SADC seeking social changemakers

The search has begun for young people making meaningful contributions to their communities.

09 June 2019 | Education

The search is on for the 2019 Top 100 Young Independents – young people making an impact across communities in the SADC region. And best of all – prizes worth US$18 000 are up for grabs!

Now in its fifth year, the Top 100 Young Independents competition seeks to identify young people who are involved in projects that contribute towards developing their communities.

The Top 100 Young Independents offers trailblazers, influencers, disruptors, healers, innovators, entrepreneurs, creatives and social activists the chance to showcase their community contributions and efforts towards community development.

Entries are open to young people between the ages of 18 and 35.

According to Mike Ntsasa, founding member of The Young Independents (TYI), “Platforms like these give us the opportunity to celebrate African excellence and to focus on the contribution of young people in reshaping their communities and the greater continent.”

He added that the initiative aims to celebrate change-makers across the continent, support and encourage expansion of these efforts for Africa’s growth and development. “We recognise that with support, young people can expand their projects for greater impact.”

Ntsasa adds: “Following the success of the four previous campaigns and the decision to launch the initiative across Africa, the TYI has become more than just a competition to recognise the work being done by young people, but an eye opener to the energy and passion that young people have for developing solutions to change the continent.


Nominations for the coveted awards will be considered in five categories:

• Innovators – Recognising young people inventing new products, business ideas or services that are changing the way we live, work and play.

• Influencers – Recognising young people who influence the actions and behaviours of brands, policies and people.

• Trailblazers – Recognising young people leading different fields at local and even international level, including top sport stars, academics, scientists, and business leaders.

• Healers – Recognising young people who are driven to heal our planet and society with their hands and heads; and

• Disrupters – Recognising young people challenging the status quo with unconventional ideas.

The total prizes will be shared amongst twenty winners selected for each category, including the runners-up to help support their projects.

Nominees vying for the coveted title of The Young Independent should be aged between 18 and 35 years old; be leaders in their respective field and must be citizens of any country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, namely Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Comoros, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, eSwatini, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Nominations for any of the five categories can be submitted online at Entries close on 14 June 2019. The winners will be announced at a gala event which will be hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 29 August 2019.

The entries will be adjudicated by a judging panel that is representative of all SADC countries.

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