A wave of green consciousness is sweeping South Africa as the world prepares for COP17, which is set to kick off in Durban from the 28th of November. World leaders debate in congress and we all look to one another for answers, while green warriors lead the way, demonstrating the pivotal role ordinary people like you and I can play in ensuring the call to “Go Green” is heeded.
Inspiring 20 year old, Khethi Ngwenya was working towards his dream of becoming an entrepreneur through his small media company, SchoolMedia when he realised that many schools, particularly those in the townships, were almost devoid of greenery with no grass to speak of, let alone trees.
Not conducive to learning
As a nature-lover, Ngwenya believed that this situation was not conducive to learning and began his quest to get the schools to go green – and as such he started the “Going Green Project” (GGP). Soliciting support from Johannesburg City Parks, Ngwenya negotiated that City Parks provide and deliver 8000 trees for planting in schools across Johannesburg.
Faced with the challenge of how and where he was going to get all these trees planted, Ngwenya met with the National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) and began promoting the “Going Green Project” (GGP) with increased fervour and passion.
Ngwenya states: “It was impossible to ignore the situation, seeing schools that look like deserts without any trees and thus, I was galvanised to start the Going Green Project. By educating our youth as to the importance of going green we lay the foundation for a sustainable solution to the environmental crisis we are facing.”
Over 4500 trees planted already
To date over 4500 trees have been planted in schools across the Johannesburg region – from Orange Farm, Soweto, Alexandra, Cosmo City, Ivory Park and as far as Diepsloot, all the while educating the school children as to our responsibility as a human race to maintain a clean, green environment.
Ster-Kinekor shows their support
Ster-Kinekor Theatres came on board in full support of this worthy initiative, recognising the role that corporate South Africa ought to play in supporting environmental awareness initiatives and local talent. The company will be donating movie tickets for the top schools participating in the project as well as providing background support.
“Ster-Kinekor Theatres recognises the threat to our environment and advocates the role each and every one of us can play in combating the imminent danger we are faced with. Our support for the Going Green Project and Khethi is an extension of the values we hold as an organisation. Khethi is the epitome of a strong-willed youth with such great initiative and we want to support him in propagating a culture of doing the right thing, thereby taking initiatives such as LEAD SA to ever increasing heights. In addition, as an organisation, we are proud supporters of local development; from initiatives such as this through to the content we support and promote on the big screen,” says Fiaz Mahomed, CEO of Ster-Kinekor Theatres.
Free movies for planting trees
In order to ensure sustainability and further entrench the eco-lessons learned, learners are encouraged, through a fun competition element, to continue with the initiative by maintaining the cleanliness of the school grounds and taking care of the planted trees. The students of the Cleanest & Greenest School will not only hold the coveted title, but will be treated with movie tickets.
Concludes Ngwenya: “The support I have received on my journey has been phenomenal. I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to Johannesburg City Parks, Ster-Kinekor and the NASGB who have made this initiative possible. I look forward to continuing to grow this level of awareness among the youth with the assistance of my supporters.”