Johannesburg- All roads were leading to the annual Mzansi Top 100 inspiring leaders of 2017 Launch.

The Young Independents hosted the awards at the Houghton Golf Club in Johannesburg. The event in the spirit of recognising the top 100 young South African leaders of 2017.

Saajida Francis, who is the editor of The Young Independents said that the website was conceived in 2015 and that it was the brainchild of Founder, Mike Ntsasa.

“We have ran the awards ceremony for two years now and the outcome is always overwhelmingly positive,” said Francis.

She added that the awards will be an annual event that will be set to recognise the young South African leaders each year.

Francis also explained the process of the nominations stating that it’s either you nominate yourself or you are nominated by those who believe in you. The second step includes a board of judges who will then follow a strict criteria in selecting the winners.

Francis also said that the awards encourages youth dialogue to inspire aspiring youth to connect and build a common vision, whilst seeking to address the many challenges they face.

The 100 inspiring leaders’ nominations came down to 15 Category winners walking away with awards.

The winners of The Young Independents Top 100 Award were recognised in five categories namely; the disruptors, the healers, the influencers, the innovators and the trailblazers.

The disruptors: Recognising young people challenging the status quo or traditional thinking with their unconventional ideas and actions.

The healers: Young medical practitioners and educators, involved with environmental work such as recycling, and NGO workers.

The influencers: Recognising young people who are influencing the actions and behaviours of brands, policies and people, and this includes government leaders, trendsetters, social media gurus, and critics.

The innovators: Celebrates young people inventing new products, and business ideas or services that are changing the way we live, work and play; this includes young people driving business or technology, scientists, architects, and chefs.

The trailblazers: Recognises young people leading their field at local, national, and international levels. These include top sports stars, academics, scientists, and business leaders.

Among the winners was Anati Mnyango who received the award for being the top influencer, Wayde van Niekerk for the top trailblazer, Paseka Lesolang for the top innovator, Jessica Dewhurst for the top healer and Sibs Shongwe-La Mer for the top disruptor.

Founder of the Young Independents, Mike Ntsasa thanked the country for nominating young people who are offering the country hope and setting the phase for a brighter future for Africa. He also thanked the editorial team for scouting for the future leaders of the country.

Ntsasa said that he was already looking forward to the 2018 Young Independents awards which will be bigger and better.

“The Independents is a platform designed for young people making sure that we have leaders across the continent,” said Ntsasa.

He also added that people can expect the Young Independents to slowly move into the continent in 2018.  


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