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Thursday, September 1, 2011


Johnnie Walker® has won the Innovation category at this year’s 14th annual Business Day Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Awards for its 2010 Celebrating Strides initiative.

This initiative, the Celebrating Strides Awards, was launched to recognise and honour individuals who have made strides to achieve their dreams, on a personal or business level. By selecting Welcome Msomi as the winner of the arts category last year, Johnnie Walker® empowered the acclaimed actor, writer, producer and entrepreneur to spark a revival of the Stable Theatre in Durban which saw a tremendous boost in patrons and media exposure.

Msomi selected the Stable Theatre as the beneficiary of the R125,000 bursary included in his award and in this way, paid tribute to the theatre venue which played such an important role in his early days as an actor, whilst turning around the flagging fortunes of the venue.

“The Johnnie Walker® brand has been inspiring personal progress for over a decade now, and so the Celebrating Strides Awards were created as a means of recognising aspiring entrepreneurs, artists and individuals in certain disciplines for acting as catalysts to those who want to make a difference,” said Dominic Malan, Johnnie Walker marketing manager.

“It is a huge honour for Johnnie Walker® to receive the BASA Award for innovation based on the work we’ve done for the Celebrating Strides Awards, which has enabled not just Welcome, but also three other recipients of the Celebrating Strides Awards to collectively donate R500 000 to various charities and organisations that are close to their hearts,” said Malan.

The BASA Awards, which pay tribute to businesses who are actively making a difference by sponsoring local arts and culture events saw a record number of entries this year, a fact that bears testament to the growing awareness within the corporate sector of the both the value of the arts to society and the business argument for supporting the arts.