Lead SALead SA

A special mention for a special tree planting project

By Michael Markovitz

I would like to recommend a young guy for special LeadSA mention.

Khethiwa “Khethi” Ngwenya came to me through Johnny Clegg. Johnny said Khethi was a young guy who has showed such incredible drive and leadership for a 20 year old – and he asked if I could help point him in the right direction.

Born in 1991, Khethi matriculated in 2009, decided to be an entrepreneur, set up a small office in his parent’s home and then began his quest to set up a media company. But that’s not necessarily why I recommend him.

While Khethi was driving around the townships looking for media opportunities, he noticed that the schools were “as if they were a desert. No trees, no grass”.  Khethi believed that the this was not conducive to learning and so he researched what could be done.

Khethi then approached Johannesburg City Parks and asked if they could assist in helping to create green schools. City Parks agreed to provide and deliver over 8000 trees! 

“I then had a second challenge of who was going to plant these trees. I managed to meet with the National Association of School Governing Bodies and began to promote the “Going Green Project ””

“As a young person with youthful ideas I wanted something to also motivate learners to participate”. He devised a competition to encourage kids to maintain the trees, with the best performing schools to win prizes, like movie tickets.

Anyway, in the last few months, Khethi has managed to get 4458 trees planted across in schools in Johannesburg region .  An amazing achievement and pretty much done single handedly.

I pushed Ster Kinekor to get involved and I think they are sponsoring one tree planting event.

Khethi wants to hold workshops on how to keep the schools green and work with the kids.

He now has a small company called SchoolMedia and he is working media opportunities. www.schoolmedia.co.za . I’ve sent him to Primedia Outdoor on that one.

I just thought the guy was deserving of special mention. He is quiet and unassuming but really impressed me at how he has pulled off this tree planting project.

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