Foreword from the editor

Wally Mbhele, Sunday World Editor. Photo by Bongiwe Mchunu

This is our maiden edition of what is, from now on, going to be Sunday World’s annual Unsung Heroes Awards, a fitting tribute to the many young men and women across the country who are not afraid to dream and act – even when the odds are stacked against them.

We take this opportunity to bow our heads in honour of these heroes and heroines for having piloted through the uncharted territories. They have proven unshaken, nor fearful of many human barriers that stand in their way to fulfil their dreams. We admire them for their courage.

Here are young men and women who consider it an honour and privilege to be truly tested by the grinding challenges of their generation. Like a defiant and triumphant generation of June 16 1976, these Unsung Heroes constantly provoke and stir our conscience with their determination and fortitude to overcome our problems.

When so many young people have given up and lost the will and stomach to fight, the Sunday World Unsung Heroes provide a powerful testament of resilience. They are also driven by a call to accept and explore many new opportunities.
Their journeys are epic, as reflected across the pages of this special supplement, which reflects a noble feat of their pursuits characterised by perpetual motion, potent energy and powerful dreams as they seek to find a new sense of dignity and worthiness in their own lives and those of their communities.

They personify everything that Sunday World and the sponsors of the Unsung Heroes’ project are about.
They epitomise and encapsulate renowned German scientist Albert Einstein’s observation that “the person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts”. Those who dare to dream, continues Einstein, “often have a broader perspective in life and can turn the improbable to the possible”.

It was their achievement – spread across these pages – that we have proudly produced this special supplement to recognise their remarkable feats.
Some of them are changing the world of business, science and technology, medicine, research, health, government, agriculture, commerce and SMMEs, as well as other aligned professions, as they go beyond the call of duty to provide a better life for their communities.

However, they never make newspaper headlines nor feature in glossy magazines. They also don’t make an appearance on glitzy television and radio programmes. For this reason, they deserve this outstanding award of Sunday World Unsung Heroes.

This special edition is a fitting recognition of their self-sacrifice. It is a tribute to their audacious response to the debilitating challenges faced by the youth. Their journeys encourage us all, especially the youth, not to despair, but to follow in the footsteps of these Unsung Heroes.

Unsung Heroes 2021 Categories