Local Heroes finalists honoured, showcased at glam ceremony

Finalists of the Daily Dispatch and Johnson & Johnson Local Heroes Awards gather for cocktails at the East London ICC on Thursday before the evening gala honouring those who spend much of their lives giving and helping the less fortunate.
Finalists of the Daily Dispatch and Johnson & Johnson Local Heroes Awards gather for cocktails at the East London ICC on Thursday before the evening gala honouring those who spend much of their lives giving and helping the less fortunate.
Image: Mark Andrews

Twelve ordinary people, who have done extraordinary things, were honoured at the Daily Dispatch and Johnson & Johnson Local Heroes Awards ceremony at the East London ICC on Thursday.

The event was hosted by media personality Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp and saw more than 350 guests, including local business people, witness the touching videos created to celebrate and praise the 2018 Local Heroes and their stories.

“The event is about honouring the people doing incredible things in our community. We create videos of each story and showcase each finalist in the hopes of raising their profiles,” said Daily Dispatch general manager and a Local Heroes 2018 judge, Ryan Megaw.

Chosen from a pool of more than 40 community stalwarts, each of the 12 finalists is considered a winner and this year, each received a R10,000 prize towards their projects.

Fellow judge and Johnson & Johnson East London site leader Cindy Carter said it had been an amazing journey.

“This initiative has brought to life our ‘credo’ responsibility and amplifies our ‘consumer’ purpose within the community. We commend all the Local Heroes who have been nominated in 2018 and encourage each and every person to be the change wherever you go and leave a trail of inspiration for others to follow,” said Carter.

Johnson & Johnson have been involved in the campaign since its inception. Other generous sponsors include Vincent Park and the Page Group.

The Page Group’s Maryke Fuls said: “We will endeavour to continue supporting local NGOs, as well as supporting the Daily Dispatch’s Local Heroes campaign, which gives our Local Heroes a bigger profile in the community.

“The Page Group also has links to two of this year’s finalists – Donae Goosen, whose feeding scheme we support, and assisting Benjamin Rexana’s dance group with food from Steers when they compete in the Ultimate Performer talent quest.”

“The Local Heroes Awards is such a powerful initiative. Vincent Park is proud to be associated with the event for the third year now. Supporting the community that supports us is really meaningful and stands at the core of our brand,” said Vincent Park centre manager Joseph Parsley.

The judging panel also included Daily Dispatch editor Sibusiso Ngalwa and two 2017 Local Hero finalists – Marion Peake and Elaine Brenkman.

Nominations for the 2019 Local Heroes are already open and anyone who would like to nominate someone, please send their name and contact number, as well as your details, to localheroes@dispatch.co.za.

The 2018 Local Heroes finalists: Debbie Kleinenberg, Merran Roy, Benjamin Rexana, Donae Goosen, Pateka Mtintsilana, Luyolo Mapekula, Mike Webb, Ntombozuko Ndamase, Ntombizanele Vellem, Adv Bonnie Mzimba, Buhle Ntsebeza and Nozie Mswi.

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