Nominations start for community awards

SIYAVUYA KHAYA

The Umbon’ Omhle non-profit youth organisation called on residents of Langa to gather at Johnson Ngwevela hall to attend the first nomination day for the community activism awards, on Sunday May 1.

The awards aim to encourage residents to be active in their communities in bettering the lives of others.

The awards will be held in December, but during the course of the year, the organisation will host a series of nomination day events.

Umbon’ Omhle director Thulani Nxumalo said the awards honoured people who had taken it upon themselves to bring a positive change to the community of Langa without expecting anything in return.

Mr Nxumalo said the initiative put responsible citizenship in the spotlight. The awards would celebrate the significant contribution of communit activists.

“The Langa Community Activist Awards is an important initiative and ties in well with our vision of creating new possibilities for the community, particularly the youth through inter-disciplinary engagement, promoting knowledge of self, skills development and the use of art, culture, sport and technology.

“Through this initiative, we will honour people who consider active participation in society a must. We also hope to encourage other members of the community to get involved and help bring this campaign to life,” he said.

They will roll out a series of street events to encourage people to vote for the nominated activists. Community nominations are also welcomed.

Mr Nxumalo said Umlibo Kantu, Vuka Nomtobhoyi and Brothers For Life, among others, were doing great work in Langa.

Nominated activists will have the opportunity to share their projects and products with the hope of luring potential investors to fund their projects.

On Sunday May 1, they will host an information day to test run the event as a voting platform and will involve a number of organisations and individuals to interact with the community.

Later this year, they hope to include an international activism symposium to encourage other activist movements from around the world to participate in this initiative.

He said it was apt that the awards were in Langa as the community was one of the oldest townships in Cape Town and it had distinguished itself as one of the townships that had a huge positive social action.

“An example of this was in 1937, when authorities refused to provide secondary education in the area, a group of parents and clergy successfully put pressure on authorities to change their decision so that pupils could aspire to pursue tertiary education and careers,” he said.

Mr Nxumalo said people needed to realise that they should be their own biggest investment and the community needed to start nurturing that investment.

He described a community activist as someone who took responsibility to make their community a better place, someone who thought out of the box and always lent a helping hand without being asked.

Another member of the organisation, Fikile Ndaba Ayipheli, said the awards were introduced in 2010 and the response was overwhelming, but due to a lack of funding they were not able to continue with them.

But, he said, after giving it some thought, they had decided to relaunch the awards using their own money to fund them because they believed that people needed to be recognised for the hard work.

“In 2010 what we did was we made short films of the community activists who we had chosen and profiled them and packaged it. People were thrilled, and it was one of those memorable days for the activists, and we issued certificates as well.

“We have not yet decided when the awards are going to be held, but at the moment we are currently in a process of looking for activists in the area.

“What we do, we do because we are passionate about it, and we are not expecting anything in return, but we would love it if we get support and funding to continue to do this,” he said.

For more information about Umbon’ Omhle and the community activism awards, call Mr Nxumalo at 076 971 9268.