The 2015 Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards are due to take place in Cape Town next week. This prestigious annual event has established itself as the Oscars of the Philanthropy sector, acknowledging, celebrating and honouring those whose personal giving has contributed towards sustainable social change in South Africa.
Inyathelo Executive Director Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge says philanthropists play a critical role in effecting real systemic change through supporting innovative solutions to South Africa’s many social, environmental and economic problems. “Philanthropists tend to support causes that resonate with some deeply held conviction about an equitable society in which opportunity and prosperity are not just the preserve of the few. They support causes that can help bring about justice, basic human rights and a chance at a decent life in a country that is fraught with inequality and imbalance. We believe that by recognising and honouring their contribution, we will encourage others to give,” explains Madlala-Routledge.
Over ninety philanthropists from a wide range of different backgrounds have so far been honoured with Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards, including the likes of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; 10-year-old rhino campaigner Afeefah Patel; Founder of the Hope Warriors Children’s Charity Patrick Mashanda; former Vice Chancellor of Rhodes University Dr Saleem Badat; Paul Bruns who set up a project to rehabilitate convicted offenders; Co-Founder of the Spread Luv Movement, Kgomotso Mokoena and Alice Wamundiya, a former car guard from Rwanda who established an organisation to provide tertiary education for refugees.
Madlala-Routledge says individual or private giving is now the second biggest source of income for civil society organisations and anchor institutions like universities. “I believe anyone can be a philanthropist. South Africa is a nation of givers. The spirit of Ubuntu is ingrained in us all. It really doesn’t matter how much you give, it’s what you are able to achieve with what you share that really counts. Growing philanthropy in support of our civil society and higher education institutions will help strengthen our democracy and realise its fruits for those who have been excluded and marginalised. We hope the passion, commitment, generosity and vision demonstrated by all our awardees will inspire others in South Africa to go out and make a difference,” says Madlala-Routledge.
The 2015 Inyathelo Philanthropy awardees will be announced at a lunchtime event at the Waterfront in Cape Town on Thursday 5 November.