Catherine Constantinides has yet again been listed as one of South Africa’s ‘100 Most Influential Young South Africans.’ The annual ranking is conducted by Avance Media who recently announced the 2017-2018 list, which divides the Top 100 into specific categories. Constantinides is named under Top 10 Most Influential Young South Africans in Philanthropy and Social Enterprise. Last year she also placed in the Top 100 Most Influential Africans and 2018 once again sees her holding her own.
The 100 Most Influential Young South Africans ranking recognises distinctive service across 10 different categories: Business, Entertainment, Law and Governance, Leadership and Civil Society, Lifestyle, Media, Personal Development and Academia, Science and Technology, Sports and Social Enterprise and Philanthropy. The Managing Director of Avance Media, Prince Akpah, “Influential young South Africans are individuals whose work has undoubtedly had a positive impact in South Africans’ lives. The nominees have all excelled in their various endeavours, working to improve the lives of others, through hard work, personal sacrifice and in most instances, they have made bold and brave commitments.” Some of the other distinguished South Africans include Trevor Noah, Pearl Thusi, Wayde Van Niekerk and Bongani Baloyi.
Constantinides’ s humble response was, “Thank you for highlighting my work, passion and vision as a South African. I am honoured to be receiving such recognition. we need to teach people to dream and to hope because it’s only when members of society believe in something greater than the circumstances that they find themselves in, that they become active citizens that achieve change. We must be bold, be brave and visionary, now more than ever before.” International Climate and Human Rights Activist, Social Entrepreneur and Food Security Advocate, Catherine Constantinides, is a passionate humanitarian, who works throughout Africa and across the world championing human rights and social justice issues with a passion for youth and women empowerment.
As a ‘voice’ of South Africa, an Archbishop Tutu African Oxford Fellow and a Mandela Washington Fellow, she ensures that the continent is included in global conversations regarding the development of Africa and improving the lives of the broader community. Her objective is to be a part of a group of Africans that are a celebration of dynamic and talented individuals who inspire multitudes through their impact, integrity and influence.
Constantinides continues to work on environmental, climate, waste and food security as core to the work that she engages with. Her climate work has spilt over into work on climate justice, and in turn human rights. Over the past three years she has worked extensively within the refugee camps that are still apart of Africa. Namely working closely with the Saharawi people of the illegally occupied Western Sahara. Late last year Catherine spent a week lobbying and sharing her work on the fight for self-determination and sovereignty for Western Sahara at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
“I continue to work on active citizenship, working to ensure that we build our country, build our nation from the ground up. I am part of several civil society movements whose objective is to ensure we protect our country, our hard fought for democracy and constitution. Thus, contributing to a stronger Africa, and ensuring that we move forward as a continent. I am passionate about my country and believe that social cohesion is a fundamental foundation of the work that we continue to do as civil society.”
Constantinides has established numerous community outreach projects aimed at driving climate change dialogue, awareness and education; as well as starting initiatives that show the way forward for the next generation to aspire to be socially conscious as active citizens.
She has travelled across the world promoting sustainable community development, social entrepreneurship and food security through Generation Earth, of which she is the co-founder, an international youth leadership initiative that engages students and learners to discuss sustainable development, low carbon futures, career opportunities and resource management, specifically in Africa.
Constantinides is no stranger to the media space, in 2017 she finished the 5th season of ‘One Day Leader’, a reality show aimed at empowering South African youth, challenging their critical thinking skills, building their exposure to leadership and harnessing their ability as leaders. She is currently filming the 6th season which will air from the 8th February at 9pm on SABC 1 and every Thursday for 16 weeks.
“I’m driven by a passion to empower women through the environment and conservation to take on larger roles in their communities. Women are the pillars in our communities, they’re the women that stand up and understand that they are the pivotal change makers.” Constantinides says. Her roots have always been firmly entrenched in a passion for the protection of our environment, its people, the development of Africa and a thriving and growing nation of South Africa.