2015 African Youth Union Nelson Mandela Essay Challenge (USD1,500 Prize and win sponsorship to the 2015 AYU Summit in Uganda)

Submission Deadline: May 15 2015

African Youth Union is working to ensure that every young African is empowered, human capabilities are maximized and the youth’s contribution is recognized and constantly reaffirmed.
This essay challenge was introduced to preserve and honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela for a better Africa. It also aims to inspire young people to learn from Mandela and to think about how each of them can use the Mandela inspiration to make a difference in the world. This competition is going to be an annual event, commencing in 2014 and it will be cantered on the inspiration provided by the late Former President Nelson Mandela.

THEME: “My Role as the Mandela of Today

Nelson Mandala was an African who made history: after spending 27 years in jail, he served only one term as the President of  South Africa. There is no doubt that Africa needs more leaders like Mandela who are driven by an ethos of selfless-leadership and service. However,questions remain:

  • How do we produce leaders of Nelson Mandela’s caliber?
  • What does Mandela mean to you?
  • How can you use his inspiration in your daily life and inspire others? How can you carry his legacy to future generations? (your essay must  answer all the above questions)


  • Essays may be submitted by any young person under the age of 24 (as of July 18, 2015) in one of the following age categories:
  •  Children (ages up to 14)
  • Youth (ages 15 -25)
  • Essays must be no longer than 700 words in English.

Teachers and youth directors may submit a collection of essays from their class or group. In this case please enclose  a list of participants’ names, ages and the name and contact information of the submitting teacher or director.

  • Entries open on 25 April 2015 and close on 15 May 2015
  • Entries may be submitted be submitted through this form.
  • Essays must be original and unpublished.
  • Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.
  • Copyright of the submitted essays will be assigned to the AYU.

Entries must be received by May 15, 2015


The following awards will be given in the Children’s category and Youth category respectively:

  • 1st Prize: Certificate and prize of R10,000 ($1000)
  • 2nd Prize:Certificate and prize of R5,000 ($500)
  • 3rd Prize:Certificate and gift 5 entrants
  • Honorable Mention:Certificate and gift twenty entrants
  • 1st prize winners will be invited an award ceremony in Kampala, Uganda scheduled for Mandela Day 2015. (Travel expenses will be covered by the organizers.)
  • Additional awards (Recognition for Effort, Best School Award, and School Incentive Award) will be given if applicable.
  • NELSON MANDELA ESSAY CHALLENGE 2015 All prize winners will be announced on June 18 2015 on the African Youth Union (AYU) website and official social media pages.
  • Certificates and gifts will be mailed to the winners in July 2015

For inquiries, please email: essay@ayu.org.za



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