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YOUNG people in the inner city got some in-depth information about the opportunities that the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has to offer when the Youth Train pulled into Park Station on 25 June.

The NYDA train has been travelling all over the country teaching young people about opportunities that are available to them, as well as how they can use the agency to their advantage. It is intended to provide an open platform for promoting awareness, interactive dialogue and assistance to young people.

Throughout the journey, which began on 1 June, various private and government entities have taken the opportunity to communicate with young people, informing them of what is on offer for the group.

Among the companies that exhibited was Tosman Entertainment Rockers, which is owned by Foki Joseph. It manages unsigned performing artists such as musicians, DJs and actors. The Department of International Relations and Co-operation also participated.

At Park Station, a comedy was staged that showed how young people could approach the agency with their business ideas. In the play, a young man had a dream of growing his business of selling fruit on the corner to something bigger. He was advised to approach the NYDA. There he was trained as an entrepreneur and also helped financially. Eventually, he became the businessman he always wanted to be.

The play featured some popular television actors, including Azwidohwi Malaka, who plays Pfuluwani in the popular soapie Muvhango, and Israel Makoe, who is known for his roles in Gaz’lam, Yizo Yizo and Rhythm City. They assured the audience that even if they had a struggling business now, they could be millionaires in the making, and that they should continue studying.

Among those at the gathering was Lehlonono Mkhuzo, a 16-year-old aspiring entrepreneur. He learnt that he did not have to have money to start a business. “When I am 18 I will draft my business proposal and ask the NYDA for help.”

Nominations for the South African Youth Awards were opened earlier in the month. The awards were to be handed out at the end of this month, but have been rescheduled and the winners will now be announced at the end of July. Communities and youth organisations are urged to nominate people between the ages of 14 and 35 who they feel are worthy and have achieved against all odds.

The public is also urged to nominate institutions and/or organisations that are meaningfully contributing to youth development. Nominations now close at the end of the day on Friday, 13 July. Nominations can be made through the NYDA website or the LoveLife website. Nominations can be faxed to 086 766 3492, emailed to, or at any NYDA branch or LoveLife branch countrywide.

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