Urgent Evoke

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Celebrating Strides - Giving Social Innovators The Chance To Do More

A quick share relating to Lindela Mjenxane (http://www.urgentevoke.com/profiles/blogs/lindela-mjenxane-social) and the celebrating strides award..

Johnnie Walker created the Celebrating Strides Awards to both mark its centenary and to recognise aspiring entrepreneurs, artists and individuals in certain disciplines for acting as catalysts to those who want to make a difference. Awards were given in six categories: Design, the Arts, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Leadership and the People’s Choice. Each prize consisted of R100 000 in cash to be used as a bursary, or to fund an institution in that particular field as well as a R40 000 limited edition bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.This year it seemed that quite a few of the awards were concerned with the environment in some way. The first and most obvious one was the Environment award, which was given to Lindela Mjenxane. The award looked primarily at individuals who had developed tools, programmes or materials that have delivered social, economic or environmental benefits to local communities or sustainable environmental projects. Mjenxane was recognised for educating township learners about water conservation through his Beyond Expectation project.

He decided to use the prize money to create a bursary that would hopefully give an incentive for more students to consider Environmental Studies as a career. One of the conditions of the bursary would be that that individual should focus their knowledge on helping his/her respective communities.

The second one was awarded to acclaimed poet, playwright, academic, author and journalist, Zakes Mda in the Arts category. Though not there in person, as he is currently teaching creative writing at the University of Ohio, Mda asked that his bottle of Johnnie Walker be auctioned. The proceeds will be given to a bee-keeping project, run by a number of struggling women in an Eastern Cape village.

The final award was the People’s Choice, and this was given to Willie Bester, a prominent contemporary artist, whose works are made from recycled scrap and portray everyday objects in the lives of township dwellers. Bester is using his R100 000 to establish a mentorship bursary at Greatmore Studios in Woodstock. This studio brings together artists from diverse background, into a working environment that encourages new ideas and stimulates professionalism, creativity and productivity.

You can watch the TV commercial (which explains everything in a nutshell) on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KRslMqfYK8

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