The Education Africa Global Awards: Legacy Project
The inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award was presented in 2006 at a function in New York hosted by Brendan McDonagh, CEO of HSBC Bank USA. In 2007, 2008 and 2009 Michael Geoghegan, then Group CEO of HSBC Plc and his wife Jania Geoghegan, then Chairman of Education Africa Global Ambassadors and Friends of Education Africa, hosted a fundraising gala dinner in London. In 2010 and 2013, the gala dinner was again held in New York, this time hosted by Dan Fisher, President of Education Africa Inc.
These events are significant to Education Africa, as they allowed us to pay tribute to those who share our passion for education. Over the years, Education Africa has presented the following Awards:
The Education Africa Life Time Achievement Award for Africa which helps to engender an awareness of the dire need for educating impoverished Africans and bringing them closer to a quality and relevant education that can assist Africa to participate in the global economy. The Award is presented to an individual who has helped to alert the rest of the world to some of the problems that face some of the poorest African nations.
Congratulations to the following winners:
Past mayor of New York City, The Honourable David Dinkins was recognized for his ongoing commitment to the development of sub-Saharan Africa and his support of US trade with Africa. Past President Bill Clinton sent a personal letter of congratulations to Mayor Dinkins.
Sir Bob Geldof was recognized for his unwavering commitment over the past 23 years to the needs of the poorest people on the African continent. Former President Nelson Mandela sent a personal letter to Sir Bob Geldof and was one of the many leading figures to pay homage to him.
KBE Sir Richard Branson received the Award in recognition of his continued, outstanding contribution to the upliftment of disadvantaged and vulnerable people of Africa.
Desmond Tutu is best known for his vigorous activism in the apartheid era for which he was awarded
the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. His contribution to the reconstruction of South Africa post 1994 and
his commitment to a vast number of charities throughout Africa, make him a worthy recipient of this
Jonathan Jansen was presented with the Award in recognition of his extraordinary leadership in integrating the University of the Free State after it threatened to implode with racial tension, and for his continued work towards the transformation of education in South Africa.
The Education Africa Humanitarian Award was first introduced in 2010. It is presented in recognition of outstanding commitment and unwavering support for humanitarian work and efforts in Africa, giving recognition to those unsung heroes who so often go unnoticed.
And the winners are:
Herb and Joy Kaiser were honoured for establishing Medical Education for South African Blacks (MESAB) in 1984 which provided financial aid and guidance to 10 000 doctors, dentists, nurses and other health professionals over a period of 23 years.
Theresa Clarke is the founder of Student Sponsorship Programme South Africa which is helping hundreds of young South African women realize their own and their country’s extraordinary potential. The Programme’s alumni go on to study at some of the best universities in the world.
The Education Africa Allegiance Award seeks to honour those who have shown immense support and loyalty to Education Africa and to the values and principles for which we stand. The recipient of this Award must have been a supporter of Education Africa over the years in the capacity of a sponsor or a volunteer.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to the following winners:
In 1997, Masibambane College opened its doors with 14 students in Orange Farm, an impoverished informal settlement south of Johannesburg, South Africa. Today, this Education Africa initiated project has over 1000 learners enrolled annually. The majority of the funding for the bricks and mortar has come from the City of Vienna which, over the years, has contributed time and time again to ensure that the school has been able to grow and develop to meet the increasing number of pupils. Masibambane College has become a flagship project for both Education Africa and the City of Vienna.
Michael Geoghegan has played an instrumental role in ensuring the success of many Education Africa fundraising initiatives over the years. His commitment to Education Africa originally began in 2005, at a time when Education Africa was going through a tough period and needed a backer to help our charity grow and take it to another level. His deep belief in the importance of education is well documented, and at Education Africa, we can honestly say that we are what we are today because of Michael Geoghegan’s “show of faith” in us.
While Matthew Bosrock was working in South Africa he joined our Board of Trustees and inspired us all with his incredible dedication and his clear understanding of the challenges and needs of our organisation. This is a man who was committed to Education Africa and to open doors so we could grow our delivery and sustainability. When he left South Africa to take up a position in Canada, he continued his involvement with Education Africa, initially rallying together a group of Education Africa Global Ambassadors and securing some strong international support for our organisation. He continuing to be a sounding board to the Education Africa Executive – always willing and more than able to offer advice, motivation and inspiration.
When you mention Ndaba Ntsele and Geoff Rotschild at the Education Africa offices, everyone’s eyes light up. These two distinguished gentlemen have been associated with Education Africa for many years, always there to offer support, give invaluable mentorship, leadership and advice in their capacity as Board member and Patron. They have taken their commitment and loyalty to Education Africa beyond the call of duty. Indeed, they have become the rocks upon which we have learnt to lean, the friends we turn to when we need help, the wise men we listen to when tough decisions need to be made. They have jointly and individually motivated and inspired us at Education Africa to see the bigger picture and to fight for our dream. There is no doubt that Education Africa’s success as an organisation is a direct result of their constant and tireless loyalty and support, for which we are immensely grateful.
The Education Africa Gala Awards Dinner
We always combine the gala dinner with some festivities which include performances by one of the Education Africa Marimba Hub Bands, and some of South Africa’s exceptional artists such as PJ Powers, Zolani Mkiva and the Soprani. At the 2010 event, we were privileged to have international music sensation Gloria Gaynor perform her hit single “I will survive”. She was accompanied by the Thokoza School Marimba Band – a truly magical performance! In 2013 Roberta Flack performed at the dinner, and she was accompanied by the Aqua Vista Primary School Marimba Band.
In addition, we conclude the function with a charity auction which is always hotly contested and well supported. In the past we have auctioned off some incredible artwork and sculptures from South African artists and in 2009 we introduced our Make a Face/Transform a Life charity auction where celebrities from throughout the world design and hand paint Venetian masks in support of Education Africa’s ongoing project work.