Africa's leaders do good

2017-11-26 07:43
Graça Machel accepts an award for her work with ch

Johannesburg - Inviting guests for 17:30 was a clever move by organisers of the African Leaders 4 Change Awards 2017.

The event, which took place on Tuesday at the Sandton Convention Centre, started on time at 20:00.

Organised by the Celebs 4 Change Foundation, the event was a glittering celebration which included a sit-down dinner for Africa’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders.

This marks the first in what is planned as an annual event.

It was hosted by Emmy winner and Golden Globe-nominated US actress Lynn Whitfield and Akon Lighting Africa co-founder Thione Niang.

Boity Thulo, Terry Pheto and J’Something were among the guests adding star power on the red carpet.

The awards were created to acknowledge high-profile Africans doing positive work in their communities.

A popular winner was South Africa’s former first lady Graça Machel for her foundation’s work with children.

In her speech, she appealed for governments to stop funding wars and start funding “each and every child’s schooling”.

Limpopo mining magnate Tim Tebeila was acknowledged for his philanthropic work, while Senegal’s Amadou Gallo Fall, vice-president of the National Basketball Association, accepted his trophy for a programme he initiated across Africa that uses the sport of basketball to teach leadership to children.

Somizi “Somgaga” Mhlongo was the choreographer for the night and along with his longtime leading lady Lorcia Cooper, kept the guests entertained.

Singing legend Yvonne Chaka Chaka performed her latest single, while Nigeria’s 2face Idibia had the crowd asking for more.

Zimbabwe’s Jah Prayzah raised the flag of his home country to hail the changes taking place there as waiters carrying plates of delicious food passed the media tables at the back, but didn’t stop to share.

A group rendition of the new Song for Africa opened the show.

We journalists would have loved to see what the closing number was, but we were starving and needed to find dinner.

Although we were served copious wine to wash down that hungry sensation, it soon became clear to us media folk that we were not going to be offered food.

Not the best way to ensure you get positive coverage at your event, folks.

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