The Activate Cafe!

Activators had the opportunity to mingle and chat at the Activate Cafe, where different stations were set up with the resources available for Activators through the Junction, information on how to host Exchanges, what Switch is all about and how Connect can help kick start conversations amongst Activators with similar interests.

Inspiring, Connecting and Driving Change!

12th – 15th August 2013, Alpha Conference Centre, Gauteng

Activators came in from all around the country equipped with our amazing high energy and forward thinking.  The main objectives for the two-day event were to provide a space where we could reconnect with each other and start exploring ways of driving change as a group rather than only individual projects and ideas. 

The event was a mixture of break-away sessions and opportunities to ignite, listen and organize real action; and the opportunity and privilege of listening to three inspiring change-drivers:   Sharon Rutto of Ushahidi from Kenya; Paul Mason an expert in Digital Campaigning and Community Organising in South Africa and Australia and Yemi Adamolekun, Enough is Enough from Nigeria.

All three speakers set a stimulating tone with their success stories of how YOUNG people have used the power of social media, innovation and courage to raise awareness around pertinent issues. Also how they have managed to shape those ideas into successful organisations with global appeal. And most importantly we were enthused by all three of them in showing us that youth have the power to use non-violent protest as a way to change the conversation in SA.  In typical Activate! style, discussions led into awesome activities that involved mapping ourselves physically on a massive ground map of SA so we could get bird’s eye view of where we all operation from and making clay.   It was exciting to find common connections and our united voice, allowing us to take ownership of the network and bring our experiences to the conversations. We were encouraged to ‘co-create’ and collaborate through finding links and ideas. The processes used saw ideas such as the beginning of the A! campaign and the idea of an Activate! Charter with basic principles. 

Judging by some of the feedback received, the event was definitely a success and those who couldn’t make it were sorely missed. We connected with global players, who are innovating to build democracy and accountability around the world. It was an awesome opportunity to collectively move to the next level of driving change!

Hey!  And guess what? The @ActivateZA Twitter handle was BUZZING with updates from Activators via #ActivateChange, at some point we were even trending on Twitter. How cool is that?


Lerato Mahoyi and Activator Lesego Ndala were interviewed on Power FM about the network and the 2nd year event that took place in August 2013.

Activator Story: Second Year Event

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. —Lao Tzu

On 12th of August, I woke up with a smile on my face, thinking about the week I had ahead of me. It had been over six months since last I was in an innovative space with my fellow Activators, from all over South Africa, to discuss the challenges that we, as the youth of South Africa, have to deal with to secure a better future for us and the following generations. 

As a network of change drivers, sixty-eight of us met again at Alpha Conference Centre. The positive energy that I consumed from everyone was the fuel that I needed to get through a week of many challenges. Activators were warmly greeting each other that would often lead to laughter and overwhelming joy. After a short while we all met for dinner and caught up more with each other and the work we have been involved with. Just listening to some of the conversations, yet again, I realised what a strong force we are, as a network, as each Activator was involved in different sectors of socio-economic and political landscape of this country.

The week was filled with many useful activities and discussions. We were joined by other great young leaders from other African countries such as Kenya and Nigeria, who also spoke about their work and how they succeeded within their own contexts as new forms of civil society. Together we engaged and discussed how we can possibly use their success as case-studies to apply their experience into our context. These discussions were, however, taken out of the discussion rooms and were shared with the world through the use of social media which led to us trending in whole of South Africa using #ActivateChange. 

Bright innovative ideas were flying around every minute, each addressing a crucial challenge in which South Africa is dealing with at this current moment. The beauty of each discussion was how well thought all Activators put their ideas into words and how all Activators commit to make their ideas a reality either individually and as a collective.

Despite all the learning that took place during the week, one single thing stood out for me, and that was realising how bright the future of this country can be through the active participation of youth within the socio-economic and political sectors of this country. I have no doubt that many future leaders of this nation will come out of Activate!

The photos for the event can be found on Facebook.

Janet Jobson on SAFM

Janet Jobson the Portfolio Manager of the DG Murray Trust’s Leadership for a Winning Nation portfolio, was on SAFM talking about ACTIVATE! And what the network is trying to achieve in South Africa.

Ideas Put Into Action

Activator Thabiso Hlongwane was featured in the Sowetan. He talks about putting ideas into action. To read the full article click here.

Young Change Makers

Activator Tshepo is a 3rd year law student at the University of the Free State. He helped to start an organisation called Young Change Makers. He tells us what the organisation the aim of the organisation is.

Young Change Makers is a specialist organisation that is aimed at equipping the youth, school learners and student leaders with communication skills, debating skills and public speaking skills. This organisation also provides development services such as: conference facilitation, motivational speakers /programme directors and many more to NGOs and Youth Organisations. The organisation has provided youth services to schools NGO’s and at seminars in the Northern Cape, Free State, Limpopo and Gauteng and has trained 20 schools and their student leadership councils.

I have also written a book under Young Change Makers titled: “Public Speaking and Debating Incubator Handbook” this handbook focuses more on equipping aspiring debaters and public speakers in schools with the deep skills and philosophies of debate and public speaking. It also provides in depth tips that helps debaters and public speakers with dynamics and tips on how to become successful speakers. It also gives guidance on how debaters can use rhetoric strategically. The book has been helpful to student leaders and speakers in equipping them with skills and debating skills.

If you would like to contact Tshepo you can tweet to him @TshepoMabuya. To get more information about Young Change Makers you can visit the Facebook Page.