More than a dozen Witsies triumphed over 1200 nominees to be honoured as the Mail & Guardian’s most interesting and talented youth in South Africa.

It’s about time that I get noticed

Earlier this month, the M&G announced its list of top 200 young South Africans. Witsies soared in almost all 11 categories. Atandwa Kani, son of famous actor John Kani, was honoured for his contribution to the arts.  Kani said being honoured was long overdue. “It’s about time that I get noticed,” he said.

Kani, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts from the Wits School of Arts, said he was happy with this year’s list because the people on the list “worked hard to be the best”. He said it was great to be honoured and selected but he wasn’t excited about the recognition. “I made it happen, so I’m not that excited,” said Kani.

Arts, business, law, civil society, education, health and sports

This is the eighth year that M&G has released a special print edition that profiles young people who are praised for excellence in their various fields. The 200 selected young South Africans are recognised in categories such as arts, business, law, civil society, education, health and sports. [pullquote align=”right”]I feel so honoured. It was so unexpected[/pullquote]

Each year M&G finds 200 young people aged 35 years and under who are either born in SA or have made a home here. These individuals must display incredible passion, drive and talent. Yusuf Talia has a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree and is in the final year of his second degree, a BSc in Psychology and Physiology.

We can do anything we put our minds to

Talia says he was humbled by the recognition.“I feel so honoured. It was so unexpected,” he said. At an early age Talia was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which left him wheelchair-bound. As the president of the Union of Muslim Students’ Association of South Africa, a member of the Disabled Students’ Movement and a former member of the Wits SRC, Talia said he is committed to making a change in the community.

“The youth need to adopt an attitude of helping those in need in their societies. We can do anything we put our minds to,” he said.