Imagine awards celebrate people from all walks of life – Dr Survé

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CAPE TOWN, December 1 – The Imagine Awards celebrate people from all walks of life working together to create a better world, says Independent media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé.

“We celebrate that as wonderful people from all walks of life, black and white disabled, enabled, and different religions, different backgrounds, all pull together ultimately to try and create a better world,” Survé said as he presented the awards at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town on Friday night.

The awards honour individuals, organisations, and institutions involved in initiatives aimed at making a social impact in various sectors.

Hundreds of people, including representatives from civil society organisations, national and local government officials, and members of the public attended the inaugural awards ceremony.

The Survé Philanthropies, the private foundation which houses several of the Survé family’s philanthropic initiatives, announced the launch of the Imagine Awards earlier this month.

“About 30 years ago, I was a practising community doctor, a socialist, and I loved what I did in community practice. I drove a [VW] beetle when most of my colleagues were driving Mercedes Benz and BMWs,” said Survé.

“We tried not to let people pay when they couldn’t afford to pay. Anyone that was disabled could be seen for free, anyone that was over the age of 60 could be seen for free. And we tried to practice medicine in a way that was meaningful, that was more about making people better than trying to make a profit. And I practised for 10 years and loved what I did. I loved being a doctor, and I loved working with the communities. Many doctors joined me, many nurses joined me, many other health professionals joined me and it became an incredible place to work and see the joy of just giving,” he said.

Nearly 100 nominations for the awards were received from across the country. Of these, 33 individuals and organisations made it onto the shortlist in various categories, including arts and culture; disability; technology; human rights; media; education; women; children; and poverty alleviation.

Winners included:

– Catherina Rieper, chief operating officer for Lalela, an organisation which provides educational arts for at-risk youth;

– The BlaqPearl Foundation which was established to support young people through programmes using arts, literature, and sport to break the cycle of drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, and gangsterism prevalent on the Cape Flats;

– Kwakho Mamputa, who at the age of eight volunteers her time to collect donations for a soup kitchen in Khayelitsha and is an inspiration to many young children in her community;

– Jabaar Mohamed, a champion for deaf awareness advocating for sign language to be acknowledged as an official language; and

– Mdebuka Mthwazi, executive director of Sikhula Sonke Early Childhood Development, which provides services to more than seven communities in Khayelitsha.

Brenda Mamputa, mother of Kwakho Mamputa from Khayelitsha who won in the “young person to watch” category, said her daughter was a model and had been the face of Akermans when she was 10 days old. She won all the competitions she entered last year.

“Based on all those competitions that she had been winning, she needed to give back to the community. Then she came to me and said since Khayelitsha is one of the many townships affected by poverty so we should start our own soup kitchen. We started small but we got some sponsors and we are currently feeding about 800 people in the community.

She said Kwakho’s charity for next year was celebrating children living with albinism. She urged parents to support their children in whatever they wanted to achieve in their lives and not to look down on their children’s wishes.

– African News Agency (ANA)