Five Northern Cape men will represent the province at the third annual South African Men of the Year awards. Jabe Damons, Tebogo ‘Phantsi’ Obusitse, Thapelo Kgakatsi, James Mothibi and Thabiso Mogorosi have each been nominated for various category awards and will attend the ceremony expected to take place on the 27th of November at Carnival City.
The awards were first conceptualized in 2015 by then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and is a national campaign that seeks to affirm South African men to be positive male role models. An initiative of Social Development Men’s forum and other sector players in men’s movements, the awards celebrate and honour male individuals who make a difference in their respective communities, in the different positive roles that they play.
No stranger to the initiative, Tebogo Obusitse says his nomination last year led to him becoming an ambassador and chairman of the Northern Cape Men’s Forum. Nominated for the Leadership Award, the Operation Wanya Tsotsi (OWT) chairman says like the rest of the nominees in his category of Leadership, he did not choose to become a leader in society. He felt it was necessary to recognize the need for social justice and restore balance in Kimberley communities.
“We find ourselves as leaders in our communities when there are challenges in our societies. We have seen others continuously fold their arms and always pointed out as to who must deal with problems facing our society, especially the scourge of violence against women and children. So it is incumbent upon all of us to take the lead, so that we are seen by the generation that is coming. We are seen as leaders who will make sure that they at least stand a chance at a better life. As a leader in the category of leadership, you don’t choose to be nominated.”
The initiative is centered around nation building and transforming South African men to be active and stand up against any form of abuse. Nominated in the category of Science and Technology – Thabiso Mogorosi who shared Obusitse’s sentiments, adding that it was a good feeling to receive some recognition for his efforts. “I was nominated because of the work that my organization does. I am a coordinator for African Teen Geeks. And we are basically the middle man between Google and South Africa. We give out free coding classes.” The values of the awards are espoused on transforming, empowering, uniting, and celebrating men. All men nominated are ambassadors.
This year the department will introduce a category that recognizes unsung retired positive Male role models, men of integrity, men like Dr Richard Maponya, Advocate George Bizos, Bubsy Mlangeni Angus Buchanan and many other positive male role models. There are 11 categories from which the public is enabled to nominate from, from now till the 29th November 2018.