By: Paul Mabote
This article reflects the views and activities of different Activators around Freedom Month (April 2018) and Freedom Day (27 April 2018)
Happy Freedom Month! It has been a hectic start to 2018 for South Africa, one filled with political drama, a whole regime change, tax hikes and we have even lost a few beloved icons along the way. Still, on 27th April, we will celebrate National Freedom Day, which will mark our 24th year into democracy. I went around finding out what fellow Activators got up to this month, and the change they’ve been driving in their respective communities.
Let’s Learn Together
Phathuxolo Nofotho Ndzimande is a 2016 Activator from Atterigdeville in the City of Tshwane. He and his colleagues at Future Leaders and Young Great Minds Movement have started a very noble initiative. They have partnered with the Gauteng Department of Education and several young people in their community, and together they give their time and effort to assist parents with online schools registration for their children. Many of the volunteers they work with are unemployed young people around the Atteridgeville area. Phathuxolo says that he hopes this initiative will encourage other young people in other communities to consider giving their time to similar causes. You change the world with every life you touch, he believes.
“I’m Pro Gay, Okay?”
With their continued victimization and marginalization, Freedom is a profound term and concept within the LGBTI community. Sipho Dlamini is a 2018 Activator and an LGBTI activist from Kagiso, West of Johannesburg. He is part of the Westrand LGBTI Movement, and they hosted a dialogue early this month in Kagiso, which was aimed at educating and sensitizing LGBTIs about overcoming societal challenges. Another one of their project objectives was to educate the general public about issues that affect members of the LGBTI community. Sipho’s vision is to see a society where members of the LGBTI community live in peace and not under constant fear and abuse.
Through The Lense
Lungelo Mlati is a 2015 Activator from Boksburg in Gauteng. A young father juggling a corporate job and his passion for photography, Lungsta believes that his camera is his gateway to freedom.
Paul : What is your idea of Freedom?
Lungelo: My idea of Freedom is being able to do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it.
Paul : What fuels you to continue doing what you do?
Lungelo: What fuels me is the quest for financial freedom. As much as I am aware that money is not everything, I am also aware that being financially free affords you a better life; and it will afford a better future for my child and family. I want only the best for them, and I am prepared to work my head off for it.
Paul : What is your vision for South Africa?
Lungelo: My vision is a South Africa where everybody has equal rights. One love regardless of race, culture or creed.
The Distant Future Is Near
Nontobeko Radebe is an Activator from Mkhambathini in rural KZN. Fresh from the first module of her Activate! Change Drivers Training, she went home and organized a career expo for young people in her community. The idea for the event, which took place on 21st April 2018, was born from noticing how many of the young girls she is surrounded by, have no clue what they want to do after matric. This compelled Nontobeko to get in touch with her aunt, who works at the Durban University of Technology (DUT). With a clear vision and using the different resources she already had at her disposal, she and her team made the expo a reality.
The local municipality provided them with a venue and sound system. On the guest list they had representatives from NSFAS, CAO, NYDA and local motivational speakers. Nontobeko’s aunt even brought a group of international students to attend the expo and experience the rural atmosphere. Ntobe’s dream is to start her own organization; however, she says she has previously encountered several challenges in the process of registering one in her home area.
The Test-Drivers of Freedom
The different stories of these brave Activators go to prove that sometimes the things that grant us the most freedom and contentment are those things which we do for free. Everyone has their own notion of freedom. From the general South African point of view, however, it is a feeling of knowing the internal hardships we have gone through as a country; and the many opportunities that have surfaced for all, as a result of us coming out of those hardships intact, as a unified and democratic nation.
As the young people of today, we have been accused of being too radical! Of being too outspoken! Of abusing our freedom! Maybe “they” are right. Maybe our methods sometimes are a bit too harsh and impetuous. We are, after all, the “Test-Divers of Freedom” and as such, we could use the “License of Wisdom” when making some of our important decisions. The future is in our hands!! Long Live!
Picture credit: https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=freedom+day+photos&fr=yhs-Lkry-newtab&hspart=Lkry&hsimp=yhs-newtab&imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk%2Fi%2Fhappy-freedom-day-south-africa-3.png#id=8&iurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk%2Fi%2Fhappy-freedom-day-south-africa-3.png&action=click