By: Esihle Dayimani, 2019 Activator
A young Activator, Mordecai Sizolwenkosi Ndlovu, always knew he had the calling of activism, but he was not ultimately sure what it meant to be an activist and the skills required to make a change in your community. He also felt that his level of thinking was not the same as with his peers. As a young man, he always was fascinated by wounded families and society. He wanted to help transform his community but did not know where to start and was not confident enough.
In 2018, he came across a post on Facebook by ACTIVATE! Change Drivers for a leadership programme which offered an opportunity to aspiring activists like himself. “I was eager to learn about active citizenship in ensuring transformation for the people of South Africa. At the time I joined ACTIVATE! I was not confident in my leadership skills or the ability to pursue a project on my own successfully” says Mordecai.
At the ACD Programme, we had the opportunity to learn about politics and activism and how they are aligned. Understanding the constitution, and how the local government operates truly boosted his confidence in being a changemaker. The empowerment he received from ACTIVATE! was just the foundation Mordecai needed to be an influencer and active citizen.
Mordecai established the AYED organization which focuses on entrepreneurship. This organization later established the AYED Bill – they are working on it being presented to the Headquarters of the African Unions. He would like the bill to be adopted by the AU for economic transformation in South Africa and Africa. The bill also incorporates the empowerment of learners’ 4IR Skills and the development an awareness of blockchain technology. Mordecai also became an a champion for ACTIVATE! which broadened his skills even further.
Growing up, Mordecai enjoyed bus rides home to his grandparents – the different communities they drove through exposed him to different cultures and realities faced by the rural society. These memories inspired to him start a local community station to bolster youth empowerment because he saw the educational and information gap between rural and urban communities.
As part of his commitment to community development, Mordecai has started a global campaign called Men In Black Doeks. The campaign was established to raise awareness on GBV and later sparked an idea to broaden the campaign beyond just GBV. As a person who has regular engagements in his community, he picked up that men were not aware of the role they play in this pandemic. Women are not safe nor are they protected by men. Mordecai and his community had a march to their local SAPS to request the station to have a GBV desk. Mordecai and his team also collaborated with ACTIVATE! to champion conversations which include the boy child on gender equality, and issues pertaining GBV.
Mordecai is truly living his dream of transforming his community. His spirit of ubuntu, and his eagerness to learn is highly influential to any young man who lacks the confidence to make a difference. Engagements and surrounding yourself with activists have allowed Mordecai to bring hope and assurance to the dysfunctional communities. The young man on a bus to Nelspruit travelling through the rural spheres of the country has become the hope of the people forgotten in those villages. These are the men our boy children need to look up to.
We appreciate the courage and the spirit of not giving up on your dreams; when the odds were against you, you never gave up. We value influential men like you, and as much as we celebrate women’s month, inspirational men like yourself are not forgotten.