COPPERSTONE launched its first annual SA Bachelor & Bachelorette of the Year in 2011. The competition was started to find South Africa’s most eligible bachelor or bachelorette, someone who encompasses brains, beauty, entrepreneurship and the spirit of Ubuntu – a competition where single individuals who want to bring about change can make a difference and create awareness through charity or community work.
6 Years later, in 2016, we wanted the competition to evolve into one where everyone who wants to bring about change were eligible to enter. To do that, a name-change was needed. The SA Bachelor & Bachelorette winners are all compassionate, humane, unselfish, altruistic, generous, kind, sympathetic, charitable, philanthropic, public-spirited, socially concerned and seeking to promote human welfare. The competition’s new name encompassed all these qualities; the HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR competition.
During the 8 past years of the SA Bachelor & Bachelorette and HUMANITARIAN competitions, we raised awareness, products and services as well as funds in excess of R900 000 for various charities. Some of the NGO’s supported thus far include:
- CANSA (The Cancer Association of South Africa)
- Jacaranda Children’s Home
- Louis Botha Children’s Home
- SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
- Siyazigabisa Children’s Home
- CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation
- Ripple Reading
- Rooihuiskraal Library
- Wespoort NG Church
- Imizamo Yethu Community Centre
- CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge
- Reach for a Dream
- Amadea Safe House
- Foodbank SA
- The Princess Project
- Peas in a Pod
- Paratus Primary School
We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished with these competitions since 2011. Thousands of entries, hundreds of finalists, more than 20 judges, more than 150 charity events, hundreds of media publications, television coverage, live-streaming at our Gala events and 14 winners later, we made the decision to end the competition on a high note. To remain fresh and current we decided to bring our loyal COPPERSTONE audiences a new venture through COPPERSTONE House, and to expand our very popular Talent Search SA competition. We are also hard at work to launch a brand-new world-first national competition next year, which will launch in May 2020.
Our current HUMANITARIAN of the Year, Erica Pienaar, will continue her charity and humanitarian work during her reign, and will, like most of our previous winners, remain part of the COPPERSTONE family.
The current HUMANITARIAN, Erica Pienaar from Cape Town, was one of the founding members of Princess Project twelve years ago. The Princess Project assists young girls and boys to attend their matric farewell. What started off as a small project, evolved into a nationwide project with branches across South Africa, working on a daily basis to assist as many girls and boys to make their most special event during their school-years unforgettable. This is the one evening every matriculant should feel like a prince or a princess. Erica is also committed to helping grade 12 learners, showing them that with hard work, comes success. Her caring and selfless nature was one of the reasons she received the last HUMANITARIAN of the Year title.
“As part of my journey during the Humanitarian of the Year competition, I had the privilege to get to know a lot of inspiring people; people who wants to make a difference in the lives of others, the type of people who put their needs far below others. Each one driven with compassion, empathy and love in their hearts, who want to see their fellow South Africans thrive and rise above their circumstances. Whether you are poor, disabled or battling an illness, we all can make a difference if we stand together as one. The HUMANITARIAN competition has changed my life in so many different ways, opening doors for the Princess Project. People are starting to take note of our little project and we have received many donations, which will allow us to make an even bigger difference! Helping Grade 12 students attend their Matric Dance helps them with their self-confidence, self-worth and even just add a touch of happiness. It might not seem important to others, but due to so many challenges that our youth are facing, it is a huge accomplishment for many children to complete their high school. Children need to be reminded that with hard work, they can achieve anything they set their minds to.”
Humanitarianism is probably the most important “ism” in the world today. Words such as “charity” and “philanthropy” describe a voluntary act, a matter of kindness rather than duty. For us humanitarianism is more a duty we are obligated to do while we’re renting our space on earth. Or maybe it is a combination of kindness and duty- a gift we HAVE to give.
We can’t express our gratitude enough to each and every person who made this competition possible and for allowing us to bring about change. Thanks to every contestant, judge, sponsor, celebrity, member of the press, performer, MC and all our past winners for your support and your humanitarianism. Watching past contestants and winners carrying on with their humanitarian work, is the rock we wanted to cast to create a ripple in the lives of people less fortunate, disabled, ill, and those who are bullied, abused and neglected.
Being a company built out of the desire to bring about change, we will also continue to incorporate the charity campaigns and annual charity drives we started through the HUMANITARIAN competition through our other competitions and ventures. We will continue to strive for our humanitarian work to cause a ripple effect that impacts the lives of many families and vulnerable populations, starting with one person at a time.
We’re looking forward to keeping our audiences entertained for many years to come and to keep delivering imaginative, thought-provoking and out-of-the-box events that surprise and delight.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Our final words of gratitude goes to all our past winners: THANK YOU! We are extremely proud of what you have achieved and the difference you’re still making in the lives of others. See you at our next charity event!