School readiness is a contested and emotional term..
THERE was a reversal of charity donations on Tuesday night when the Tim Tebeila Foundation announced its formal joint venture with Usher's New Look Foundation.
The event was hosted by energy and mining mogul Tim Tebeila's foundation, which partnered with sensational American R&B superstar Usher Raymond at a superlatively sumptuous gala dinner at the Tebeila's palatial homestead in Hurlingham, Sandton.
The singer is currently on a three-date tour of three cities - Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
Usher's New Look Foundation is aptly named to inspire the youth with hope.
The private gala dinner was compered by media personality DJ Sbu Leope, who was dressed in a close-fitting deep purple two-piece suit, a striped shirt and black shoes.
Addressing the guests, Tebeila remarked on the need for Africans to have real engagement with Americans on an equal footing.
"We need to start giving as well as Africans. For they cannot respect us if we only go to them cap in hand," he said.
"We cannot keep on being the recipients of American charity as though we cannot do things for ourselves. For real respect and exchange to develop between Americans and Africans we need take our charity to them as well."
The illustrious guests included Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane, former Miss South Africa Augustine Masilela-Chuene, singer and world Economic Forum-honoree Yvonne Chaka Chaka and her hubby Tiny Mhinga.
Also present at the function was the Limpopo-based Capricorn FM team, led by media and telecoms businessman Given Mkhari, which has worked with the Tim Tebeila Foundation on numerous charity projects.
Tim Tebeila Foundation and Usher's New Look Foundation have come together through the UNLF programme Peace is Powered by Service to assist young people worldwide.
The Peace is Powered by Service will take five South African youth in June to attend Usher's New Look Foundation's annual World Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in the US for five days.
After experiencing unexplained delays in arriving, Usher addressed the guests on his foundation and stayed clear of entertainment.
His speech was as formal as anything an alma mater will present before obedient pupils at their former school.
Usher then explained how he came to be interested in charity and his attraction to South Africa.
"I started my foundation to give hope to a worldwide youth. We formed a partnership with the Tim Tebeila Foundation because it is working with the youth to give them hope," said Usher, who was unusually coy and reserved for the wild performer he is on stage.
"It is by refocusing the youth to opportunities available to them in life that they can develop and make decision about career choices available.
"That we can produce youth with education that can sustain their future."
He is among the youthful musicians who were chosen to be part of the Hansa Festival of Legends.