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Celebrating World Homeless Day 2023: A Day of Empowerment and Inspiration

On the 10th of October 2023, the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID) and a coalition of esteemed community stakeholders marked World Homeless Day with an event that encapsulated the very spirit of unity, hope, and empowerment. This annual event serves as a poignant reminder of the struggles faced by homeless individuals in our community, and this year, our collaborative initiative aimed to uplift and inspire these marginalized members of our community.

The celebration was a grand showcase of talent, with participants from diverse backgrounds pouring their hearts into a talent show that included various artistic expressions – such as modelling, singing, dancing – and more. This event was more than just a showcase of skills; it was a powerful platform for the homeless to shine, reclaim their self-worth, and demonstrate their immense potential.

Ethan Newman, a name to remember, emerged as the star of the talent show. His captivating singing performance won the hearts of both the audience and the esteemed panel of judges, earning him first place. Ethan’s victory was a symbol of his unwavering dedication and remarkable talent, proving that one’s circumstances do not define one’s worth.

Nazeema Davis, a remarkable singer, earned second place, while Peter Christians’ heartfelt rapping performance earned him third place. These gifted individuals reminded us that talent knows no bounds and that perseverance and passion can lead to great achievements, regardless of the challenges life presents.

The modelling competition was equally enchanting. Tracey-Lee Viljoen took the stage by storm and was crowned Ms Talent (Modelling) – with a grace and confidence that would make anyone proud. Natelie Danster and Ruth Martinez, 1st and 2nd Princesses, brought their own unique charm to the stage and showed incredible poise.

In the male modelling category, Tristan Hendricks dazzled the audience and was named Mr. Talent. Tyrese Jacobs and Xolile Freddy stood out as 1st and 2nd Prince, proving that confidence and beauty are not limited by circumstance.

The cash prizes awarded at the event are a testament to the support and dedication of our community and sponsors. First place in the Talent Show came with a generous cash prize of R1,000.00, along with a lunch/dinner voucher for two from the New National Hotel. Second and third-place winners received cash prizes of R700.00 and R500.00, respectively. Notably, all cash prizes were generously sponsored by Protea Toyota, Bellville.

The models were also rewarded with notable prizes. First-place winners received Ackermans vouchers worth R1,000.00 each. The 2nd and 3rd place winners received R200.00 each in cash, along with Ackermans toiletry bags. These prizes served as a well-deserved recognition of their exceptional talents.

Behind the scenes, the event was expertly hosted by Master of Ceremonies, Jarniqe Hendricks, who happens to be one of the homeless people who are part of our programmes to move off the streets. Jarniqe’s charm and charisma set the stage for an unforgettable day, and his presence was a powerful testament to the potential talent that often remains hidden within our homeless community.

The talent show and modelling competition were judged by a distinguished panel that included Wilma Piek, VRCID Social Development Manager, Davian ver Neel, VRCID Precinct Manager, and Shaun Petersen, Talent Manager and vocal coach. Their expertise and discerning eye ensured that the competition was a true showcase of the participants’ abilities.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Cleopatra Nitzky, Allistair Scholtz, and the entire VRCID team for their tireless efforts and dedication in organizing this truly inspiring event. Thank you for bringing hope, empowerment, and unity to our homeless community. Special recognition and gratitude must be given to U-Turn, who generously sponsored the clothing for our models. Seeing these individuals dressed in beautiful outfits was not only a sight to behold, but a touching reminder that beauty and transformation can be found even in the most unexpected places. Many eyes were filled with tears of joy and appreciation as they witnessed our models looking radiant and confident, despite the challenges they face on a daily basis.

A sincere thank you to Veronica Geduld (VRCID) and Elizabeth Horn from KRAC for providing nourishing curry and rice, to Cl Roger Cannon for the refreshing cooldrinks and water, and to the generous support of Dr Karen Gunther (financial contribution) and to the congregation for our homeless and vulnerable community, Shofar Urban. Your kindness and generosity made a significant difference in ensuring the well-being and comfort of our homeless community members throughout the event.

World Homeless Day 2023 was more than an event; it was a powerful demonstration of community support, and the boundless potential that lies within all of us. It served as a reminder that homelessness does not define a person’s worth, and that, with a helping hand and the right opportunity, remarkable changes can occur. Thank you to all the participants, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters who made this event a resounding success. Together, we have shown that when a community unites, the potential for change and hope is limitless.


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