From South Africa to Buckingham Palace: SA youth honoured by Queen Elizabeth

Two young inspirational South Africans were honoured by Queen Elizabeth at the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders event which took place at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.


The highly acclaimed event that hosted South African’s Siposetu Sethu Mbuli and Thamsanqa Hoza, honours “incredible work” that youth from around the world are doing in their communities.

The Queen’s Young Leaders programme discovers, celebrates and supports exceptional young people from across the commonwealth, leaving a lasting legacy for her Majesty the Queen.

“In 2014 a search was launched to find exceptional young people to receive the first ever Queen’s Young Leaders Awards. Hundreds of applications flooded in from incredible young people all dedicated to making lasting change in their community and beyond.

The Programme is now in its fourth and final year and has formed a unique community of 240 influential change-makers, who represent 53 Commonwealth countries.”

Winners of this prestigious Award will receive a unique package of training, mentoring and networking, as well as awarding Grants to organisations in selected Commonwealth countries that can show they are improving the lives of young people.

“Our vision is to provide opportunities for young people to learn new skills, enter employment and give them a voice in their communities.”

Siposetu from the Western Cape province was chosen in recognition of the work she is doing to develop new ways to end the stigma that surrounds albinism in South Africa.

Growing up with albinism herself, and mindful of the misconceptions that still exist around it, Siposetu co-founded Love, This Skin. The organisation assists, supports and educates young people with albinism and their families. It currently works with over 100 people, the majority of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and provides them with necessities like sun protection and eye care.

“I am honoured and feel grateful to have been chosen as part of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. This Award confirms the importance of the work we do at ‘Love,This Skin’ and the power of sharing one’s story.”

As a broadcaster, Siposetu regularly tells her story and encourages other people to share theirs. Love, This Skin runs an online series which, through interviews and conversations, reports on some of the challenges people with albinism have faced. The group also works with organisations like the Western Cape Albinism and Hypo-pigment Foundation to host community initiatives focused on educating the public about albinism and eradicating misconceptions about the condition.

The other incredible South African is based in Cape Town and was has chosen in recognition of the work Thamsanqahe is doing to help young entrepreneurs and innovators to achieve their goals.

In 2014, while studying at the Lawhill Maritime Centre, Thamsanqa and a friend developed the ‘Hot Nozzle’, a portable battery-operated shower head which heats up water. As a result, he was recognised by the African Innovation Foundation as one of the top ten young innovators in Africa.

He has since co-founded HN Innovate, an organisation which seeks to encourage and inspire young people to explore entrepreneurship. Thamsanqa is also launching a Robotics Science and Technology Programme to help students learn to conceptualise, design and build robot models.

“I am excited to become part of an ecosystem of other young people who are committed to bringing a change to their communities and the world at large.”

Official photos have not been released yet, but Siposetu posted some snaps from her travels on social media:

Sources: Facebook
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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