wherever you are” was demonstrated by the vastness of her work.
The award nomination process was open to Play Your Part ambassadors based in South Africa as well as abroad and Ms Basse has been serving as a Brand South Africa Play Your Part ambassador since 2014, when she was spotted contributing towards the Sowetan Dialogues.
“I believe we are the destiny we relentlessly seek. Leadership is everyone’s responsibility – not just government’s or corporate South Africa’s. Civil society is at the heart of the kind of change we wish to encounter, as a country.
“If it does not begin with me, the African child will never know what it truly means to be free…”
Ms Basse is the director of Sisters In Solidarity South Africa and founder of Lyrical Base Project.