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Change the world


After selflessly showing up to support Nelson Mandela Bay’s residents, some of the metro’s unsung heroes finally received a fitting tribute for their service and were celebrated during a glitzy gala event on Friday night.

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s edition of The Herald NMU Citizens of the Year Awards 2023. Winners from left are Education: Madoda Ndlakuse | Environment: Thenjiwe Eunice Jacob with colleagues Nosipho Mayinje and Nosizwe Dingaan of Motherwell Community & Enviro Hub | Gender-based-violence: Asonele Melapi | Health: Portia Nosicelo Marinana | Community: Mzukisi Toba | Civil Society: Khazimla Adam | Business: Mongezi Hermans of ISUZU Motors SA | Sister Ethel Award Winner: Jenny Rump | Sport: Kirsten Neuschäfer (absent from photo) | Arts, culture & heritage: Prof Albert Troskie (absent from photo).

Dressed in dazzling evening gowns and dapper suits, The Herald NMU Citizens of the Year winners took centrestage at the Sun Boardwalk Hotel conference centre to receive their awards and recognition for their unwavering commitment to the communities they serve.

Speaking at the event SPAR senior purchasing manager for the Eastern Cape, Alan Stapleton, said the winners across nine different categories were angels that shone their light for others.

“Those that we recognise make folk, less fortunate than us, smile for even a little while.

“They make a difference in our communities and we celebrate these homegrown heroes,” Stapleton said.

Now in its 32nd year, The Herald NMU Citizens of the Year pays homage to people who selflessly give the time, resources and energy to serve others.

Co-sponsored by Nelson Mandela University (NMU), along with support sponsors SPAR, Continental Tyres, Vodacom and Three Peaks wines, the annual event is a highlight on The Herald’s social calendar and exemplifies what it means to be a local hero.

“An event like this gives us reason to believe that there is good out there [and] that we are stronger together,” Stapleton said.

NMU deputy vice-chancellor of engagement and transformation, professor Andre Keet, said it was an immense honour to be part of the awards.

“This is a moment not only to recognise the award winners but what constitutes a hero and the work they do.

“It is a demonstration of how individuals tackle societal challenges [and] what we can achieve if we work together.

“It has really inspired us as an institution of higher learning,” Keet said.

The Herald and Weekend Post editor, Rochelle De Kock, said the winners of the awards showed profound commitment to their communities and society at large.

“This is not a passive role but an ongoing commitment for a brighter and more inclusive society for everyone.

“It takes a good citizen to make a change in their communities,” De Kock said.

From 50 nominations submitted by the general public, judges had the tough task of whittling down the worthy competitors and select the nine award recipients.

The judging panel included Andrew Muir, CEO of the Wilderness Foundation and former president of the NMB Business Chamber,

Chantal Janneker, senior director: marketing at NMU, Roseann Shadrach, advertising manager at SPAR Eastern Cape, Rochelle de Kock, editor of The Herald and Weekend Post, Zodwa Dube, PE Mental Health board member and Michael Barry, former head arts and culture, Nelson Mandela University.

The nine winners included: Kirsten Neuschafer (Sport), ISUZU Motors SA (Business), Madoda Ndlakuse (Education), Prof Albert Troskie (Arts, culture and heritage), Motherwell Community and Enviro Hub (Sustainability in environment), Asonele Melapi (Gender-based violence), Mzukisi Toba (Community), Portia Marinana (Health and safety), Khazimla Adam (Civil society)

For the second year, the prestigious Sister Ethel Award was presented. This time, the award went to Jenny Rump of the Zwartkops Conservancy for her exemplary work in environmental conservation in the Bay.

The award is in honour of Sister Ethel Normoyle who was the first Citizen of the Year winner in 1989.

This article was published in The Herald, on 11 September 2023.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777