Press Release 27 January 2016

Kwaito heavy weights, Big Nuz and DJ Tira will be amongst the chart toppers that will entertain the crowds at the first National Donate a Schoolbag Campaign (NDSB) fundraising concert on Saturday, 30 January at Umthatha Sports Grounds in Umthatha. Other artists to perform at the event include Dream Team, DJ Zinhle, iFani, Unathi, Zakes Bantwini and more.

The NDSB Campaign is an initiative by a Johannesburg based social entrepreneur and Activator, Xolane Ngobozane. In a bid to improve young people’s lives, Ngobozane, is launching the campaign to help alleviate challenges faced by the South African education system. The NDSB Campaign aims to provide underprivileged learners across South Africa with schoolbags and other basic learning tools. Through this campaign, Ngobozane plans to raise at least more than 100 000 school bags and donate them to more than 100 schools all around the country by June of this year. Each schoolbag will be filled with stationery and other learning resources.

As a member of the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network, Ngobozane is committed to his role in youth development and empowerment. ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders or Activators equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Activators work towards finding innovative ways to transform our communities and the country as a whole by coming up with effective solutions to some of our toughest challenges.

Ngobozane says being part of the ACTIVATE! Network has helped him improve his strategic thinking skills. His company, Viruz Empire Global was established to create opportunities for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. “The skills and know-how that I learn from ACTIVATE! help me in coming up with proficient ways to run my company and to implement my ideas like the National Donate a School Bag Campaign,” he adds.  

Ngobozane’s reasoning behind the NDSB Campaign goes beyond just buying a bag for a learner. It is a transformational movement. He states that it was heartbreaking to see vulnerable children carrying their books in plastic bags. He found that sometimes they get grounded from school when they don’t have or lost the only pen or writing pad they had for the whole year. Not only do they have to go through this mental trauma, but some of them end up dropping out of school completely and the cycle of poverty regenerates all over again. A majority of these families survive through social grants so the parents can hardly afford to buy basic school materials for their children.

“I took time to make observations and I noticed that lot of learners in townships carry their books in plastic bags because their parents can’t afford to buy them decent schoolbags. As a result, their books are damaged and they lose some of their stationery, which affects their overall performance at school. That is why I decided to establish NDSB,” says Ngobozane.  

To raise funds for the campaign, Ngobozane  will be hosting a series of fundraising concerts in all nine provinces, with the first one to be held on Saturday, 30 January at Umthatha Sports Fields, Eastern Cape. 0n 06 February, the concert will move to Kwazulu Natal (Smart Space, Durban) and Gauteng (OR Tambo Cultural Precinct, Benoni) on the same day, before going to the Western Cape on 02 April. Dates and venues for the rest of the provinces have not been confirmed yet.   

For more information on the NDSB campaign and the fundraising concert or donations, Ngobozane can be contacted 061 377 0745/073 009 2953 or bookings.vee@gmail.com.

For media related queries, please contact:

Nelisa Ngqulana

Communications Manager: ACTIVATE! Change Drivers

Email: nelisa@localhost (cc: communications@localhost)

Cell: 073 817 8017


Unleash Greatness Within

Durban-based physical health expert, social entrepreneur (Tripple B fitness family founder) and Activator, Mlekeleli Khuzwayo is set to launch annual academic game changer that will shake and reshape citizenry participation in South African education system.

The inaugural youth and community development initiative Unleash Greatness Within campaign aims to donate 100 school uniforms for primary and high schools in Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu townships.

Khuzwayo who was tired of hearing people slandering about poor kids situations in the townships decided to start the Unleash Greatness Within campaign not just to remedy the disadvantaged kids’ situation but also create an ideal society where the principles of Ubuntu still bring people  together for a common good. He said his campaign’s long-term aim is beyond just donating school uniform. “For me it all about giving and offloading the burden more especially for kids. I think one of the noblest things any adult can do is to at least create a comfortable environment for kids and inspire them through investing in their education. I also want to instill a different mentality to our people. I want people to know that we have it in us to help the vulnerable than expecting handouts from government.” said Khuzwayo.

Explain his plan of action Khuzwayo said “Ideally I would love to donate 10 uniforms per school and I am targeting 10 school and that explain the logic behind getting ten set of uniforms. So very soon I will be visiting school principals of all the ideal schools I would like to work with. The purpose for my visit in those schools is to introduce my initiative to principals, school management, existing student representative councils, school governing bodies etc. My aim is to at least make sure that the Unleash Greatness Within campaign gets a minimum of 100 school uniforms in March.”

According to Khuzwayo, the initiative Unleash Greatness Within has bigger groundbreaking sustainable plans that will not only change the lives of the beneficiaries but also has potential to change community and youth development and citizen patriotic participation landscape.

According to Khuzwayo, the initiative Unleash Greatness Within has bigger groundbreaking sustainable plans that will not only change the lives of the beneficiaries but also has potential to change community and youth development and citizen patriotic participation landscape.

Only Khuzwayo’s company, Tripple B fitness family Kwazulu Natal Department of Arts and Culture, private security company DTI and few friends from America and Europe countries like Australia have committed to see this project through. Public members are encouraged to participate by buying school uniform. Contribution to this project can do so now until the end of February.

Uniform distribution will be on the 5th of March 5 at Inanda, Ntuzuma Kwamshu Body Workout. Beneficiaries of Unleash Greatness Within will be pupils from Thandimfundo, Ndabazezwe, Sbonise and Bongubusa Primary school. There are no specific sizes or gender restrictions. Alternatively public can donate cash to the following bank details 

A few Kwazulu-Natal government departments have endorsed Khuzwayo’s initiative. Those departments include Department of Education, Department of Arts and Culture. While speaking to Activate Leadership freelance writer, Kwazulu Natal Department of Education Communications manager Muzi Mahlambi congratulated Khuzwayo said. “Department of Education in Kwazulu Natal is extremely excited to hear about Mleleki’s project (Unleash Greatness Within). Words alone can never ever fully describe our gratitude to this young man. May his noble gesture replicates and go beyond just providing uniform but also metal liberate our people. As the department we will always do what needs to be done but we also have our own limitations. Therefore we call on all those who have resources and ability to assist Mleleki’s quest of transforming our education to please do so. Kwazulu Natal Department is proud to have produced proactive young selfless leaders of great caliber Mleleki.”

Mahlambi also slammed what he called “a growing insane culture” of grade twelve learners who paint and destroy their school uniform after final examinations. “As much as we are happy with few young people like Mleleki, we are also worried about prevailing growing insane culture learners who know challenges of going to school without uniform but somehow still decide destroy their uniform. We appeal to all learners to practice one of the principles of Ubuntu and that is to give to the needy if you can. (they even sharing is caring.) Destroying school uniform is not just an selfish act but it is impart wrong principles to the young ones.” said Mhlambi.

To learn more about Mle and Triple B Fitness, click here.

Triple B Fitness Family Account – Standard Bank – Account Holder -Triple B Fitness Family, Account Number – 25 275 1043, Reference: Your name & surname

For more information, public can contact Mlekeleli Khuzwayo on mbk53@ymail.com or 072 116 4518

More details on the Facebook page

 

Turning a love of farming into a successful business enterprise

Africa needs more women entrepreneurs helping to address the continent’s food security challenges, and one such entrepreneur is Innocentia Maine, the founder of MIS Poultry Farm in South Africa. She is taking her love of farming and building a poultry business that she sees as the first step in creating a multi-faceted successful agribusiness of the future, and one that will hopefully inspire other aspirant women agripreneurs to follow in her footsteps.

LoA chatted to Innocentia this month to find out more about her business and her hopes and dreams for the future.

What does your company do?

MIS Poultry focuses on broiler production. We buy day old chicks, care for them until they are fully grown, and then sell them to various local communities for consumption.

What inspired you to start your company?

I had always wanted to start a business but worried most about failure. I was scared that not having much capital and any business background I would not succeed. After some years of being unemployed, I attended a leadership training programme called Activate Change Drivers. I got to meet youth who were doing so much great work and even through all the challenges they had encountered, they still had a fighting spirit and ready to do all in their power to see their dreams come true. And that is where I got the courage to decide that I had to face my fears and see where I would get in life. I decided to start in poultry because I had always loved farming, and it seemed like the kind of work I would enjoy and wouldn’t get tired of doing. I also had to consider the space and resources I had, and poultry was the good starting point for me to kick off the business.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

We supply fresh poultry at reasonable prices. Our chickens are mostly sold live, with the option to slaughter and deliver on request. We decided to sell directly to customers because not only will that give us the assurance that the clients are always getting fresh meat, but is also means our clients will get more meat at a lower price as there is no middle man (retail stores), which would inevitably mean it would have to cost a bit more so that they can also make some profits.

Tell us a little about your team

Because I started the business in my mother’s back yard, she would help me with caring for the chicks, selling and slaughtering the chickens, and my sister would also help deliver orders to her work place. Recently, we moved to a new place and we now house 800 chickens, increasing to 2100 by February 2015. My team now consists of 3 additional members who help out with caring for the chickens. They help with feeding, cleaning coops, slaughtering and with security, as the business is now on the outskirts of town.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

I had no business background at all, so the business has been my learning tool. I used the internet to know more about broiler chickens. I would search the net to find information on how the coops must look, and what equipment they use. I had to learn about the kinds of feed I needed to buy, and even search for day old chick suppliers. The journey has not been easy at all but it was worth travelling. The experience has taught me to be more open to learning, to trust myself, and to have confidence in both myself and my work. I am still on the learning road as now I have to learn about managing the business formally and making sure that it succeeds and grows bigger than this. I would love to be more involved in livestock, so this is a big step I must get right so that I will be able to tap more into other agricultural sectors in the future.

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

I look forward to supplying more people with my chickens, nationally. I want to open my own shop where people can walk in and buy slaughtered chickens. I am looking into getting some layers and hatch my own chicks. I would love to venture into a piggery and cattle once I have built a solid foundation on poultry. Maybe at a later stage, open an abattoir and start distributing.

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

The feeling of creating something so small and seeing it grow is just amazing. Seeing that I started off with little knowledge and have made it to this stage gives me a push. I also get happy when I see clients satisfied with our products, it is more fulfilling when they refer other customers to buy our products because they were happy with the quality of the product themselves.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?

Never let fear get in your way, it’s just there to hold you back. Women are capable of doing anything they set their minds on, so they must never be afraid of challenges. We just need to think positive, always dream big, and leave no room for negativity.

Original story via Lionesses Of Africa

5 Minutes With Tumelo

What’s your passion?
More than anything, I’m passionate about being. About taking in moments and experiencing everything you bump into, even those instances that are thrown at you. And as it may, being and loving are intertwined. You need to be doing what you love to really be living. The two have a way of bringing fore your own light so that it may shine into others. In a letter to Hume in 1958, Hunter S. Thompson wrote:
“Let’s assume that you think you have a choice of eight paths to follow (all pre-defined paths, of course). And let’s assume that you can’t see any real purpose in any of the eight. THEN — and here is the essence of all I’ve said — you MUST FIND A NINTH PATH... But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life… So we do not strive to be firemen, we do not strive to be bankers, nor policemen, nor doctors. WE STRIVE TO BE OURSELVES.”

What change are you keen to drive?
I’d like to see young people grow confident in who they are and knowledgeable in where they come from. The identity crisis in Africa has cost us much more than our Ubuntu, it has cost us our economy, our spirituality, our being. Our young roam wild, in search of belonging, in search of acknowledgement in a world which has taught them to be everything but themselves. They are consumers of everything but what is produced at home, lovers of everyone but their own kind, trapped in a system that takes away and gives nothing back. I’d like to see my people, young Africans, loving who they are, where they belong in the circle if life. I’d like to see them support local business, creating their own income, and teaching others to do the same. I’d like to, in my own way, help bring Africa home, as so many before me have begun.

How are you driving change?
I’m starting with a love of literature. It is my belief that once one is willing and able to read, then nothing will ever stand in their path of truth. Secrets are hidden in text, and the more Africans we get reading, the better, for they themselves will discover the truth about everything that they did not know before, and thus in knowing better shall they do better. By setting up literature programmes which are informal and recreational we strive to create a passion for reading among young people. Not only will this make learning easier for them, but it will also boost their confidence and encourage them to become active participants in issues that affect them in their communities.

How has ACTIVATE! supported you so far in driving this change?
I’ve come across many, many Activators who had access to resources that I didn’t, and through them I have continually been able to advance my work and also find like minded and driven people to work with on my team. The publications on literature by the DG Murray Trust posted on the website have also gone a long way in assisting me in grounding the work that I do, which was scattered for a long time. The publications revealed to me areas of need in the education sector and through that I was able to carve out a niche.

What do you think is the priority in setting the agenda for our country in the next 5 years?
I believe social cohesion is key at this point in time. We need to come together as a people, in the real sense. Not just as friends on Facebook or colleagues at work. We need to start creating platforms where we can break through barriers of race, class, and sex in our country because this is a major drawback for transformation. For us to go anywhere as a nation, we need to reach common ground, and common ground takes sacrifice, not just from those who were previously in positions of power, but from all of us. A victim will see himself as such for as long as it is beneficial to do so. We need leaders who are going to take us forward and not divide us further. We need spaces that allow that we move out of positions of disadvantage and take advantage of opportunity. We need to stop being so afraid of change.

How do you motivate yourself?
I read. I read anything and everything I can get my hands on, no magazines though – I have a bad tenancy of buying magazines and never reading them. I read to have an open mind. A lot of what I read I don’t agree with, but it widens my view on life. I also tend to move around a lot. I don’t settle, as Steve Jobs would say. And this allows me to see different sides of each coin and walk on different landscapes of this land. Meeting new people and listening to their stories keeps me grounded. There are just those people that make you realize just how small you are, just how insignificant you are, and that drives you to do more, to be more of your self. I’m not a fan of praise singers, they tend to nurse ones ego and make one feel that they are better than others. I, like Jimi Hendrix, don’t really live on compliments. “As a matter of fact, they have a way of distracting me,” he said.

Final comment?
Dr Seuss, my all time favourite artist, said “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” And I think it was Will Smith who said “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” Too many of us are stuck in the “norm”, too few of us dare to reinvent the future. We need to live, too many of us are merely surviving.

WALK A CHILD TO SCHOOL

Once again South Africans are offered another opportunity to support one of the best education youth led revolution, Walk a Child to School campaign.

The school shoes donation intervention is led by two Stellenbosch based social change drivers, Abulele Adams and Wisaal Osman. The noble initiative was inspired by Adams mother who is also a teacher.The compassionate teacher shared a girl in her class who walked with broken shoes to school throughout winter. That painful story propelled Adams and Osman to start on  the 5th of October Walk a Child to School campaign. 

Walk a Child to School aim is to provide school shoes to children in need. The initiative receives donations from people who wish to make a difference in their communities. Teachers identify the children at their school who need shoes. Walk a Child to School collects the money, buys the shoes and hands it over to the children. Teachers identify the children at their school who need shoes. The criterion for selecting children is purely social need. There are no academic requirements for any learner to get the shoes.

Adams said the funding reliant initiative plan is to handover shoes monthly to deserving schools throughout South Africa. “The overall plan for Walk a Child to School is to provide children from various schools with school shoes monthly and perhaps expand that to other learning materials, e.g. stationery, school bag, school uniform, etc. Learners need to be encouraged to continue with school. Shoes should not be another barrier a learner must overcome in order to have a positive schooling experience.”

Co- founder Osman explained how the shoes are collected. “Ideally, we collect as many shoes are needed, but this is dependent on funding. We have completed a handover for 84 pairs of shoes at one school. At a different school we gave 30 pairs of shoes. It depends on the needs of the children at the school.”

The next planed handover schools are Ntokwe Primary, in North West in January. The February handover is yet to be confirmed but it will be a school in Garankuwa North West province. The March shoes handover will in Masiphumelele in the Western Cape. In April the two social change drivers will be handing over shoes in Goedgedacht School in the Western Cape. The fifth shoes handover will be at school in Brandvlei in Northern Cape.

Approximately 9 400 South African Randelas were donated since the the beggining of the project. The first handover took place at Masakhane Primary School in Port Elizabeth, Abulele’s home town, on Friday 23 October. Abulele’s mom is a Grade 1 teacher at the school. 64 pairs of school shoes were given to 64 very happy children!  

From 24 October until 12 November, 2 266 South African Randelas and three pairs of school shoes were donated. The handover took place at Masakhane Primary School in PE on Monday 16 November. 20 pairs of school shoes were given to 20 very happy children!

2nd School:

From 14 November until 26 November 2015, 3 395 South African Randelas and eight pairs of school shoes were donated! The handover took place at Parkhurst Primary School in Westridge, Mitchells Plain, Wisaal Osman’s Alma Mater Primary School, on Friday 27 November. 32 pairs of school shoes were given to 32 very happy children! 

3rd School:

From 28 November until 3 December 2015,  4 710 South African Randelas and two pairs of school shoes were donated! The handover took place at Rietenbosch Primary School in Cloetesville, Stellenbosch, on Friday 4 December. 28 pairs of school shoes were given to 28 very happy children! 

Western Cape Department of Education and the District Director admitted that they are not aware of the project but would love to explore working relationship synergies. The Department’s spokesperson Jessica Shelvier said “From what I have read, it sounds like an outstanding initiative and it’s encouraging to see former learners of the Western Cape driving such a great social initiative. We would love to receive more information about the project.”

The two social change drivers have collaborated with organizations like Sindiswa Nobula of The Taung Child FoundationTshegetso Community Projects and Goedgedacht Foundation just to mention the few.

Adams and Osman humanitarian remarkable story has been covered by reputable publications like Weekend Post, The Boland Gazette, Eikestad Nuus and The Weekend Post.

Durban born, American based early childhood development expert and social change driver, Bonginkosi Hopewell Mkhize praised fellow Activator’s intervention. Mkhize said “I have worked with children over the past seven years. I have seen a lot of kids going to school without shoes. I have noticed huge negative impact on those kids’ academic. It also affects their self-confidence. They have social withdrawal syndromes because of the stereotypical stigmatizing treatment from their peers. Most of them lack motivation and they dropped out from school.
Mkhize went on to say “It is very important that we all play a meaningful role as the community and address this issue by supporting initiatives that seek to address challenges faced by our children. I rally behind the initiative and I wish that everyone can support this initiative.”

Cape Town based early childhood facilitator, peer educator and social change driver Jonathan Ho’Bosch shared the same sentiments with Mkhize. Ho’Bosch said “We need more people to poses true integrity and leadership as community leaders. Young people need to also ‘be the change, that they want to see in the world’ so the people doing these programs must go to churches and society or Stokvel groups for assistance.”

Public members are encouraged to participate in the project by buy either buying shoes. There are no specific sizes or gender restrictions. Alternatively public can donate cash to the following bank details Abulele Adams, Capitec: 1348645057, bank code: 470010, Reference: Your name & surname

For more information, public can contact Abulele Adams & Wisaal Osman on walkachildtoschool@gmail.com

Alternative communication social platform to follow Instagram: @childtoschool https://instagram.com/childtoschool/  Twitter: @childtoschool https://twitter.com/childtoschool  , Facebook: Walk A Child To School https://www.facebook.com/walkachildtoschool/