The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) remains proud of Thulani Madondo's sterling contribution, the only African to be nominated as one of CNN's Hero of the Year candidates where ten "everyday heroes" around the world were nominated to win an overall award by CNN's global audience. On 3 December 2012, CNN announced the overall winner of the award and Thulani missed out on the global prize, however, his notable recognition by CNN will go a long way in inspiring the youth of South Africa and the African continent to be limitless.
Through the Kliptown Youth Programme (KYP) which he co-founded, Thulani has been contributing towards providing educational support and extramural activities to eradicate poverty and to combat the disadvantages encountered by the youth of Kliptown. His efforts continue to aid young people in his township whilst inspiring many across South Africa and the African continent.
"We're extremely proud of Thulani's enormous accomplishment because his efforts speak to the values that the NYDA encourages among all youth in South Africa. Instead of being discouraged by the disadvantages posed by his impoverished surroundings, he embraced the spirit of being 'Limitless' - an attitude that we at the NYDA advocate and encourage through our "Limitless Youth" message," said Steven Ngubeni, NYDA CEO.
Steven Ngubeni says Thulani's global recognition serves as a symbol of hope and inspiration for many young South Africans because now, they all know that one's surroundings should never serve as a limitation but rather a motivation to be limitless.
On 23 October 2012, the NYDA presented Thulani with a contribution of R150 000 to support the KYP project and further invested in various platforms to encourage all in South Africa and the African continent to vote for him. At the cheque handover, Madondo took the NYDA and media present on a brief tour of the KYP facilities which comprises a library, playground, classrooms and various afterschool activities. The centre has tutoring, athletic and arts programs which provide an active positive lifestyle to the children of Kliptown.
He further showed all present the small one bedroom house where he grew up with his single mother and nine other siblings. Faced with all sorts of limitations, Madondo attended school up to matric but could not afford to go to tertiary, but instead of turning to a life of crime and misdemeanours, he decided to find a way to uplift the youth of his community and help those who are just as unfortunate. His circumstances, upbringing and love for his community inspired him to start the thriving KYP project which has now been recognised on an international platform.
The NYDA further like to thank all Africans and in particular, South Africans who voted for Thulani Madondo. His recognition indeed remains a beacon of hope for all "Limitless Youth."
To learn more about the Kliptown Youth Programme go to www.kliptownyouthprogram.org.za and to pledge funds and other resources towards this initiative, please contact: