Each year celebrities lend their names, time and energy to our campaign. They are our ambassadors. Meet this year’s stars:
KHAYA DLANGA has established himself as one of the most influential individuals in South African media, particularly social media. This is a platform he uses to promote discussion on topics that range from the frivolous to the profound. In his book ` To Quote Myself’, Khaya recounts entertaining and moving stories about his roots and upbringing in rural Transkei. It delves into how he made his mark at school, as-well-as his time spent studying advertising, and working as a stand-up comedian. He also shares his political views, and how he overcame homelessness to become one of South Africa’s top marketers.
AARON MOLOISI is co-host of the SABC 1 show – Shift.
He’s been in the entertainment industry for over a decade.
Acting roles include playing Will Hlatshwayo in the hugely popular soapie, Generations.
He says focus and determination are key ingredients to a successful career.
Aaron has supported National Book Week from day one, making this the sixth year that he is an ambassador.
REFILOE MPAKANYANE is a broadcast journalist, with a penchant for the arts. She has an Honours Degree from the Wits School of Journalism. Her long list of achievements includes hosting a Lifestyle and Arts show on Metro FM called La Bonne Vie. This dynamic young woman has acted in the Clint Eastwood movie, Invictus (2009) and local feature film Nothing For Mahala (2013). Refiloe has interviewed an exciting mix of musicians, actors, politicians and captains of industry. From South Africa’s jazz luminary Hugh Masekela, maskandi singer Busi Mhlongo, to actors John Kani, Kevin Spacey and U2 front man Bono. She champions causes close to her heart such as literacy advocacy. Alongside providing under resourced schools with reading books for their libraries she is also a National Book Week ambassador. No wonder then that she is a mentor to a young lady at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.
When you think of BRIDGET MASINGA, you think beauty, brains and confidence packaged with sass. Bridget has an extensive CV.
She is an actress, having acted in many high profile television shows and a highly sought after MC for local and international events. She has been the face of popular brands and of course she is a radio DJ.
This talented beauty also has a big heart, Bridget is up for anything that is for education and youth empowerment. She has her own foundation called Jane’s Daughter which is a tribute to her late grandmother.
Bridget is a burst of personality and to experience more of it, you can invite her into you home and office during Jacaranda’s Workzone 09:00 to 12:00 weekdays.
PEARL THUSI Pearl has come a long way since presenting kids’ game show, iCrew, as a teenager.
At 20-something, she’s become a household name in the entertainment industry: starred on SABC 3’s popular soap opera, Isidingo, as Palesa Motaung and co-hosts Live AMP with DJ Warras and Luthando Shosha.
She previously co-hosted the SABC 1 celebrity gossip magazine show, The Real Goboza, with Phat Joe.
One of the books that have had a huge impact on her is `The Power of One’ by Bryce Courtenay. She first read it when she was in Grade 9. She told Sunday World: “It was special to me, because it was a gift from my teacher. I also identified with the main character, Peekay. I love animals, and he catches pigeons just to look after them.”
STONE SEATE (real name Tshepo Seate) is a South African kwaito singer, music producer, actor and television presenter. He is best known for his part in the highly successful kwaito band, Bongo Maffin, since 1996.
Stoan’s kept his name from his rap days when he was known as “Stoan Kold-T”.
He was called to a screen test for the SABC 1 youth drama series Soul Buddyz claiming the part of teacher, Pule, with whom Stoan says he shares his pragmatic nature and ability to maintain a positive outlook.
Apart from a cameo in Molofish, his other TV work includes presenting Castle Loud from 2001 to 2003 and Lillizela the music game show, during 2004.
In 2013 he was a guest presenter at the 6th annual Crown Gospel Music Awards.
LUPI NGCAYISA started his foundation after seeing the joy of a young girl when she received a pair of leather school shoes. “Her smile ignited a light in me,” he recalls. “I immediately imagined 900 children, a 100 from each of the nine provinces in our country, beaming like this little girl.” At the time, Lupi was a co-host and producer on Metro FM, so in December 2008 he asked listeners not to get him gifts for his birthday, but to buy shoes to be given to needy children instead. “I publicly dispensed my cellphone number on the air, pleading with those who wished to help to call me. However, instead of asking for 900 shoes, I accidentally asked for 9,000 shoes,” he says. By the end of January 2009, Lupi had handed out 16,600 pairs of shoes to children who’d never owned any before. Since its founding, the Lupi Ngcayisa Foundation has distributed more than 80,000 new shoes throughout SA. Lupi says it has been worth the effort. “I come from poverty, so I know how disempowering and humiliating it can be. Each time I perform an act of kindness, a part of me heals.”