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BASA NOMINATION FOR WALTONS (article first published : 2004-05-16)

The stationery chain, Waltons KwaZulu-Natal, has been nominated for one of the prestigious Business Day/BASA Awards, the annual awards scheme for business and the arts.

The nomination arose after Waltons co-sponsored the publication of Dr Kriben Pillay’s most recent book, The Story of the Forgetful Ice Lollies, a children’s book which teaches the life skill of conflict resolution through self-questioning. Ice Lollies is the first of a two-part series that comprises Pillay’s Children’s Transformation Literature Project, which is an endeavour to teach this neglected life skill in senior primary schools through literature.

The Literature Project was given an initial boost when the author received a supporting grant from Business and Arts South Africa to do presentations and workshops in Walton’s name at selected schools.

Yugan Naidoo, Director of Human Resources at Waltons, said that the Business Day/BASA Awards were particularly geared at given recognition to strategic partnerships between business and the arts: “Through its sponsorship of the Children’s Transformation Literature Series, Waltons KZN was able to enlist Dr Pillay’s services to conceive and direct a 20-minute video on the company’s black empowerment initiatives.

“This highly successful project enabled Waltons to showcase the meaningful part that it is playing in economic empowerment. At the same time Waltons KZN has played a reciprocal role in the empowerment of a local writer and his vision for transformation for children,“ said Naidoo, who is also the company’s national director for black economic empowerment.

Speaking about the schools’ project, Naidoo added that “it is also with great excitement that we note that the very first school that Dr Pillay worked with was featured in a special SABC 1 programme on education in early January 2004. We feel proud to be associated with a valuable literary work that has gained the attention of the national media so quickly after publication. This is particularly important given the dearth of good South African children’s literature.”

Waltons has been nominated in two categories: First Time Sponsor for a business supporting the arts for the first time; and Youth Sponsorship for projects which involve young audiences where there is an education element.

The Business Day/BASA Awards take place on May 24 in Johannesburg. More information from Yugan Naidoo on 031 206 0810 or 082 464 0988 or Kriben Pillay on 031 262 7152 or 082 466 1745.




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