Youth activist and founder of Vanthswa Va Xivono, Samuel Ntsanwisi, is the recipient of the 2014 Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in Youth Development. Samuel is an Old Boy from Stanford Lake College and matriculated in 2004.
Twelve extraordinary individuals have been honoured at the prestigious annual Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards. The event was initiated by Inyathelo eight years ago to acknowledge, celebrate and honour those whose personal giving has contributed towards sustainable social change in our country.
The 28-year-old Samuel ran more than 1 850 km in 32 days last year as part of his ongoing efforts to raise awareness of and money for abused women and children. Samuel himself enjoyed a privileged upbringing and attended Stanford Lake College but feels compelled to help those who haven t had the same opportunities as he has in life. It all started when he was eghteen and wanted to set up a band.
He says he met so many talented youngsters but most of them were unable to fulfill their potential because of the social challenges they faced each day. Samuel started helping them informally, organising opportunities and introducing them to people that could help.
After studying film and working in the industry, he set up his own film company and uses most of the proceeds to fund his youth organisation Vantshswa Va Xivone which means 'youth with a vision'. Samuel is currently working as the Director of Bjatladi Youth Development and hopes to establish his own youth centre soon. He works closely with the SAPS's Victim Empowerment Unit in guiding young people to make positive choices and empowering them with life skills, knowledge and opportunities.
Apart from his coaching and mentoring at schools, Samuel also works weekly with a group of thirty disadvantaged and orphaned youngsters in Nkowankowa, helping them with personal or school-related problems.