Dispatch Local Heroes celebrated in virtual ceremony

Vincent Park mall's Mariaan Hartwig with one of the Local Heroes Ludumo Salman and Daily Dispatch editor Cheri-Ann James at the East London ICC.
Vincent Park mall's Mariaan Hartwig with one of the Local Heroes Ludumo Salman and Daily Dispatch editor Cheri-Ann James at the East London ICC.
Image: MARK ANDREWS

Eastern Cape community builders were acknowledged for their achievements and the work they do in our communities.

This year’s Daily Dispatch Johnson & Johnson Local Heroes were celebrated in a virtual ceremony on Thursday night to honour their contributions.

The Local Heroes received their awards at a private ceremony on October 12 at the East London ICC.

Tonight we introduce the 13 heroes who have been nominated by our readers, for doing exceptional and selfless work in their communities.

Posted by Daily Dispatch on Thursday, October 28, 2021

The heroes’ speeches were pre-recorded and included in the awards video which was broadcast on Thursday on the DispatchLIVE Facebook page.

Media and TV personality Gerry Elsdon was the master of ceremonies.

The event recognised 13 ordinary people for their work in improving their communities.

Despite reducing the usual five-hour gala ceremony to a one-hour virtual programme, the Daily Dispatch ensured that the 2021 Local Hero finalists were celebrated with just as much glamour, professionalism and prestige as in previous years.

Daily Dispatch marketing manager Jennilee Peremore-Oliver said: “I think what stood out for me was the ingenuity displayed.

“This was especially so with projects like Athenkosi Quku’s mobile shower unit that aims to give dignity to East London’s homeless people, and Elizabeth Lightfoot’s regenerative farming project with a focus on sustainability and teaching people the skills needed to start their own agricultural businesses.

“These are the kind of projects the Eastern Cape needs, ones that show compassion and help people become independent.”

Peremore-Oliver said she loved the variety of projects recognised in this year’s awards, which demonstrated different ways they could do good and be of service to their communities.

“The need is great, but Local Heroes shows that the passion and commitment to making the Eastern Cape a better place for all is in no short supply.

“I am grateful to our Local Heroes for showing us what is possible and making us believe we can make a difference too.”

Putting Local Heroes together represented a lot of hard work, but it was all worth the effort when people saw the final product.

“It makes us feel good about the work we do at the Daily Dispatch.”

The complete list of 2020 Local Heroes is Athenkosi Quku, Victoria Nkomana, Elizabeth Lightfoot, Ludumo Salman, Cinga Dyala, Mfuzo Dyira, Brian Francis, Georgie and Penny Dickerson, Tabisa  Loliwe, Zandile Mntungata, Tembi Makefungana and Shaun Thompson.

The 2020 Frontline Hero recipient is Jackie Orsmond.

Each hero won a R15,000 cash prize, and they were all treated to a special dinner after receiving their awards.

Peremore-Oliver said: “Everyone could watch the event online on the DispatchLIVE Facebook page on Thursday evening, and many of our stakeholders organised small watch parties with their families, friends and staff.

“We believe that making sure we produced a quality video was the best way to honour the heroes, despite the challenge of not being able to host the gala ceremony,” Peremore-Oliver said.

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