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Meet the 100 young Mandelas of the future

In celebration of what would have been former president Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday on July 18, News24 set out to honour 100 young South Africans who embody the characteristics Mandela was best known for.

We counted on our more than six million readers to nominate and help us find South Africans from all walks of life, aged 35 and younger, who can be considered Mandelas of the future. And boy, did they deliver.

The response we received was overwhelming and, out of more than 1 000 entries, we were able to, over the past two months, carefully consider and choose 100 young people who have, through their actions, showed that they believe in the future of South Africa.

From young Aaron Greenblatt, 9, who has donated more than 24 000 pairs of socks to orphaned children, to Mosa Mapheto, 29, who started a vegetable garden in her hometown of Lebowakgomo, Limpopo, that employs and feeds the families of 13 people.

The five categories in which people were nominated are: leadership, compassion, resilience, creativity and vision.

While some of our young Mandelas serve in leadership positions in NGOs and large organisations that aim to uplift and empower South Africans, others do their best with whatever they have to make a difference in their local communities, or have a personal story to tell of resilience and compassion. That is the beauty of this competition – any contribution, no matter how big or small, was eligible.

Congratulations to the 100 people who are featured on our list. You inspire us all to be better South Africans. Keep up the good work!

Team News24

PS. If you are featured among our young Mandelas of the future, but you haven’t received an email from us, please email us at 100mandelas@24.com.