Activators make the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans List

30 June 2017

For Immediate Release

 RE: Activators make the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans list

 On 30 June, Mail & Guardian released their list of the Top 200 inspirational young people who are doing amazing work to better the lives of ordinary South Africans. This year is particularly special because five young people from the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network have made the list. Their contribution to the Network and country has been commendable and their zeal remains consistent. While we celebrate this milestone, we do not forget that great achievements originate from small actions. It is these small actions that occur every day by young people within the Network which also need to be celebrated.  

Activators Kwandile Skhosana, Nkosikhona Uzzi Mpungose and Paris Makaringe demonstrate that positive ambition coupled with hard work and determination are needed for progress.

These Activators have remained steadfast in the face of challenges because ultimately their mandate is for victory to have the last word. Kwandile Skhosana from Daveton in Gauteng runs a book club and feeding programme for homeless people called Feed A Homeless Homie. The passion that drives him to do this is the poverty stricken background from which he comes.

Nkosikhona Uzzi Mpungose is a youth community leader and activist who is the founder and chairperson of Youth Inter-Active (YIA), a platform that facilitates peer education and career guidance.

Paris Nyiko Makaringe hails from the community of Eldorado Park and runs an NPO called Lonwabo Lwesizwe which collects blankets and clothing for underprivileged people in his community.

Nosiphiwe Ngqala is a lecturer in the pharmacy department and researcher at Rhodes University with a passion for biotechnology and environmental health concerns who now supervises other PhD, masters and honours students. 

Patrick Eric Bongani Mcobothi is an active role player in the area of developing young people in the areas of lifeskills, leadership development and equipping young people on how to start-up SMME’s. He has worked with World Changers Academy and through that journey has been able to train and reach out to a total of 4000-6000 young people in rural, urban and peri-urban spaces. 

The ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network is proud to conclude youth month with such inspiring stories of everyday youth who are changing their communities. This is how they demonstrate their longing for a better country and their commitment to change, #CommittedToChange.   



ACTIVATE! is a Network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society. 


For media related queries, please contact:



 On social media:

Facebook: Activate Change Drivers

Twitter: @ActivateZA

Instagram: @Activate_ZA




















30 June 2017

For Immediate Release


RE: Activators make the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans list


On 30 June, Mail & Guardian released their list of the Top 200 inspirational young people who are doing amazing work to better the lives of ordinary South Africans. This year is particularly special because three young people from the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network have made the list. Their contribution to the Network and country has been commendable and their zeal remains consistent. While we celebrate this milestone, we do not forget that great achievements originate from small actions. It is these small actions that occur every day by young people within the Network which also need to be celebrated.  


Activators Kwandile Skhosana, Nkosikhona Uzzi Mpungose and Paris Makaringe demonstrate that positive ambition coupled with hard work and determination are needed for progress.


These Activators have remained steadfast in the face of challenges because ultimately their mandate is for victory to have the last word. Kwandile Skhosana from Daveton in Gauteng runs a book club and feeding programme for homeless people called Feed A Homeless Homie. The passion that drives him to do this is the poverty stricken background from which he comes.


Nkosikhona Uzzi Mpungose is a youth community leader and activist who is the founder and chairperson of Youth Inter-Active (YIA), a platform that facilitates peer education and career guidance.


Paris Nyiko Makaringe hails from the community of Eldorado Park and runs an NPO called Lonwabo Lwesizwe which collects blankets and clothing for underprivileged people in his community.


The ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network is proud to conclude youth month with such inspiring stories of everyday youth who are changing their communities. This is how they demonstrate their longing for a better country and their commitment to change, #CommittedToChange.   





ACTIVATE! is a Network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society. 


For media related queries, please contact:


Zilungile Zimela

078 255 3378



On social media:

Facebook: Activate Change Drivers

Twitter: @ActivateZA

Instagram: @Activate_ZA


















A financial model to assist young people


Kindly answer the following questions and elaborate as desired. Don’t forget to send us a photo of yourself!

Name:Xolisile Malgas

Province:Eastern Cape

Facebook: Jean Pier La’petit

Twitter handle:@axedzembe


Write a short blurb (summary) about yourself. In no more than three sentences.

  • Xolisile is a person who is self-aware and as such is aware of others.
  • He keeps an open mind in all interactions, is free spirited, very spiritual and emotionally attuned.
  • He values trust, honesty, authenticity & altruism.

Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?

  • Initially I was just looking for assistance with project planning and implementation, a friend suggested Activate! Forwarded me the website link and I applied. The training program to module one intake one changed my whole perspective about life and things I thought I had a full grasp and understanding on, but besides that I had a longing need to be connected with a network of people who share my beliefs (constantly developing, challenging existing narratives and seek to have an impact). I would say I joined Activate! To have a voice that can be heard, to gain access to a support structure that can further my cause.

What did you enjoy the most about training?

  • The program is so intelligently put together that I’m not certain where to start, the Identity part in the introduction phase of the training and the one aspect stands out for me is the Collage which required deep introspection, a very effective approach to braking bearers in a group setting that not only allowed us to speak freely amongst each other but an immediate trust was formulated. The other more technical stuff; the tools we used in project planning and monitoring and evaluation that is the washline methodology for project planning, the Matrix for monitoring and evaluation, the object cards for creative thought and problem solving.
  • The LEMON leadership model offered great insights into personality types which puts you one up with other people as you get to be able to understand what drives them and informs their behavior, the other part that stood out for me which I enjoyed most was being given creative freedom, allowed to dream, share and paint my vision for South Africa.

How has training helped you or changed your perspective?

  • I work for a non-profit organization and I’m one of the founding members and it has not been an easy task setting up the organisation, trying to communicate our message as clearly as possible so we can be impactful in our intervention. The tools I received from the training allowed us to develop easy models we can use to drive and shape our organization forward; the use of social media to run campaigns and garner support from like minded people and possibly reach even more audiences, on a personal basis it has assisted me to truly understand who I am and how I should serve my purpose.

What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?

  • We as the youth have a massive responsibility in shaping the development of the country, the country in the next 30 years will be reaping the benefits of our efforts today, whether those benefits will be positive or not is what makes the youth so important in the development of the country. We have the opportunity to reshape our society and we have every tool available to us, access to unlimited knowledge, aid from many sectors. So our role as the youth is to ensure we develop fully our mental capacity, understand governance and governments, economies and economics which in turn affords us opportunities to shape an efficient future for all South Africans. Our role as the youth is to redefine the narrative, it is to be personally developed,our role is to be informed so we can inform our role as youth that is constantly aware about socioeconomic issues and indeed active.

What is your field of interest?

  • My field of interest is personal development and I currently use financial literacy as a tool to raise awareness on how powerful we’re when we are informed. My passion is currently shifted towards youths and teaching them how to create wealth and self-actualization models.

How are you driving change in your community /How would you like to drive change in your community?

  • We conceptualized a financial model that would assist young high school pupils from my community with registration fees (in my community the prevailing statistics on population is that we’re 60% youth and the sad part is 40% of that youth only has secondary education) and this status quo spares a number of social ills, and offers no growth and development in the long run if community members are unskilled or undereducated.
  • Mwanga Youth Development Fund aims to foster wealth creation as a study to grade 8-12 pupils, it is pivotal to our existence that all kids be financially literate,emotionally intelligent, computer literate and can drive or understand Road rules and this is what we believe every child who exits high school should be equipped with and this should have no direct link to their background or social standing but must be a right afforded to every child and that is what we aim to achieve.

Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?

  • A number of tools have been given to us to use effectively and one of those is knowing how local governments work and how can we make manicipalities work. I would love to use this knowledge and equip my community to understand what platforms are available to us to ensure accountability in public servants but also to expand knowledge in them.
  • To the network staying connected and presenting a united front this means involving Activators in all our initiatives as a non-profit and our community drives, hosting personal development seminars and financial literacy workshops, constantly posting relevant material for our development on the network’s virtual space that is how I aim to remain active within the Network.

What are your plans for this year?

  • We at Mwanga Youth Development Fund are planning to host a student member workshop to our registered members and reaffirming to our constituency what our full program entails, the workshop we host 250 schooling pupils in grades 8-12 with their parents and a teacher as a school representative. The workshop will take an investment approach and that requires that we invite Bank representatives to emphasize the importance of savings and investment (our constituency of 250 pupils from that day onwards will go on a personal investment drive where each day of their lives moving forward they’ll have to save and invest R1 each day towards their tertiary education (registration fees).
  • After this successful launch we aim to host a career EXPO for high school pupils in this area of Mdantsane, the expo will entail certain aspects for development, career advice, matrix and varsity points system explanation, bursary opportunities and assisted with applications to varsity and detailed financial aid models and we aim to do this when schools reopen in July 2017. We aim to host a workshop that prioritises on young girls on the 9th of August where we will invite affluent and dynamic young women movers and shakers who can reignite confidence in young girls and not just teach them about teenage pregnancy and underage drinking but instill a value of success in young girls growing up in townships.
  • On the 24th of September we aim to host a debate by young pupils from our constituency on what is heritage and how does it benefit us in 2017, does it need redefining to include the new generation of thinkers? Our last activity for the year will be the launch of a crowd funding model to raise funds to ensure our grade 12 students have enough monies for registration the following year, the campaign will be targeted to all South Africans and affording them the opportunity to change some else’s life, the campaign will be called the #R1Initiative and we aim to reach out to all walks of life to just donate R1 for a grade 12 pupil to study the following year.

Are you involving / How will you be involving the network in your plans?

  • In the training we were exposed to new ways on how to use social media to drive social change and run campaigns, we will use the network in all our plans and we would love time slots to have an opportunity to take-over the virtual space (social media platforms) and extend our reach to the country & beyond. By growing visibility of the network and its Activities in my community will help to Activate! More youths.

Additional information you would like us to know?

  • Mwanga Youth development fund is a developmental organisation and we endorse personal development as a tool to cultivate fully functional and efficient communities.
  • We need assistance in developing a Financial Literacy module, an emotional intelligence module and these are tools we aim to use to add-on what is currently being offered in public schools and to further our cause.
  • Our ultimate aim is to initially reach out to 25 high schools in my community which have 14 580 pupils in grades 8-12 and we need to instill a culture of saving to this group by allowing them to actively participate in the crafting of their future, what this means is that 14 580 will be investing R1 daily to guarantee a place in varsity for a fellow student and is about R4.3 million in a ten month schooling year, money raised to the benefit of just 200 matric students out of the 14 580 and what this means in two decades  about 40 000 pupils from my community will have seen the doors of university and possibly a graduate in some discipline.
  • Now what this means for the socio-economic conditions, is a positive influx of a well informed community and advanced decision makers both financially literate and emotionally intelligent and this means we no longer concern ourselves about drug and substance abuse, we no longer worry about crime, but rather-prosperity and living our values is what governs our existence.

      Any form of assistance to help us realize this vision is welcomed


                                                        Together we prosper !

We are not free while freedom is still locked up

In 1976 in Soweto,hundreds of school children confronted white police who opened fire on them, it was kids’ initiative and courage to act and try to bring about change. They sacrificed their lives for the state to be liberated, and many were brutally killed.

Siyabonga Memela, 2017 Activator said Freedom is a state of being able to create options and choose from those options. “Justice has not been made as well as reconciliation,” said Siya. For reconciliation to happen whites have to give back the ambitions that were stolen from black people “mostly the Azania (Land)” he added.

Siya said the freedom that the youth of 1976 were fighting for is still a vision as it is alive in words, “To me freedom is limited, for the individuals to experience freedom they need to have power – economically, culturally, politically.” Apartheid is not dead, politicians are using technics to colour-blind the black mind, they drum peoples mind to believe that they are free, while they are landless and living in slums with shortage of service delivery. He also emphasises that the SA system is promoting capitalism, most of the people who are in power see the citizens as a economic and profit motive, which is similar to the apartheid regime, “The main question I have is, we are freed from what?” People are not free while freedom is still locked up, apartheid continues by other means. Siya outlined that the education system is a stimulation of apartheid, and it brainwashes people and instils the idea of being employed and prevents the innovations that black people have.

With a bittersweet voice he mentioned that people are dying from poverty while the powered political leaders’ live luxurious lives, “It is painful to sleep with an empty stomach not knowing whether you will find something to eat or not when the sun rises.” He concluded by saying that apartheid is not dead but it was upgraded to being a psychological fight, black people have to tighten their belt and see beyond what is being presented to them, and develop their mental and physical state.



Fight for job creation not free education!

The young people of South Africa have been fighting education systems for the better part of the past four decades. With the struggle against Bantu Education in 1976, to #FeesMustFall in 2015 and the recent demands for free education, there seems to be no rest for the typical South African student. At the end of the 2016 academic year, the government responded with a commitment to have a commission set up to investigate the feasibility of free tertiary education in South Africa. Students submitted suggestions of how this could possibly be achieved. Possible solutions ranged from suggestions of annual decreases in tuition fees until such a time that higher education is free of charge, to suggestions of a redirection of funds budgeted for other state functions. Students are adamant that free education is not only feasible, it is probable.

However, with the recent elephant fights in our government, it is inevitable that some grass has been trampled on. With the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, openly speaking out of the party saying that he is not begging for a position at the expense of serving South Africa, there may be hope that the plea of the students will be heard. Yet, with the country’s current economic state, do students still want free education if it means that they may not be able to use it anywhere outside the boarders of South Africa? Moreover, with 51.54 percent of young people being unemployed, is free education more pressing that job creation? It is important to note that obtaining a degree no longer guarantees one’s employability. Instead, companies are looking for experience and practical knowledge of the work over theoretical knowledge.

Instead of free education, why don’t young people opt for government funded apprenticeships and internships to be included in the university curriculum for each course to ensure that graduates have both knowledge and experience in the work they will be required to do? Moreover, this will aid graduates to venture into private practice and become job creators should they not be able to find work. A university student once said, “Should our careers not work out, let’s start a business. I know someone in Accounting, I know someone in PR, I know someone in IT…” these are the kinds of mind-sets that university discourages us from having.

Although education is said to be the key to success, it is only as important as the doors it opens for each individual. So, instead of educating ourselves on the latest format of a CV, we should look into educating each other on the latest format of a business proposal. With each right comes a responsibility, and it remains the graduate’s responsibility to ensure that someone else graduates after him or her. The educated young people of South Africa have the responsibility to ensure that they create opportunities that will either pass down the key or leave the doors open for others to also succeed. Choose to become a job-creator and not a job-seeker. Vuk’uzenzele! 

Owning our struggle 23 years later

41 years ago the young people took to the dusty streets of Soweto to demand an end to the unjust Bantu Education system and the oppression of a Black child in the country of his own birth. There the oppressors opened fire and many lost their lives while all they were fighting for was a just system and the creation of the South Africa of their aspirations.

41 years later the new battle has begun with the same spirit of stone and fire, this new war will be defeated when the young people of our country use the same energy and spirit to fight our present day struggles and battles, the struggle of inequality, poverty and underdevelopment, and the struggle of a commercialised educational system that has been commercialised at the expense of the masses of our people. At times like these the thought provoking question when education is commercialised that we ask ourselves is that: is education still the most powerful weapon regarded as human right that can be used to change the world, or is it the 21st century commodity which has led to the formation of multi-nationals in the fields of education to amass large amounts of profits while those who can’t afford end up suffering from financial exclusion.

The annual June 16 commemorations should enable us young people to redefine our generational obligation as Frantz Fanon urged us, and the best way to fulfil it is to become true to the cause and to remain focused until we have defeated the struggle. South Africa and the African continent needs young lions who will roar fearlessly and who will be shaken by whatever life throws at them.

South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world and one of the best solutions to this trajectory is to create a stable labour market that will create stable jobs and one that will absorb job seekers, this requires a strong consistent Private Public Partnership between government, corporate South Africa and civil society to invest in the labour market South Africa, the same way government invests in education is the same way government must invest in job creation, the same way corporate SA maximises profits and sales is the very same way it must invest in creating quality permanent jobs, the very same civil society organizations that maximise their impact in developing communities through the grants and donations that you acquire should also include job creation as one of their community development endeavours.

The second challenge that we face as young people is that of low entrepreneurship levels in South Africa, this being despite the fact that South Africa has as a youthful population, yet it has the lowest entrepreneurship levels in the world according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, yet many young entrepreneurs are faced with the challenges of access to funding, access to markets, access to networks and building of stronger customer relationships. Above all we need a strong and vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem that will strengthen and enhance the growth of entrepreneurs, funding is not a problem but all that entrepreneurs need is access to markets and exposure that will enable them to tap into markets and get clientele and to eventually to get profits.

Above all we need to own and champion our struggle, the struggle against commercialised and colonised education, this struggle will not be achieved by burning roads and facilities but by massing knowledge and organising ourselves to fight the challenges that we are facing as young people.

Kwame Toure, one of the founders of the All African People’s Revolutionary Party once said: “Organisation is stronger than Mobilisation, because organisation builds consciousness while mobilisation builds numbers.” As we strengthen our fights against the challenges of inequality, poverty, unemployment and inequality and also poor entrepreneurship participation, and above all fighting against the colonised and commodified educational system, and strive to create an educational system that addresses the gap and disconnect between schooling, varsity or college graduation and entering the job market. To do that that requires that we become organised and conscious, that’s the best way to defeat the struggle.

Through consciousness and organisation is the best way to also create strong vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem that will build and strengthen the entrepreneurship development amongst youth led businesses and to eventually create jobs and fight inequality.

As we celebrate Youth Month, we must be mindful that the future and greatness of South Africa and the African continent is meaningless unless its linked up to the total empowerment and development of young people. All that will be achieved only if we own our struggle and champion it and stay true to it.

Photo credit: Babak Fakhamzadeh

Youth using art to fight Violence

Hip hop artist Bongani Nqayi (Micco) who lives in Sankontshe (Hammarsdale) in KZN hosted an event under the theme ‘fighting violence by the means of art’ under the organisation Branding Back The Vibe (BBTV). This Activator said the motive was to convey the message that violence destroys the nation as a whole. He said it takes one person to make change, “If people can live by ethics this can be a great, peaceful place. Little actions make big changes.” The event gathered youth together and honoured 1976 youth for the initiative they took. Bongani outlined that they worked hard with no sponsors which motivated them to push, provoke and inspire the rising ones to engage in art events. Lindani Sangweni who lives in kwaMashu Durban was one of the artists that rocked the stage, with his lyrics he spread Phansi Ngodlame (stop violence) message.

The youth plays a major role in fighting all terms of pollution by being innovative. During the event Lindokuhle Gumede who is also from Hammarsdale presented his car toys which they sell at a cost of R30 and R50. They are made from plastics bags and wire which were built by young kids from the age group of 11 to 15. He said they reduce land pollution by reusing plastic, creating toys so that kids can play, “Everything is useful, depending on your creativity.” He said they have a solution to air and water pollution too, and with their initiative they will add to the prevention of global warming. He concluded by saying his vision is to get support from other people financially and register as a non-profit organisation(NPO), in order for them to continue doing good in their community.

Other Activators were also there to support their fellow Activator in the programme, Khayalethu Memela from Umlazi and Thobelani Gumede from Montclair, who was so excited about the success of the event and said it is great to see the youth of South Africa honouring the death of 1976 students. They both emphasised connections and supporting the Activate network to bring about change in their communities as they presented and they gave youth pens, books and key holders.

Has the injustice that occurred on the morning of 16 June 1976 been corrected?

In 1976, the South African apartheid government introduced the compulsory use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in black schools for learners in grade 7 –  formerly known as standard 5 for those of us born before democracy – and upwards. This was greatly opposed by learners, teachers and principals. Teachers weren’t well equipped to teach in the language, which was for most, a third or foreign language.

According to various sites like Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy, that’s when Soweto based learners called a meeting and agreed that on the 16th of June 1976 they would gather in a mass demonstration against Afrikaans. As planned, on the 16th thousands of them set off to Orlando West Secondary School. The plan was to move to Orlando stadium, but someone was clearly on the government’s payroll because before they could even leave, the police arrived and formed a wall against the students telling them to disperse. Without cooperation from the learners’ side, the police fired the first shot straight into the crowd. All hell broke loose and the students fought back by throwing stones at the police and burning down property.

(Sounds similar to the #FeesMustFall marches that had happened all over South African universities since 2015. They start out peaceful until the police interfere using brutality, causing the main point of the demonstration to be overlooked, turning it into a media spectacle. But that’s a topic for another day.)

The number of people who died is estimated at 200, according to SA History Online. The number of wounded people was estimated to be over 1000.

Afrikaans, which is respectfully a home language for a significant number of South Africans today, was the language of the oppressor during apartheid. The language was forced upon many non-Afrikaans speaking citizens through various circumstances. For example, if you were a domestic worker in an Afrikaans household you had to learn how to communicate in Afrikaans.

In most of our schools today there remains no other language to choose to learn besides English and Afrikaans. English is mainly taught as a home language, to most students that speak a native official South African language at home, and Afrikaans as a first additional language, which most of them never actually use anywhere. This is usually the case in multi-racial “Model C” schools that say they want to cater for most the learners in the school, which in most cases aren’t even Afrikaans speaking.

My question is if they want to cater for the majority of learners, then why Afrikaans – the very language our Youth Day heroes were fighting against – and not any other official language?

According to census data from 2011,isiZulu is the most widely spoken language in the country with 11,6 million speakers. It is followed by isiXhosa with 8,15 million speakers, then Afrikaans with 6,85 million speakers. Wouldn’t Zulu then be the language that learners should be learning as a second language for those that have another language as a home language? (with the exception of those that have Afrikaans as a home language –  English would be their second language)

I remember having a talk with one of the learners I tutor over weekends. She goes to a multi-racial “Model C” school where the majority of learners are black. They, like many other similar schools, only have the option of learning English and Afrikaans. She struggles with Afrikaans and says that although the issue of teaching other official languages has been brought up several times during parent meetings and SGB meetings, they are always given the excuse that there isn’t enough staff to cater for the demand. Her father, like many other black parents in the school, is concerned that his daughter is not learning her own home language, but is instead learning a language that won’t be useful to her in our current post-apartheid era or even career wise.

The school’s claim that there aren’t enough teachers available to teach native languages can be disputed by research done by The South African Civil Society Information Service that shows that newly qualified black teachers struggle to find jobs as opposed to their white counter-parts that are frequently hired. “Model C” schools like the one my learner goes to has mainly white teachers, which explains the “inadequate staff to fulfill the demand” excuse. It can therefore be argued that there are teachers available for the demand, but they just don’t hire them.

Surprisingly, they have one learner at the school who is being taught French instead of Afrikaans because she never learnt Afrikaans in primary school. French? It isn’t even an official South African language. And yes, the learner is of South African origin, just not black. And no, I’m not playing the race card (although they could be). I mean, they can cater for one individual’s special language request and not for a larger group that has made several pleas to the school asking to be taught their home languages?

It would be blatantly ignorant to say that all schools do this. There are a lot of schools, mainly black government schools, that give their learners a variety of native languages to choose from.  However, black parents that want quality education for their children through private schooling (Model C schools) also deserve to have their children learning their home languages. There are government schools, like the one I went to –  Glen Cowie Secondary school in the rural district of Ga-Sekhukhune in Limpopo – that are able to cater three different home languages (without including English) with only around 300 learners in the whole school.

These parents aren’t forced to take their kids to these schools and these schools are at liberty to teach any language they see fit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. My biggest concern is why Afrikaans is almost always the first option a school chooses to offer as a second language. This even happens in schools where there isn’t even one Afrikaans speaking learner.

I think we are still living under oppression unconsciously. The cause the learners of 1976 fought for wasn’t fully corrected. Schools don’t have to teach in Afrikaans, but learners still have to learn Afrikaans. 


Press Release

One of South Africa’s largest youth networks, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is steadily becoming a key role player in promoting the voice of the youth. The Network fittingly participated in this year’s editions of the HEAIDS Youth Conference from 09-11 June and the SA AIDS Conference from 12-18.

ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is a network of 2000 young change makers or “Activators” across the country who are finding innovative ways to transform their communities and the country as a whole. The Network connects these young people and equips them with necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in their respective efforts. Some members of the Network, whose work is around HIV/AIDS advocacy, facilitated dialogues at both events to discuss innovative ways of HIV prevention amongst the youth.

“South Africa has an alarmingly high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS and high numbers of new infections amongst the youth. By virtue, being a youth movement that targets young people, it is ACTIVATE! Change Drivers’ responsibility to be amid role-players that are leading the conversation around the pandemic and youth,” say ACTIVATE! Change Driver’s Malusi Mazibuko. One of the most effective ways of addressing HIV/AIDS is by giving young people alternative activities that do not only keep them away from risky behaviour but also position them as catalysts of change and hope within their communities. Through its programmes, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers aims to do exactly that. The Network’s programmes are designed to empower and give young people as sense of purpose and responsibility. In turn, this gives the youth something to look forward to, which makes them wish to live longer to see their efforts through.

 “At the conferences, we explained our programmes and showcased the work done by some of our members around HIV/AIDS, especially in marginalised areas of the country. We will also facilitating a session at KwaMuhle Museum in Durban where we discussed alternative ways that haven’t been explored in dealing with HIV/AIDS. During that session, our members shared their input to policy and suggestions for a way forward,” says Mazibuko. 


Issued by ACTIVATE! Change Drivers. For more information please visit 

Sacrificing the class of ’76

June 16 1976 was a Wednesday when Soweto became a warzone

Lives lost by the thousands, founded in Soweto 1976, 41 years later, I remember it like yesterday, the forgotten martyrs carved into Azania’s psyche.The forgotten Blood ritual, youth sacrifices on the altar of riot gear  police barricades
In Honour of All the Black bodies crushed in the Resistance, the rejection of linguistic subjection by the racist settler-neo-colonialist “Regering van die Nationale Party”.We are still here so remember, a public holiday for who? For what? And when? And why?

Afrikaner domination Separate development Apartheid oppression.Twelve year old Hector Pieterson was a good boy, Died for a front page, Global headlines of anti-apartheid sentiments. Iconic the image of Mbuyisa Makhuba carrying his li’l lifeless body.

“20 000 Leerders Teen Afrikaans” Boycott en-masse.With placards shouting Slogans: “If we must do Afrikaans, Voster must do Zulu” “Viva Azania”. We are meeting at Orlando West secondary to sing in solidarity “Nkosi Sikelel’ iafrica” without “Die stem”, in School Uniforms we gave life to the Revolution. Blacked by consciousness the student representative council, not even our politicophobic parents knew of Our Day, June 16 1976, our day, Soweto rises in righteous rebellion because of Afrikaans.

But on route, brutality ensued in pursuit of Freedom, Fighting, Firing forced on us by the Special branch Ammunition, Stones, Teargas, Bullets, Batons, and Police Dogs showered with bricks, Death scents in the air. Fear disappeared after our peaceful protest was met with live bullets.Township blood boils into an ungovernable landscape, a collective psychological metamorphosis.Johannesburg to Cape Town, haemoglobin spills. Hospitals could not handle the multitude of gaping wounds.
This is the day on which we forced the Nation into action, Border to border, ceaseless cross-country revolt in Solidarity with the Soweto Massacre of June 16.

The Crowd did not disperse, Day 1 death toll is 23, After the first four days 176 Blacks mowed down in Soweto and Thousands by the end of 1976, every township had its quota.Verwoerd said teach Natives equality with European is not for them, and  in educating South Africa’s youth spend annually R644 per white and R42 per black, as in 1975.”Ons will nie die onderdrukker se Taal praat nie” “Fok weg met Afrikaans fokken Voster, Fokken Kruger”: We are defying your Bantu education act of 1953, Language of the oppressor is not up for only means of instruction.Icons of resistance, Because of the likes of Tsietsi Mashinini, Seth Mazibuko, Khotso Seathola.Apologies for the unwritten names of pivotal leaders: sold-out tagless  bodies in unmarked graves, security squad suicide in holding cells whose  blood revitalised the liberation struggle: Mapetla Mohapi, Dumisani Mbatha, Jackie Mashabane, Dimakatso Phakathi and those thrown into holes in the cloak of night.

Terrorism act, internal security act, Detention without trial.Meanwhile schools stay empty.

Clenched-fist black power salutes parade CBD streets from Gauteng to Western province.

Soweto sparks nation-wide sporadic scrimmages: New Bridghton, Bontheheuwel, Mdantsane, Nyanga, Tembisa, Athlone, Soweto has the Cape Peninsula up in Arms.”Kruger we want to see you” written on the concrete while Colonel Visser searches for black consciousness affiliates.Leaflets printed with: “Your children decided to shed their blood” “you’re inviting Vorster to slaughter us’ “Parent-worker heed the call stay away from work”. In August 1976 municipal busses go up in flames, Asizukhwela! -We-Won’t-Ride! The students are asking their parents, the work-force of Soweto to stay-away, leading up to the general strike on 24, 25, 26 August drawing international sanctions.Battlefield, Slagveld, between students and police, parents caught selling-out the aspirations of the youth. Mortuaries reach full capacity, bodies shot in the back pile at Police stations. The children were hopeless without cowardice: A 8 year old in prison at Orlando, a 15 year old in exile to Tanzania.

The ninth month requires another 3-day general Strike: By September the Youth said: municipal Beerhalls and bottle stores are the white campaign of pacifications, close down, By force shebeens closed, The docile nature of alcohol drinkers irritated the youth, taverns go up in smoke, liquor the opium keeping us in bondage. The circular read “We are warning the people in advance that this should be the last week of Boozing”. For November the samizdat wrote “No Christmas parties – blacks are going into mourning for the dead of this Township”.Our parents are prepared to suffer but we the youth refuse to be slaves in land of our birth right.

“Mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, policemen and sell-outs, I greet you in the name of Africa” orated by Tsietsi at our funeral.The Significance of June 16 remains Blood baths filled with sacrifices of youth, not your depoliticised censoring ceremonies of “Young people must have fun and celebrate empty results.” We cannot forget the past to feel hollows of good by broken freedom disguising a failed democracy, No. These institutions that still dominate and exploit us.
Underground movement recruits, selfless souls risking lives for our future, we give thanks.

Now we are the June 16 Detachment in the Spirit of Solomon Mahlangu the Soul of Silverton trinity.Out to destroy symbols of subjection, of the system of Apartheid. Let us work to destabilize the State, bring the government to its knees. Social stability non-existent henceforth.We are being born still with Molotovs for mouths.Still letter-bombing for total emancipation. Conspicuous capital our post-independence economic apartheid cordon santaire Haunted by the restless spirits of June 16 1976

                                                              Remember Soweto when it is Marikana
                                                                     Lest we forget the radicals
                                                              The youth’s responsibility in revolution
                                                      Long live the cause of equal rights and freedom
                                                           God bless the principle of justice and truth

                                                                              Not yet uhuru
                                                                             Aluta Continua

Activators share solutions to unemployment

“Economists described the shocking unemployment rate as hopeless, helpless and a failed state. But patriotic youth should view this economic tragedy as a challenge to step-up and move the country forward’’ – Entrepreneur Activator David Lekgwathi

According to the recent employment report, the South African unemployment rate increased to 27.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 from 26.5 percent in the previous period. The number of unemployed persons rose by 433 thousand to 6.2 million, the highest since at least 2001. Employment went up by 144 thousand to 16.2 million. Job gains occurred in the formal non-agricultural sector (181 thousand) and in private households (21 thousand) but losses were recorded in the informal sector (-14 thousand) and in agriculture (-44 thousand). The labour force increased by 577 thousand to 22.42 million and those detached from it fell by 421 thousand to 14.63 million.

Dozens of concerned South African youth including Activators shared their views on the best ways the country can avert further precarious economic spiral and job losses.

Maximise rich human capital reserves

Cape Town based entrepreneur and social change driver, Thembinkosi Matika accepts that the recent economic downgrade is one of the major setbacks this country has ever dealt with. The optimistic Activator is convinced that all is not lost. According to Matika, there are countless innovative, efficient and effective strategies that young people can use to address the national unemployment crises.

“Every family, community, region and country’s wealth is always in its immediate inhabitants. Powerful companies and countries are where they are now economically because they perfected investment in people. Therefore my primary suggestion is that South Africa should immediately set up independent platforms that will enable skill transfers, business collaboration and economic peer empowerment. As young people we have countless skills, resources, networks, talents and power. These things alone can help us as youth in creating employment, transforming the national economic agenda. Life has over and over again, taught us that human kind has the potential and power to rise above crises. We too as the country will, can and should overcome this one.

Collaboration is the only solution

Northern Cape based social change driver and entrepreneur, German Jacobs who often creates jobs for financially smart and economical savvy graduates believes that access to markets for the majority of emerging entrepreneurs is one major job creation barrier. According to Jacobs, collaboration among key stakeholders like government, civil society organisations and business sector.

“Government should adopt a policy which indicates that government departments should make more use of local entrepreneurs in their prospective areas than using outside provinces. On the other hand, society must start to support their immediate job creators by buying or rendering each others services. This will help job creators to generate and increase their capital reserves and ultimately create more jobs.” 

Political instability an immediate threat that must be addressed

Kwazulu Natal based social change driver and creative arts convenor, Silindile Lokishi Martin believe that the country’s unemployment crises can be attributed to the current national visionless and self-centred political leadership that needs to be changed.

“South Africa is very rich only for the economic elite who by the way we can’t completely blame for the current unemployment. The real culprits for all this mess are the corrupt sell out political puppets. Their normalised nepotism is crippling everything. The first solution is to get rid of them and fix our education. Our education must now stop creating job seekers but competent entrepreneurs and skilled self-sustaining minded graduates. Our desired employment solutions will only be realised when we have addressed these key social challenges.”

Unsolved economic facts to consider

Renowned youth business coach Amanda Mackenzie, believes that ethical leadership, sustained employment and responsible capitalism in an inclusive economy is the only solution for South African unemployment challenges.

“Youth unemployment should not be viewed as an isolated economical challenge but rather as one of many things that this country’s old age socio-economic system has failed and will continue to do so if we don’t do anything about it. By the way, I also don’t believe the formal sector is going to provide the levels of employment we need to effectively address unemployment in this country. The young unemployed people need to be at the forefront of micro-jobbing systems. That system must offer relevant real, job market experience opportunities for our youth to earn an income while studying. This is very much possible. In fact, this purely depends on business sector willingness and commitment,’’ said Mackenzie

While addressing global business and economic world business executives and diplomats at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year, President Jacob  Zuma admitted that the country is struggling to deal with the growing unemployment rate of young people. President Zuma pleaded with world economic powers to support and invest in South Africa for job creation initiatives.

Photo credit:


On June 16, young people from the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network will be celebrating the day by hosting and participating in a host of activities across South Africa. The events encourage active citizenship among young people in urban, peri-urban and rural spaces. Activators are committed to changing the status quo and contributing towards the positive transformation of South Africa.The 1976 uprising was by far one of the most distinct mass demonstrations by young people in South Africa for it brought about positive change in the face of the country’s education system. Fast forward to over 40 years later the young people of the country in all their different corners are still on the plight for decent, equal, fair and accessible education for all.

Over the course of the year, the young people of the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network have led various dialogues, community based engagements and projects of public benefit to speak about the pertinent issues that plague the youth of South Africa. Activators are #CommittedToChange by being mobile vehicles of change that stop at nothing to see transformation realised. “We are not yet uhuru that is why we cannot sit still,” explained Activator Lerato Morulane currently at the AIDS Conference in KZN with 35 other Activators.Their daily contribution to this transformation varies from politics, food and nutrition, community development, education, human rights (gender-based rights and LGBTIAQ), crime prevention, the arts, sports and recreation, entrepreneurship and making local government work. “I have invited my ward councilor and the BEC Youth League to be part of the sport tournament in our community so that they can see that young people are not lazy but are making things happen,” sited Activator Amanda Dumisa from the community of Nyosana A/A in Lusikisiki- Eastern Cape.

“Keeping a strong body and mind is very important for young people, physical activities and eating healthily should be encouraged everyday among the youth,” says Melusi Mhlaba in Kwa-Zulu Natal who will be hosting a health awareness day for young people in Hammarsdale Kwa-Zulu Natal.  Equality is a commodity that has been dubbed to be among the most hard to attain. It is for this reason that young Activators are gathering in different corners to fight not only against pass laws but against the injustices faced by South African youth on the daily.




ACTIVATE!is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.

Was The ’76 Youth The Last Breed Of The Brave Ones?

On this day in 1976, high school students of Soweto had to take a stand against Afrikaans as the medium of communication language. Successfully, their brave initiatives was taken into consideration because youth determines the future, and unity masters all.

All we seem to have today does not even have a word in the Oxford dictionary, because it is youth system composed of many characters. Cowardice, looting, selling-outs, lobbying and etc.

Today youth unemployment is approximately at 72%. Youth females are force to sleep their way up to success, males are requested to sell their souls to the devils, nepotism runs the nation, and people are easily lured into corruption and fraudulence.

Black people are no longer united like those back in Soweto, Sharpeville in 1976. The white-on-black apartheid system has transformed into black-on-black apartheid system. Where instead of one supporting the neighbour he supports the foreigner. Which is not a bad thing, but before going out about helping someone afar from you while the closest person suffers is not what objects Ubuntu, there’s African saying, that charity begins at home.

Rich are becoming richer while poor becoming poorer.

Students are faced with malicious outstanding balances at high institutions of learning, students are raped and kidnapped on daily bases across the nation, and students are expelled and suspended for speaking their minds, exposing the truth of course. Youth kill each other for penny, for position, for lust.

Sies, I say! To all who delight in taking this country down, woe I say to all who preach the positions they are holding but not doing exactly what is ought of them to do. I hat-off for the youth of 1976 yet I put two hats on my head to us 21 centaury youth for being responsible in drowning the country into vein. For not standing up against the status quo.

We are the youth of technology, the born-frees. But are we free?

Until we reunite ourselves for our future betterment, towards same objectives, which is to reclaim our country back, to reclaim our youth. We will forever be submissive slave, be colonized.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” – Dr Martin Luther King Jr


Image source: SA History

The Youth of 2017 and beyond must emulate the youth of 1976

This year South Africa will be celebrating the 41st anniversary of the activist struggle of young people as led by the youth of 1976. The youth of 1976 had defined themselves as pioneers, change drivers and solution providers who would not allow even death itself to stand in their way. These gallant young martyrs stood up for the youth of 2017 to rise, it is sad that some perished as a result of their selfless pursuit to achieve a better future for the youth of 1976.

Today varying youth constituencies in the country continue to benefit greatly from the commitment undertaken by the youth of 1976. As activators we need to undertake an absolute process of unconditional soul searching and reflect on where we are, how we got here and why we continue to be. This reflection must speak directly to the grand dreams the warrior girls and boys of 1976 had wished for us, we must do so bearing in mind that the baton we carry in our hands of ensuring a successful future for the many generations of young people who will come after us is guaranteed.

ACTIVATE! as a programme solely dedicated to the upliftment and empowerment of young people has enabled and created a platform for young people across the country to drive change in their communities. Chief amongst the defined character of this social change which must directly benefit the community is encapsulated in the strategy and direction these organisation has pledged allegiance to, in taking the activate work forward.

Activators as agents for change must be everywhere, they must have the capacity to influence, provoke, connect and inspire their peers as those who led the 1976 uprisings did to their own peers. Everyday Activators seek to do the most for their own communities and at times this commitment by Activators goes unnoticed. Activators at most continue despite the many challenges and obstacles they come across. Activators as influencers in their communities must forever remain unflinching in their determination to do what is good for their communities, Activators must forever provoke interests from the members of their communities to tag them along in their journey to effect necessary changes in their communities. 

The hour of the change driver can no longer be postponed, that moment has arrived NOW.  Activators as young people are at the forefront of great opportunities to be frontline agents for change, these very crucial opportunities brought upon through the sacrifices made by the youth of 1976 cannot be taken for granted. Through our actions as Activators and agents for change we must be able to influence the national discourse on what the state of the nation in South Africa should take shape, this influence we must be able to easily impart to our communities through our commissions and ommisions. An ideal citizen that can find favour with the community that can easily be identified as a change driver shall easily connect her/his community for a greater good and purpose.

We take great pride as agents for change that an official ACTIVATE! facebook page has more than 5000 people whilst the unofficial facebook page has almost the same number of Activators who have been part of the formal ACTIVATE! programme. This statistics must confirm one reality that for every Activator there are almost two people outside the network interested in the work we do. This serves as confirmation enough that as Activators we have a greater responsibility to ensure we connect more with the outside world.

The connection Activators must expand to the outside world must go beyond the reach of our own communities, today the name of Hector Peterson is known nationally. Hector Peterson went beyond the call of his community demands to answer the national call of driving change across the country. Today as the youth of 2017 like the those who came before us in 1976 must take forward our work of driving change inspired by the adopted themes in the network of INFLUENCE -CONNECT – PROVOKE-INSPIRE.

The hour of the change driver is NOW, we must not postpone it. As we celebrate the youth month may we find inspiration from the youth of 1976, to achieve the grand dream of the youth of 1976 to uplift and empower our communities and preserve the future of the generation of young people who will come after us.

Themba Vryman is an activate change driver, a social activist and writes in his personal capacity.

The long walk to prevention: Every voice counts

Following the HEaids conference that was documented on this platform on the 10th of June, Activators once again descended at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. This time the objective was to observe and articulate health issues that are at the forefront for the youth considering that June is Youth month, a historically significant month in the history of South Africa. The area of focus was specifically that of the burning issue of prevention and how everyone from various walks of life has a role to play in ensuring that the long-term goal of preventing the pandemic is achieved.

The event was attended by youth, prominent academics and researchers, prominent government officials, social activists, the LGBTIQ community and Activators. The conference mainly articulated preventative initiatives towards the pandemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections, which are in multiple proportions highly problematic not only to the socio-economic livelihoods of the general population but the youth in particular. The conference also saw the groundbreaking initiative towards the LGBTIQ community. For the first time ever, we saw an introduction of a preventative initiative mainly concentrated on the LGBTIQ community. This initiative, along with others is aimed significantly at access to treatment and accentuating the treatment and preventative drive among the LGBTIQ community.

Presenting her research at the conference, Dr. Stephanie Berrada articulated the point that prevention should take a top-down approach rather than a bottom-up approach. To add on to this point she highlighted the fact that young women remain more vulnerable, stating that a significant proportion of young women continue to be infected from engaging in sexual activities with older men. This is an absolute contrast to younger men, who as backed by statistics, have a significantly lower risk of contracting the pandemic (in most cases young men only contract the pandemic from engaging on sexual activities with young women, who have already contacted the virus from older men). She further alluded to the fact that it was vital that initiatives continue to be put in place to address the sexual behavior of older men, specifically towards the young and vulnerable women as this would go a considerably long way in ensuring the long-term sexual safety of the youth and in the long-run ascertaining an HIV/AIDS generation.

Furthermore, the conference also featured the promotion of family planning and a significantly important topic of sexual debut. The representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) tackling these intertwined topics specified how important it was to continue to advocate for the delay of ayoung persons sexual debut (the stage at which one begins to indulge in sexual intercourse) as a vital tool to counter the proliferation of unplanned families. Not only would the delay of sexual activities promote effective family planning, it will go a long way in ensuring an HIV/AIDS free generation and serve as the most effective preventative measure in as far as HIV/AIDS and other satellite infections are concerned.

Activators present also had their impressions of the conference that took place. Action Setaka, an Activator hailing from the Free State province alluded to the fact that the conference was at the forefront of treating social factors holistically, and was impressed by the fact that the conference proved to be very much relevant to young people. On the conference headline, Setaka also mentioned that while the theme of the conference “the long walk to prevention: Every voice counts” is captivating and good, it was high time that initiatives were started to simultaneously focus on looking for the HIV/AIDS cure while also emphasising prevention. He based his reasons on the fact that there seems to be a huge money and capital based incentive, which is preventing the conclusive finding of the HIV/AIDS cure. He concluded by stating that while convenient solutions were highlighted such as the vaginal ring, incentives introduced at such conferences must be centered more on eradication initiatives.

Another Activator, Nkosikhona “Uzzi” Mpungose who is based in KwaZulu Natal and happens to be a Health Activist and a member of the Ethekwini AIDS Council-Youth Sector thought that the conference was very promising. He alluded to the fact that the conference offered practical solutions and that it was a great opportunity to collaborate with various leaders and leadership initiatives to reach a common goal for everyone involved. He was also left impressed by the fact that propagating the need for behavioral change amongst the youth was an effective preventative tool, as the partnership with the various stakeholders present would create a cohesive unit of understanding and establishing a cogent force that will fully address the health implications concerning the youth.




Ukuhlonyiswa Kwabasha: Empowering our youth in South Africa

The Department of Higher Education and Training hosted the Higher Education AIDS (HEaids) Conference, an initiative aimed at raising intricate issues involving the HIV and AIDS pandemic. The conference was not only focused on the pandemic as a stand-alone issue, but also focused on other social phenomenon that continue to plague youth in society particularly the empowerment of young woman, which was the main theme that the conference was centered around. Issues such as the demographic distribution of HIV and AIDS in rural and outskirt communities and gender-based violence were also highlighted.

On the 10th June, the She Conquers Dialogue took place where over 1600 youth delegates from all walks of life in South Africa from schools, TVET colleges, universities, communities and Activators joined hands to openly discuss with national leadership and various stakeholders issues that are challenging the youth today. Challenges identified were issues of economic empowerment, sexual and gender-based violence, youth empowerment, and social determinants of HIV, transactional sex, poverty alleviation, women empowerment, gender dynamics, blessers/blessees challenges, youth health/wellness and youth education.

Opening the dialogue was the first lady of the republic Thobeka Madiba Zuma, who purported her opinions mainly on the empowerment of women and the elimination of gender-based violence. She did emphasise the need of gender positive media in tackling the challenges the female faces in the face of their male counterparts. She further alluded to the fact that there should be changing cultural traditions that are complimentary and effective in changing the negative dynamics facing our societies today. She spoke passionately of her organisation which attempts to eradicate societal ills and mishaps that continue to plague the trajectory. Furthermore she alluded to the fact that her organisation provides an opportunity for the youth to learn and grasp fundamental issues around the pandemic that disturbs the family structure when parents succumb to it.

Furthermore, Activator and Chairperson of She Conquers, Ms Lerato Morulane who was part of the distinguished panel highlighted the challenges women continue to face in society. On the issue of women, she described being a women in this country as “fearing for our lives, and fearing the so called protector (men).” She alluded mainly to the dominant factor of men over women, which puts men in a position of privilege at the expense of women and outlined its unjustified outcomes resulting in gender-based violence, sexual violence and the prevalence of patriarchy which continues to uplift men to the position of superiority and relegate women constantly to inferiority. She did continue on the need of further women empowerment especially young women in institutions of higher learning. She made clear the issues of sexual harassment within these spaces of higher learning as problematic which has gone as far as lecturers exchanging sexual favours for “favorable marks.”

Fellow Activator, Isa Mdingi who is also part of the UNFP advisory panel shared the same sentiments during question time when she spoke of the fact that the challenges facing women today are reminiscent of the patriarchal society that South Africa is today.  She emphasised that the discussion that young people should be having when engaging in issues that women continue to face are to be aimed at the “elephant in the room” which is the system of male privilege, the system of patriarchy which is very oppressive towards women and is rooted deep down in the family structures and society in general. Dealing with the patriarchal system speaks directly to educating kids from a very early age, the interrogation of the family structures and the way they are set up. 

Activators also had the opportunity to interact with young people and the youth of various walks of life to hear their inputs and thoughts on the discourse that was on the agenda. Scelo Sibiya brought forward the concerns of the LGBTIQ society. He did speak of the fact that while women continue to be vulnerable in society, the plight of the LGBTIQ community continues to be sidelined, in other words largely excluded from platforms that are critical in addressing their concerns, which are in more ways than one the same issues that women are going through. The LGBTIQ community continues to be sidelined in the peripheries, with the use of pseudo moral reasoning and cultural rhetoric’s. They are deprived economically because of their sexual orientation which is considered inferior and against norms and values that societies are built upon, and they are socially excluded, branded, and politically stigmatised. The conference highlighted many crucial issues around women, and one thing that became apparent is that the issues that women go through are the same as the issues that the LGBTIQ community is going through on daily basis. But the silence is too loud when it comes to coming up with feasible solutions to all these issues, the involvement of men, educating them about those issues are also highly important. One thing is clear, without coming up with solutions and proper plans of action, conferences like this will not solve the issues that our sisters are being subjected to. #SHE CONQUERS #UKUHLONISHWA KWABASHA,UKUHLONISHWA KWABESIMAME.   

Is short-term employment a possible solution to SA’s youth unemployment crisis?

Currently, the youth unemployment rate in South Africa is 50.09% – the highest in the world.  Even though it has decreased from 54.20 in the third quarter of 2016, it is still quite high considering the fact that about 48% of young South Africans are unemployed. Even after years of interventions from both the public and the private sector, coupled with a great deal of policy attention, the situation has escalated and is now considered chronic.

Needless to say, thousands of young South Africans whose ambition and hope has been crippled by the unemployment crisis are in desperate need of rescuing. However, it seems like resolving the situation requires large policy investment, political will and most importantly, time – a luxury we can’t afford at the moment. The question is, what can we do deal with this problem in the meantime?

The creation of short-term employment opportunities as one of the possible solutions comes to mind. Short-term employment opportunities such as internships, contract work and learnership programmes do not only ensure that one receives the much needed work experience, they also provide temporary relief to one’s financial strains. Furthermore, short-term employment means more unemployed youth are introduced to the job market even if they take turns doing do. However, as with anything else, short-term employment has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Short-term employment can offer flexibility you won’t find at a permanent, full-time job. This means you can use the breaks in between jobs to pursue personal projects or develop a new skills set. As a contract worker, you get a chance to impress the employer and this can lead to full-time employment. This form of employment is also an opportunity to sample a number of employers by taking on a series of different contracts in a variety of industries. Above all, all temporary jobs bring you a world of new lessons that you could not have possibly learnt by being in single permanent job and helps you build your resume.

On the down side, you might end up doing work you really do not enjoy, which can lead to boredom and a lack of motivation. In spite of whatever amount of experience you might have, as a temporary employee, you might feel you are a second-class employee, sometimes even feel inferior to the permanent employees in the organisation. Short-term jobs might be easier to find than full-time employment, however, there is no security and no employment benefits such as medical aid, pension fund etc.  Since you are paid as a contractor, meaning the employer will not deduct for taxes, you must therefore make sure to pay your taxes to the government on your own.

I spoke to a few Activators to get their views on temporary employment as a possible solution to South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis. Activator, Phetogo Kgosierileng thinks the high rate of unemployment is South Africa is one of the major contributors to the country’s high rate of crime and drug abuse. Therefore, providing employment opportunities for the youth, whether permanently or temporary, is killing two birds with one stone. “It is better for  young people to have temporary jobs that empower them and further develop their skills than being completely unemployed and frustrated, which can lead to poor life decisions like committing crime,” he adds.

Activator, Lisa Silwana says a lot of young graduates struggle to find employment because they lack the necessary work experience required to enter their respective industries. “Short-term employment is a great platform for graduates to gain experience and make contacts in order to advance in their careers. In a way, it can be seen as a solution to their issue of unemployment because it shapes young people to stand a better chance of getting employed in the future,” she says.

On the other hand, Activator, Dineo Segophiso doesn’t agree that short-term employment is a solution to the situation. Like thousands of other young people in South Africa, Dineo has faced the hardships that come with being unemployed. Unfortunately, in her experience, she didn’t enjoy any advantages of short-term employment because it was never in line with her vision and life goals.

Activator, Prince Charles thinks that young people accept temporary jobs because they are forced by circumstances to do so, not necessarily because of the advantaged mentioned above. “People are living under poverty and accept any kind of jobs just to put food on the table for their families. That is a good thing because people need financial relief,” he explains.

While the government and some private entities continue searching for efficient intervention for the youth unemployment crisis in South Africa, creating more short-term employment opportunities for the youth seems like a good idea. However, even though that comes with a lot of advantages like skills development and flexibility, it presents a lot of disadvantages such as instability and unsound social security for the youth.

Photo credit: 

Activators across South Africa are #CommittedToChange

For immediate release

01 June 2017

As a network of over 2000 young people, Activators have an inherent commitment to change. Activators understand that change does not happen overnight, it is a constant conscious investment on a daily basis. Activators, as change initiators have a fundamental goal to help orchestrate critical shifts in collective and individual mindsets, behaviours and communities.Active citizenship forms a significant part of engendering this shift.

A commitment to change matters if we are to create a South Africa of our longing where young people have opportunities for employment; where women and children feel safe and where the vulnerable in society are included in and benefit from democracy. The youth of the ACTIVATE! Network are active citizens as a direct result of proactive steps to effect change, a concern for their communities and intentional actions that yield results.

Activator Motsatsi Mmola, a young leader from Hoedspruit in Limpopo took up the responsibility in her rural and impoverished community and held a dialogue with the locals after numerous attempts of knocking on doors that were slammed in her face by community leaders. “The locals cannot even afford to travel to the clinic to get their prescribed medication, I end up doing all this for them,” says Motsatsi. The community still lacks running water, electricity and as a consequence- crime is rife. Motsatsi is one example of young people across the country rallying together for effective and tangible change that benefits all!

Another Activator, Tshepo Mabuya a social entrepreneur from Mangaung Municipality in the Free State held a workshop on the 25th May with the hopes of imparting knowledge to the youth on how to upskill themselves in the field of entrepreneurship. “Young people must mobilise each other to write a new youth narrative,” says Mabuya.

The above are but two examples of young South Africans in the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network who are contributing towards the call to be #CommittedToChange.


ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.


 Facebook : Activate Change Drivers

Twitter : @ActivateZA

Instagram: activate_za


For media related queries, please contact:

Nelisa Ngqulana

Communications Manager

Cell: 073 817 8017

Welcome Summer Bootcamp


Tripple B Fitness Family instructor Mlekeleli Khuzwayo brings you the winter boot camp to prepare for summer because summer bodies are made in winter! Tripple B has had two consecutive in-house fitness weekend camps and by popular demand it opened for non-members too. The belief at Tripple B is that a family can always grow and extend to the outskirts of the country and even the world. The first SA Boot Camp involved people from all over the country and in 2017 the goal is to extend the same courtesy to the second SA Boot Camp expanding the number of participants from 100 to 300.

This year’s SA Bootcamp will take on a military theme where all participants will be sleeping in tents setup on an open field. “We will have tents set up for couples, families and groups.” Adds organiser Mlekeleli.  

Everyone who is anyone is now invited to join in the quest for health & fitness! The boot camp will happen over a week, starting on Friday (on arrival) until the following Friday (departure) 

Because of the venue, participants will have a chance to connect with nature away from everything but at the same time taking you out of comfort zone. Participants will have an opportunity to push their bodies to its limits with the various activities provided throughout the week.


  • Functional Training classes  
  • Aerobics (Hi-lo, cut box, cardio) classes
  • Dancercise classes  
  • Group challenges  
  • Obstacle Course (Team Work Challenge) 
  • Yoga classes
  • Hiking 
  • Running/Jogging 



A professional dietician will be made available for a session to teach us more about the food we eat and what we should eat, how, when and why. The aim is for everyone to leave camp being more aware of everything pertaining their bodies.



During this 7 day bootcamp there is no time for idling or sleeping (we doubt anyone would want to because of the fun that will be had). We challenge our bodies and teach them not to give into fatigue or muscle soreness. We will sleep after having exercised and wake up very early before sunrise for our morning exercises (true military style). 



The 7 day programme promises to challenge your mind and your will. As your mind and will are challenged your spirit will reach new heights. New friendships will be forged and old friendships shall be reinforced due to common will and interest. Amajimaz will get an opportunity to network and experience a different culture together. Everyone will get to meet the warrior that lives within them, the one that pushes boundaries, the one that does not give up and the one that helps others to get through challenges and achieve together. 

You WILL go home a different person….That is a promise

You shall experience Total Transition!!


Date: 07 – 14 July 2017 

Time: 10h00 

Venue: Durban Central (Pick-up point)




For more information please contact :


Mlekeleli khuzwayo 0721164518

Samke Ngcobo 0715113518


On Social Media:

Facebook page: SA BOOT CAMP. Event

                           :Tripple B Fitness Family

Instagram: tripplebfitnessfamilysa




ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.


On social media:

Twitter: @ActivateZA

Facebook: ACTIVATE! Change Drivers


Instagram: Activate_za

Frans Ntsoereng will be making waves in India!

“The time will come when our nation will honour the memory of all the sons, the daughters, the mothers, the fathers, the youth and the children who, by their thoughts and deeds, gave us the right to assert with pride that we are South Africans, that we are Africans, and that we are citizens of the world.”

‘’Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom.”

These are some of the famous Nelson Mandela quotes that 2011 Gauteng Activator Frans Ntsoereng repeated 10 times after being announced as one of the few South Africans who will represent South Africa at the global Social Entrepreneur training platform in July this year.

The sponsor, Startup Safari is a Global immersion programme that connects startups and entrepreneurs in emerging markets to the fastest growing startup eco-systems around the world. Their mission is to foster cross-border mentorship, collaborations and investment.

Activator Frans Ntsoereng won the Startup Safari prize for his Citizen Link social enterprise. The project aims to minimize ongoing fatal violent action during service delivery protest. The optimistic, self-proclaimed leader of citizens of the world believes that his Citizen Link project brings a reliable remedy that will among others, introduce and implement innovative ways of non-violent protests.



“South Africas violent colonialism and apartheid past might be gone but its destruction and inculcalted legacy of anger is very much alive. We as South Africans have normalised violent actions during protests as the only mechanism of getting attention from powers that be. The unfortunate part is that community development programmes (that are primarily intended for the poor) get delayed or in other cases vulnerable innocent lives (more especially women and children) are destroyed or lost. It is these reasons that informed my social enterprise Citizen Link. Through the launch it will be creatively introduced throughout the country,’’ said Ntsoereng.

Watch Frans Ntsoereng 24-hour Hackathon Video here

In July, the Gauteng Activator will join the world’s best social entrepreneurs who will be part of the10 day Startup Safari social entrepreneurship training in India. Among other critical things, the intensive training programme will cover various startup topics like, entrepreneurship fundamentals, customer behaviour, market research, funding, bootstrapping, marketing, financial management, business operations etc.

Good ambassadorship plans 

Besides absorbing all the information and forming lifelong global future strategic partners for his project, the delighted social change driver is also intending to use his participation as a springboard for future opportunities for other Activators.

“I hope my entrepreneurship trip will help me create bigger global contacts with other social entrepreneurs, broaden my entrepreneurial acumen and most importantly create an eternal great reputation of ACTIVATE! Leadership outside of South Africa’s boarders,” he said.

The flamboyant Ntsoereng attributes this latest achievement to his fellow Activators, members of his organisation and according to him, ‘”his lifetime role models that conceptualised and implemented the ACTIVATE! Leadership Network.

“Too many people might be seen as Frans’ little milestone but I would argue differently. To me, this is just one small reflection of the amazing generous work that ACTIVATE! and people like Dr. David Harrison, Chris Meintjes, Carrie Leaver, Mhlanganisi, Erika, LandyPam, Shireen Jugss, M.D Masangane and Paul Masedi have over the years invested in what I am and have achieved. This is just one testament that what they worked hard to achieve is indeed working and worth all the sweat, blood and tears. Therefore much more credited must be given to them,” he said.

Ntsoereng, the life coaching skills trainer and community development practitioner isn’t a stranger to working with major global game changers. He has previously worked with international organisations like One Young World, Educo Africa, International Citizen Service (ICS) and Latitude Global Volunteering just to mention few.