Jan-Adriaan van Rooyen, better known as the singer and songwriter Prop, and 18-year-old Edwin Nelson, who recently lost both his legs in a horrific accident, were honored as hope bearers on Friday evening.
The Mathys Roets award was given during Solidarity Helpende Hand’s concert, Afrison Love In Disability (LIG) which took place at Sol-Tech’s Monument Park campus in Pretoria, handed over to Prop and Edwin.
Hannes Noëth, head of Solidarity Helping Hand, said at the concert that every person has received gifts from God with which a difference can be made in the community.
“The question you must be able to answer your whole life is: What do you have that you did not receive from God? What do you have that cannot be taken away from you, that you can boast about, that makes you better or different?
“Then we must all say that everything we are and everything we have comes from God alone. This is what the Word teaches us: What you are and what you have is enough. That’s why we can say to each other: ‘If I can, so can you’.”
The Mathys Roets award is dedicated to people with disabilities who are an inspiration to the community.
Helping Hand handed it to Mathys in 2022 for his perseverance after he stood alone on a dirt road near Richmond in the Northern Cape and braved the rest of the way in his wheelchair. Help was called when security guards saw him on security cameras and sent someone to help him.
Another highlight of the LIG concert is the torchlight ceremony during which the Solidarity Movement’s various institutions light torches together with concertgoers to pay tribute to persons with disabilities.
“People with special needs should be recognized because they are valuable members of our society, and because they have unique perspectives and talents.
“By recognizing them, inclusivity is promoted, which is the foundation of a fair society,” says Suzette Oosthuizen, Helping Hand’s head of centers and the national branch for people with disabilities.
Izelle Els, founder of the Club 21 learning center, and her son, Jan-Herman, were also part of the torch ceremony. Furthermore, the winner of Helpende Hand’s Say Your Say cultural competition for learners with hearing loss was announced and Afrison, main sponsor of the concert, made a donation to Helpende Hand’s study fund for disabled persons.
Sarina Bosman acted as master of ceremonies and an interpreter interpreted the artists’ lyrics in sign language throughout. Prop, Three of the best – Mathys Roets, Danie Niehaus and Germandt Geldenhuys – and Vernon Barnard entertained guests with hits such as “Four seasons kind”, “Angel”, “Kwaaitjie” and “Stuur groete aan Mannetjies Roux”.
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