Name: Duncan Japhta Khothatso Moeketse
Province: Free State
Twitter handle: @tatso
Duncan is a human rights activist who is passionate about the equality of minority groups and their rights as well as the rights of those living with HIV/AIDS and TB. He continues to do this locally and international through consulting and serving on various boards of different organisations.
Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?
I decided to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network because I felt that it would be an exciting opportunity to connect with like-minded young idealists who are committed to social change and to make a difference in their different spaces. Most importantly, I hoped to gain from the capacity building activities of the programme, and to use the skills and experiences from the programme to strengthen my own social initiative.
What did you enjoy the most about training?
Added to the programme modules, I enjoyed being immersed in a space that oozed with the energy and passion for change and to positively contribute to the development of South Africa. I was also fascinated by the calibre of leaders the programme brought together to work on social action plans to make a difference in communities.
How has training helped you or changed your perspective?
Training has helped me tremendously in terms of how I viewed effective leadership. My ACTIVATE! experience opened my eyes to whole new world in terms of how I have always perceived true leadership and how I can personally make a difference. In a way, it curved me to be a much more competent and efficient as a leader, who can also play a very important role in terms of moulding others to positively contribute in their development and those of their communities.
What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?
I have always been of the view that the young people given the opportunity, tools and the space, can play a significant role in the development of their communities and their country and this should be a meaningful involvement not a “window dressing” exercise. This has been proven numerous times and South Africa is one example of the importance of youth involvement in development. Our country, South Africa, has a long history of youth-led movements that have brought significant social change. Through actions and lead roles many young people have played a critical role in many things that have changed our world – whether it is through social initiatives or through activism. We need to brace ourselves to our duty and say, if we are for strong social responsibility; that it should be our moral obligation to empower young people. Put them in the forefront of the global change and innovation.
What is your field of interest?
I am interested in Public Health, Human Rights, social business entreprenuership
How are you driving change in your community?
I am driving change in different ways. Not only am I an emerging entreprenuer, but throughtout my young life, I have been actively involved as an activist for the right of the sexual minorities, an advocate for service delivery to enhance the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and TB both nationally and internationally. I co-founded organisations and was fortunate to have participated at various portfolios at some United Nations agencies, such as UNAIDS, UNESCO and UNFPA, and have sat on the boards of numerous organizations including Global Fund Communities Delegation, GNP+ and many others.
Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?
Even though I have not been as active as I would have liked, I have been constantly connecting and making use of the contacts that I made during the training, depending on their areas of interest and expertise, in different ways. Whether it is on an advisory capacity or on contractual capacity to expand my work. One of the benefits of having been part of the Activate! Network was to build strong relationship with skilled individuals that one can always call on when the need arise. But in the coming years, I hope to be more active in the network and also ensure that share as much possible.
What are your plans for this year?
Besides growing and broadening my entrepreneurial interests and to strengthen the work of my social initiatives and involvement, one of my important plans for this year is to definitely rekindle the relationships that I builT within the network and to be more involved in the A! Activities, because to lose this would be like losing a goldmine.
Are you involving the network in your plans?
Additional information you would like us to know?
Yes. I feel that ACTIVATE! Has invested a lot in those who were fortunate to be part of the network, and it would be a shame if some of the wealth of knowledge and experience that has been build by the network is left to fall through the cracks and only a few benefit from what the network has to offer. I know that this has been part of the discussions, and I am going to reiterate that the network need to re-emphasise that the objectives of the network is to ensure that all those who have passed through its ranks are as much entitled to what all others are entitled to. Of course understanding that other human beings are more proactive and more involved than others, but the efforts to always reassure all members of the network to be involved and to share whatever they are involved in to the network should always be consistently encouraged, and the notion of “elitisms” within the network should be dispelled at all costs. Thank you!