By Tlotliso May Speaks
ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders in South Africa that are committed to making changes in different spheres. This means that every individual in this network is committed to making a certain change and all these small efforts result in a greater change in society. A network such as ACTIVATE! transcends all race, gender, cultural and ethical diversities. Last year, the network conquered and was able to accommodate a member of the community of disabled people for the first time – one such pacesetter was Zuko Nyakatsha who suffers from visual impairment but is determined to not let this get in his way of activating change in society. An organisation such as ACTIVATE! must have diverse voices because it seeks to serve all South Africans. It is in being inclusive that all societal groups are well presented.
Like most of us, Zuko heard about ACTIVATE! from a friend and decided to join the network against his fear of judgement as it is difficult for him to meet new people and socialise. This judgement was proven wrong by the overwhelming support and love that Activators, training team and the hotel staff displayed for Zuko. Au contraire to any projected glitch in training, the training was modified to benefit Zuko and everyone present ensured that he received the same training that he traveled from his home for – proving again that Activators are innovative and are leaders at heart. Inasmuch as training was modified to benefit Zuko, his presence and willingness is a call for ACTIVATE! to further diversify the network and work on making it further inclusive of all societal facets.
ACTIVATE! has impacted Zuko’s life positively as it is usually the case with most people who undergo ACTIVATE! training. The knowledge that ACTIVATE! offers its members has been of benefit a lot to him because he can now network without any fear of being judged and the events that he hosts are organised in a now orderly fashion because he uses the project planning methods that ACTIVATE! has introduced him to. Zuko was involved in leadership prior to joining ACTIVATE! and his leadership competency was sharpened when he was assesses through LEMON and discovered the kind of a leader that he is and where his strengths lie as a leader.
Zuko is currently in a learnership programme at old Mutual in Pretoria, in juxtaposition to this, he frequently networks with other leaders to keep abreast of what they are doing and tries a lot to involve himself wherever he can – stretching himself farther than the last time. Since 2014, Zuko has been part of a planning committee for a Youth Day tournament. This year, he plans to bring what he learnt from ACTIVATE! to assist in the planning and executing of this annual tournament. Part of post ACTIVATE! training for Zuko involves recommending to other young people that they should join the ACTIVATE! network and ensure that they are exposed to the same opportunities that he did, of being part of a network of young people interconnected in changing their country, daring to be the change they want to see.
“I am a resourceful intellectual. I do not think out of the box; I rather remove the box altogether.” – – Zuko