05 Nov 2022

Urban Heroes 2022

The tagline of The Message Trust is raising up generations of Urban Heroes. An Urban Hero is someone who has found their hope and purpose in Christ. They are transformational leaders creating ripple effects of change in their families, communities, and nation.

At our recent Urban Hero Awards ceremony, we celebrated five transformational leaders who, against all odds, are making a tangible difference in society.

The Urban Hero Awards is a black-tie dinner event sponsored by many of our key partners. It was held on 27th October and was an incredible evening celebrating our five amazing award winners. Our guests on the evening expressed how the event brought them courage and hope that God is at work in South Africa. The award winners said that receiving recognition gave them incredible encouragement to continue the work that God has called them to.

The five winners were all nominated by the staff and volunteers of The Message South Africa. We want to congratulate them once again:

Servant Leader Award: Carlyle Adriaans
Mission Award: Candice Alben
Ubuntu Award: Xhanti Petshwa
Catalyst Award: Karlin Eloff
Achiever Award: Bongani Zazaza

From the five, an overall Urban Hero of the Year award was chosen.

Urban Hero of the Year 2022

Xhanti Petshwa

Urban Hero Awards 2022

Xhanti is 21 years old and grew up in Nyanga. As a teenager, he loved football and joined Phuhla FC. The club had been adopted by The Message Hub in Nyanga and Xhanti was discipled and supported throughout his high school career. His testimony is that his faith in Jesus, and the support provided by the church and Hub, prevented him from following so many of his peers into drugs and gangsterism. Additionally, Xhanti’s leadership gifts were becoming clear to everyone at The Message. 

Upon graduating High School, Xhanti was approached to take on a role at the Hub to coach and support the youngsters coming through the programme. In 2021, at just 20 years of age, Xhanti became the Hub leader. While continuing his own studies, he remains committed to living in Nyanga, leading the Hub, and investing in the lives of teenagers from across Nyanga. His dream is for the young people in Nyanga to find their hope and purpose in God, complete their education and contribute to eradicating gangsterism and crime in Nyanga and beyond.

The audience cheered when Xhanti’s name was announced as the Urban Hero of the Year 2022. It was a fitting finale to a fantastic evening. Message South Africa chairperson, Siviwe Minyi said, “It touches one’s heart to see the manner in which people are making a difference”.

We want to express our gratitude to all our Urban Hero Award partners:

LegalWise, The Olive Grove,  Insurance Institute of the Western Cape, Zulu Flora, The Blackbird Group (GetSaavi), CCFM, Gunston Strandvik Attorneys, Wauko and Matisse Investments.

A huge thank you to all our guests who came on the night. If you didn’t make it, then you can enjoy a snapshot of the event by clicking here to watch the video – and we hope you can join us next time.