Local Heroes a shining inspiration for others to follow
Ordinary people making an extraordinary difference celebrated at gala function
To be a Local Hero is to give, be it food, seeds, clothes, shoes, time or care.
The tireless efforts of community leaders were celebrated at this year’s Daily Dispatch Local Hero awards where 12 winners walked across the ICC stage in awe that one night could be all about them.
Alongside headline sponsor Johnson’s, a brand of Kenvue, the event honoured individuals whose good deeds often go unnoticed.
Winners were overwhelmed by the roars of applause when receiving their R20,000 prize.
Daily Dispatch editor Cheri James said: “Local Heroes showcases the best of humanity and shines a light on tremendous people and organisations in the Eastern Cape who dedicate themselves to bettering the lives of others.
“This year’s finalists once again demonstrated the epitome of selflessness and show us all how much difference people can make.
“Their determination and sacrifice for the greater good inspires us.”
Police captain Mark McKerry, a finalist from Buffalo Flats, said he never expected the accolade.
“When I do all of this outreach at schools, shoe and stationary drives, I do it out of my heart and feel that as a Christian it’s my responsibility to help the needy,” McKerry said.
“I am very appreciative to be acknowledged and recognised.”
Hosted by TV personality Claire Mawisa, 280 guests arrived in their finery to support the winners, selected from a record number of entrants.
“We would like to congratulate all the 12 well-deserving, inspirational 2023 Local Heroes,” Kenvue site lead Deane Lo Ning said.
“Our purpose at Kenvue is to realise the extraordinary power of everyday care.
“The Local Heroes Awards exemplify what we represent and we are proud to support this amazing initiative.”
Daily Dispatch general manager Ryan Megaw explained the judging process.
“This year there were 71 heroes profiled in the Dispatch throughout the year,” Megaw said.
“This is more than we have ever had and it is extremely difficult to choose just 12 to honour as each of them is so incredible.”
Thanking the sponsors, Megaw said that without their support the initiative would not be possible.
“Kenvue have been amazing partners since the inception of Local Heroes in 2015 in the way they have given back to the wider community through this initiative.
“The prize sponsors such as SPAR, Vincent Park, Vodacom4U Berea, Link FM and Gussies Gifting and Stationery have made contributions that will encourage so many to be the change we all need.
“There are also so many others that help make the evening special, including Premier Hotels, Sculptures Hair and The Beauty Academy.”
Finalist Sister Nobulali Bulurelo, 53, from Duncan Village, said it had been an emotional lead-up.
“I am doing the work of God, I was called to be a sister.
“Tonight has been very special, to meet the other Heroes and learn from them what are they doing that we can use to improve our community in Duncan Village.”
SPAR Eastern Cape advertising manager Roseann Shadrach described the night as one of elegance, entertainment and victory.
“Every year we are surprised by the calibre of nominees brought to the fore,” Shadrach said.
“The Local Hero Awards epitomises the SPAR brand and our passion to be the number one brand in the communities we serve."
The Local Hero winners for 2023 are: Brenda Mazwi, Captain Mark McKerry, Jackie Godfrey, Kennitta Prinsloo, Linda Beja, Louise Impey, Mxolisi Hoboyi, Pamela Mabini, Petros Majola, Sam Ramsay, Sister Nobulali Bulurelo and Zalisile Marwanqana
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