The Pinotage Youth Development Academy (PYDA) celebrated its graduates in Stellenbosch on Friday 15 November.
The PYDA offers a year-long work readiness programme for students to prepare them for employment within the wine and tourism and fruit sector.
Students have the opportunity to earn an industry-endorsed qualification, as well as learn relevant technical and personal development skills needed for employment in these industries.
On Friday, 47 students graduated from the programme and since 2013, a total of 282 students have graduated.
Fennel Adams, the man who inspired the programme, addressed the audience on behalf of the parents. He thanked the academy for giving the students a wonderful opportunity. “The world is tough and there are going to be many challenges but that will make you stronger,” he told the students.
He also encouraged students to make PYDA proud and to represent the academy brand. This year, Fennel’s daughter also graduated. Deremeaq said she is very excited about graduating and she described her father as an “inspirational man”.
“He opened doors for people and changed the lives of many. This is an exciting opportunity for me,” she said.
Leroy Matthee, one of the students told his fellow classmates to apply the lessons for the future. “Learn from your mistakes to make a difference,” he said. “I believe in each and every one of you. We will build success and prosper in what we do, As much as I believe in myself, I believe in you.”
During the ceremony, one student Aphelele Mvamva, was selected as the candidate for the Drostdy Hof graduate protégé programme for 2020.
Aphelele will intern with Drostdy Hof’s mother company, the Distell Group next year where she will learn about various aspects of the wine. This Eastern Cape born student said she was “honoured” to be selected.
PYDA executive director Nikki Munro, described the graduates as a group with growth and impact, and students who have exceptional young talent. She said the students work hard, are resilient and “kick-ass.”
“These are highly skilled, competent leaders of the future. They will start out in entry positions but will grow fast, so let them,” she said.
“We are family forever and we will miss you.”