Parow Youth Summit

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

 

By Miranda Bambata

 

Youth development, empowerment and leadership and how local government is contributing towards developing its Youth to become future leaders. Including local stakeholders like business, churches and the importance of investing in the Youth.

Youth development is a process that prepares a young person to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood and achieve his or her full potential. Youth development is promoted through activities and experiences that help Youth develop social, ethical, emotional, physical, and cognitive competencies. Youth leadership is part of the Youth development process and supports the young person in developing: (a) the ability to analyse his or her own strengths and weaknesses, set personal and vocational goals, and have the self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and abilities to carry them out (including the ability to establish support networks in order to fully participate in community life and effect positive social change); and (b) the ability to guide or direct others on a course of action, influence the opinions and behaviours of others, and serve as a role model (Wehmeyer, Agran, & Hughes, 1998).

Conditions that promote healthy Youth development are supported through programs and activities in schools and communities. Youth development researchers and practitioners emphasize that effective programs and interventions recognize Youths’ strengths and seek to promote positive development rather than addressing risks in isolation. Youth who are constructively involved in learning and doing and who are connected to positive adults and peers are less likely to engage in risky or self-defeating behaviours.

Providing the conditions for positive Youth development is a responsibility shared by families, schools, and communities. The conditions for healthy Youth development reside in families, schools, and communities.

Well-designed and well-run Youth development programs promote Youth leadership by involving Youth in needs assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. A growing number of organizations include Youth on their boards of directors. Effective programs engage all participating Youth in constructive action through activities such as service learning, arts, and athletics; and emphasize common values such as friendship, citizenship, and learning.

“If you ever think you’re too small to be effective, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito!” — Wendy Lesko

 

What is a Summit /Hackathon?

The term is used to describe a group of people coming together with a common purpose, to meet and engage in a collaborative way by unpacking and exploring ways of understanding various issues and challenges associated with that

16 June is a public holiday in South Africa. It commemorates the Soweto Riots of 1976 that began after the government declared all instruction in black schools would be in Afrikaans.

Hector Peterson, a black school child, was shot by the police during a peaceful protest march. The image of the dead child was seen across the world and showed the brutality of the Apartheid regime. In the weeks that followed more than 700 people – mostly youth – were killed.

Youth Day reminds South Africans of the importance of its youth, and hopefully reminds us that the country never wants to see those days again.

In celebrating Youth month, having a Youth summit will serve the purpose to engage with the Youth of Parow to identify issues that most affect them with the end goal to make awareness, provide an empowerment platform and present opportunities for employment, leadership and development.

Problems identified

  • Drug abuse
  • Prostitution
  • Unemployment
  • High crime rate

Objectives

  • Harvest Information
  • Mobilising like-minded people to participate in the discussion
  • To inform the Youth on different stakeholders and their roles in the community and How to make local government work
  • Find possible  solutions to be implemented
  • Give platform for young people to express  their views

General Theme

Topic Sector – Youth Develop, empowerment and leadership.

Panel discussion of 3-4 speakers representing different community stakeholders

  • Municipality (councillor)
  • Social Entrepreneurs (NGO, NPO)
  • Local Businesses
  • Gov Departments (Dep. Health or SAPS)
  • Media Entities

She Conquers SA – Meet Kay-Dee

I am Khotso Dineo (Kay-Dee) Mashile, a young African lady. Born in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. My most steady home is a beautiful village called Nkwinyamahembhe (Lillydale). I grew up in many parts of the country, to which I owe my cultural diversity.

I am a Bachelor in Social Work (with honours) graduate and am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Africa Studies. I am also the Founder and Managing Director of Perfect Love Publications (PLP) and Perfect Love Youth (PLY). PLP is an all black female owned and run publishing company which aims to equip young emerging authors with writing related skills and knowledge so that they become competent authors. We mentor each author and cater to their specific needs at prices that are tailored for our specific target market. At PLY we use literacy as a tool to address the socio-economic challenges faced by our rural and township communities. We have just finished our first national poetry competition for schools in these areas and will publish the anthology of the winning poems by September 2018. The mentorship programme allows for unemployed youths to reach out to the high school learners willing their community. And some of the profits made from the book sales will find the education and business ventures of both the mentors and the winners.

I am an activist at heart and am currently working in collaboration with Impact Hub SA on an HIV Campaign that aims to re-educate the youth and raise awareness in forgotten spaces such as the church and other youth organisations. I am a singer and a spoken word artist. This campaign will thus incorporate a lot of artistic elements as well as social media activations. We will, therefore, involve as many partners as we can.

I am passionate about the youth of Africa. I believe that it is up to us to change our narrative and rewrite one that we and future generations will be proud to read.

She Conqures SA Programme

Sunday, 24 June

10am-11am:        

loveLife will be live with a She Conquers Connect Club session. This is taking place live from Orange Farm Y-Centre.

11am-12pm:        

ACTIVATE! will conduct a Twitterchat (Guest: Kay-Dee Mashile)                            

12pm- 2pm:         

B-Wise will be providing health information. Multiple articles will be posted during this time

2pm-5pm :          

She Conquers SABWise, loveLife, ACTIVATE! and the Department of Health  be doing a #throwback of all the She Conquers events, showcasing the campaign’s highlights in the past two years.

Celebrating 2 years of empowering adolescent and young women to ensure they get a better future.

WHEN SHE CONQUERS WE ALL CONQUER! #Continue2Conquer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gender-based violence roadshow sets Limpopo on Fire!

By Koketso Marishane

On the 15 June 2018, socio-economic activists across Limpopo Province gathered at a venue just outside Polokwane to deliberate on issues of common concern: Gender Based Violence.

Like Theodore Hesburgh once said: “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

The event, officiated by Activator Lezerine Mashaba, unpacked what Activate! Change Drivers is and what its’ objectives are before opening the platform for discussions.
As Activators and none-Activators deliberated on the issue, it’s enlightening to witness that, Activate does not appeal only to the youth, more so, also adults who graced the event with and by their presence from other youth formations and State Owned Entities.

The conference attended by officials from the NYDA, Love Life and ICASA among others, received a sound reception from Activators doing what they’re second best known for, chanting and singing their lungs out, to set the tone for those who’re unfamiliar with the Activate! territory. They’re, after all, activists activating spaces in communities, from the deepest rural village in South Africa- Mphanama, to the most glamorous space within the Activate space in Muizenburg in Cape Town.

Forming the provincial panel for deliberations on GBVLimpopo were, Ms. Lezerine Mashaba- (Activate official), Ms. Phoshollo Phasha- (Activator), Mr. Lotus (GBV UL Student Community) and Mr. July Ndima (Love Life Limpopo).
Mr. Ndima from Love life, reported that, GBV is mostly affecting women in rural communities because the reporting channels and mechanisms to platforms are rarely considered and elevated hence the continuation of the ills that are continuously making headlines in the country.
Amidst the enlightening exchanges amongst panel members on stage, it’s rather sad to learn that, within the whole scope the matter, most inputs were directed and targeting the previously excluded communities, those governed by the chapter 12 institutions in South Africa.
Lezerine Mashaba explained how important and impactful story telling is: ‘Activate! Change Drivers is a partner member with the Gandhi Institute in India and the kind of stories we share together are similar. The GBV societal defects in South Africa are similar to those in India and through engagements such as these, we’re slowly making a positive difference.

In contrast, audience members expressed their dissatisfaction on the lack of platforms for expression at both community and national level and blamed both the formal and informal structures instituted by government for failing to receive their concerns.

Esteemed GBV activist, Activator Phoshollo Phasha expressed how she became an activist: ‘I am a victim of Gender Based Violence from my immediate community where I come from. People like myself are labelled negatively when we rebel against the system and because the cause is stigmatised, most people, especially women, are too afraid to come out and talk about it.

Whilst deliberations were continuing at the venue, Activator cum author Pearl Sekwati was seen outside the room selling her book ‘Kickstart Your Future’ through motivational talks.
At the end, congregants made the following resolutions:

  • There should be councils on gender based violence to address the issue, from community level to The Presidency: The Department of Women.
  • The councils should be dominated by women with a minor inclusion of men.
  • Government must STOP instituting irrelevant campaigns like “take a girl child to work” because boys feel excluded hence they’ll perpetuate the practise due to the feeling of exclusion.
Activators ended the discussion feeling energised and motivated to challenge the status quo at all levels, from grass-roots (community) to national parliament.

Ntuzuma Youth Uprising

By Bongo Hlongwane

Ubuciko Bomlomo Infortainment in collaboration with Aids Foundation Congregated Young people to
pay tribute to the youth of 1976 under the theme, “Ntuzuma Youth Uprising” at the Ntuzuma F library.
The incentive of the event was the desire to portray that Art enables young people to contend the social
injustices and social ills by educating through the means of artwork. Drawing from educating
through art, Reunite DMZ presented a stage play where they depicted the inconsiderately of young
people that occurs when they acquire success, leaving their families’ “ikati lilele eziko” starving. They
also portrayed the reckless of young people who have sexual intercourse with many partners without
utilising condoms. The overall motive of the play was to educate, inform and provoke young people to
establish a personal responsibility. A member of Reunite, Thobani Maphumulo said, “sakha ubuntu
kubantu njengokuba umntu engumntu ngabantu.”

Furthermore, young people chanted the redemption songs, unleashing the spirit of togetherness. Some
of the songs being sung included (I-Azania ingeyethu, safa saphela isizwe esimnyama, unity i-unity).
These exuberant songs led to the vigorous address of the day where Lokishi Comrade Martin unpacked
the biographies of two young late struggle icons, Xolani Nkosi Johnson and Hector Pieterson. Xolani
Johnson was a South African child who was HIV positive from birth and the first child to disclose his
status in public. Lokishi shared this information as motivation for the audience to go for testing and
utilise condoms to reduce the impact of HIV. He swiftly moved to the Hector Pieterson biography, conveying
that Hector was one of the casualties of the 1976 Soweto uprising against the use of the Afrikaans language
in schools around the country. He urged young people to value the opportunities that they have and to
contend for education and freedom to drive change for the betterment of their community as these two
icons played a major role in the betterment of peoples’ lives.

Abaqeqebuli, which is a group that comprises of three teenagers (Mthobisi Biyela, Nhlaka and Mhlengi
Biyela) residing in Mayville appreciated the platform given by UBI to perform in the line-up. Mhlengi
Biyela, who is a 13 year vocalist said he is happy with the insights shared in the space and it shall be the
motivation to do good with his art.

In conclusion, Lokishi encouraged young people from Ntuzuma to pitch on the Ntuzuma Youth Resource
Centre launching on the 18th of June in Ntuzuma F library. He said the centre had the objective of
leaving a mark in order to be honoured in the near future.

The event was wrapped by the UBI artist (Nhlanhla Mkwanazi, Ofentse Masibi, Sihle Zuma, Cyril Bhengu,
Mlu Zuma, Sphesihle Zuma, Nhlakanipho Nguse,Sphesihle Mtambo, Khulekani Ndwadwe, Andile
Mnyandu, Siyabonga Mthethwa, Khulekani Zuma, and Lindokuhle Mdlalose) who performed exceptional
poetry. The CAO forms, NSFAS forms, sanitary pad and flavored condoms were given to young people
who attended the event by aids foundation stuff.

GP Activator, Sammy Nkogatse launches thought-provoking book

By Lwazi Nongauza

Saturday, the 9th of June marked yet another historical day to remember for Gauteng based Activator and entrepreneur Sammy Nkogatse as he launched his thought provoking book in Sammy Marks Square in Pretoria.

Nkogatse’s second book, entitled ‘’LOVE AND LIES: My past tense’’ was inspired by wounded yet striving ordinary lives. The book tells the story of a Gauteng, married private investigator who is working on her husband’s bosses murder case. Her investigations reveal that her husband is the primary suspect who escaped from drugs and gangsterism pending cases in KZN. Shocked by the new revelations, the young private investigator feels confused but continues to work hard and in the end, all the murders, including the husbands are exposed.

The book launch was attended by dozens of renowned authors, editors, publishers, content pundits, orators, scholars and general book lovers like Niq Mhlongo, Dr. MA Mothapo, SY Tshabalala, PM Nkogatse and Moses Seletisha Papudi just to mention the few.

According to Nkogatse, the book will teach young people a lot about love complications, family fights, the underground world, dirty wealth strategies, the drug business and investigative intricacies.

While he admits that the writing process came with a number of challenges that helped him grow as a writer, in explaining the significance of launching the book during Youth Month, Nkogatse said the aim was to amplify the youths alutha continua anthem.

“I deliberately launched the book in June because I wanted to once again gather courageous young people and pave a new way through the power of books which is one of the things the 1976 youth fought for. In other words,  the current generation has not betrayed the struggle but rather advanced it differently,’’ he said

Nkogatse attributes some of his writing success to the participation in the Activate Leadership programme.

“Activate Leadership has proven to be one of the most influential programmes in my journey as a writer and broadcaster. Through the programme, I have managed to set up a good support structure that nurtured me.  A! Network links opened a lot of great doors for me.’’

All those who can’t wait to get their hands on the book can do pre-orders or buy it at Samnko Books or make use of the Nkogatse’s digital platforms. Alternatively, you can contact Sam on 072 492 3402

 

Afrika Mayibuye Entrepreneurship Hub Accelerator rolls out Kgatelopele Township Economy BootCamp

As part of the Youth Month Celebrations and lending a hand in the development of Pan African Entrepreneurship, Afrika Mayibuye Entrepreneurship Hub Accelerator will be rolling out the Kgatelopele Township Economy BootCamp Series from the 18 June until the end of July in all central areas of Bloemfontein townships. The purpose of the camps are to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs young and old so that they can co create and collaborate in the quest to address the socio economic Challenges that South Africa is facing.

The BootCamps will be rolled out into cohorts in the following Manner:

Cohort 1: Batho Location and Surrounding areas

Cohort 2:  Rocklands and Surrounding areas

Cohort 3: Bergman and Surrounding Areas

Cohort 4: Lourier Park and Surrounding Areas

The purpose of rolling this programme in townships so that entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs are able to attend the training as they are hosted in their township.

This project is made possible through a collaborative partnership between Afrika Mayibuye Entrepreneurship Hub Accelerator ran by Free State based Activator Tshepo MABUYA and Lenaka Media Group ran by Activator Lebohang Matlabe.

For more information on how to be part of any of these camps please drop us an email on info@ameha.co.za  or a WhatsApp text on 0813959054

For more information about us please visit us on www.ameha.co.za and www.lenakamedia.co.za

Dedicated to Building Sustainable Pan African Busineses.

About Afrika Mayibuye Entrepreneurship Hub Accelerator

Afrika Mayibuye Entrepreneurship Hub Accelerator is a Pan African Entrepreneurship Development Accelerator committed to dvrleopinv sustainable Pan African businesses that are aimed at creating value for Africa. The Accelerator works on providing mentorship and connection to opportunity for startups.

June 16 Commemoration – Limpopo GBV roadshow

In South Africa, the month of June holds the significance of remembering the youth movement that was active during and against the apartheid era. It honors the lives of those youth citizens who lost their lives, and those who continued fighting to overthrow the oppressive government system. According to South African History, June 16, 1976, Uprising began in Soweto let by young people from various schools and spread countrywide profoundly changing the sociopolitical landscape in South Africa. This event was one of South Africa’s biggest youth intervention which was inclusive and showcased the power of unity, collaboration, mobilisation and interconnectedness of youth across different ethnic groups, gender, cultures and other diversities. Events that triggered the uprising can be traced back to policies of the Apartheid government that resulted in the introduction of the Bantu Education Act in 1953.

The rise of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) and the formation of South African Students Organisation (SASO) lead by Steve Bantu Biko and many other young people of color raised the political consciousness of many students while others joined the wave of antiApartheid sentiment within the student community. When the language of Afrikaans alongside English was made compulsory as a medium of instruction in schools in 1974, black students
began mobilizing themselves and rallying against this decision as a call for inclusion.

This era saw a group of young people collectively working together towards one cause, and this was done on various platforms and through various channels. Although different forms of resistance and ideologies may have created conflict and challenging working environment (i.e. not everyone always agreed to the same way of doing things), the youth movement was a present and collective voice.

Youth in 2018

Much as this could be said about the youth of 1976, millennial youth are not a homogenous group and their needs are not the same. This is evident in the [current and] ‘post-apartheid’(or as others may argue that it is a ‘neo-apartheid’) era. The youth civil society movement is intersectional, inter-sectoral and assumes to not only challenge structures of power and privilege, but to also find ways to advocate, infiltrate and occupy spaces of power so to strengthen progressive forms of leadership and citizenship. The #FeesMustFall Movement is but one example of the collective spirit of youth working towards a cause, and that movement in itself carries different ideologies and perspectives of how the issue of student fees and other forms of institutional power could be addressed. Gender

In challenging intersectionality within the movement, gender emerges as one of the concepts where sensitisation is still a process that is continuously needing to be strengthened, as much as other forms of political education are. There is continuous gender-based violence that occurs particularly against women and other gender diverse persons. This happens even within so-called progressive movements. In reflecting on the story of Fezeka Khuzwayo, as well as Caster Semenya’s experience as a queer athlete, one may note that the issue of gender-based violence transcends even the binaries (and still relevant) lens and can be situated within anti-white supremacist agendas. Black Radical Feminist Wanelisa Xaba posed a question[on Daily Vox], “Why do we insist on seeing Black women as one-dimensional beings with no agency?

ACTIVATE! as a Youth Network with close to 3000 active citizens (Activators) who are
committed to driving change across South Africa carries the responsibility to support Activators
who tirelessly work towards creating an inclusive space, education and awareness about
burning issues within their focus areas ( Health, Literacy, Interconnectedness and
inclusivity, Active Citizenship and Youth Economic Participation)
As Active citizens the Activators are situated in different parts of South Africa,and therefore
have different experiences and environments in which they work. This calls for efforts to be
directed across the country, including rural or perceived-to-be conservative spaces. These are
spaces where young people are raised,and most times migrating to the cities is driven by
economic and development interests, with minimal accountability back in their previous
communities. Members of the ACTIVATE network in Limpopo Province “Activators” are working
on a roadshow project to engage various communities and raising awareness on the issues
around gender and gender-based violence. The closing of the roadshow will be a gathering of
various stakeholders consisting of local Government, members of the civil society, civil
organisations and the private sector within the Limpopo Province across Four districts
(Sekhukhune, Mopani, Vhembe and Capricorn) aimed at raising awareness and
strengthening the network and movements of youth civil society working on gender issues in
Limpopo.
The space will also be looking at effective ways of working within the current government
system in advocacy work.

The Road show Aims and Objectives

● To create a space to reflect on the work which has already been done to deal with
issues around Gender and gender based violence within the Province
● To share some of the insights on Gender Based Violence in South Africa.
● To engage in alternative and hard-to-reach spaces on gender and gender-based
violence.
● Through the engagement, to sensitise but als understand different systems and
experiences that shape gender ideologies
● Creating awareness on gender-based violence and encourage inclusivity and respect for
bodily integrity
● Contributing to the process of allyship and support to those vulnerable and marginalised
based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
● Share the Big 5 infographics content
● Promote the A! Active Citizenship agenda as part of youth month.

The Youth Day Event

● Share insights on Gender based Violence within South Africa.
● Bringing together stakeholders working within the community to engage on interventions
responding to gender-based violence.
● Highlighting the work of activators and other partner organisations working on gender
sensitization and gender-based violence
● Working collectively to find ways to continue conversations within the region and
respective communities.
● Create a space for possible collaboration on interventions.
● Share possible solutions to address Gender based Violence within the Province of
Limpopo

Date: 15 June 2018
Place : Gae Lodge, Polokwane
Time : 15:00 to 18:00
RSVP: Contacts, khomotsokomape@gmail.com 071 214 1441/ 079 363 4261
For further enquiries about the event
Contact: lezerine@localhost 0793294966
nkokheli@localhost 0739049674
For Communications purposes
Contact: nomtikamjwana@gmail.com

North West Activator vows to transform lives this youth month

By Lwazi Nongauza

Activator Itumeleng ‘’Kealeboga-Fortune’’ Mogajane vows to change young people’s lives through a series of youth leadership motivational talks throughout the Bokone Bophirma during Youth Month.

“This campaign is close to my heart. The campaign is informed by the recent women killings. My plan is that this campaign must get to a level where it can provide essential support services like extra lessons, stationery, Saturday classes, leadership boot camps and seminars,’’ said Mogajane

Mogajane  is also involved in an NPC called ‘’Kids in ICT’’ that has changed the lives of more than 300 kids between 7 to 20 years so far. The programme focuses on providing ICT skills in rural areas, mainly providing lessons on coding, basic ICT skills and programming. Although they have been able to reach out to many young people, the challenges faced are enormous and sometimes derail progress.

The young leader is intending to effectively use the June 16 commemoration, his birthday celebration (on the 23rd of June) and the 30th of June to stimulate intelligence, identity for male pupils and young men in Zeerust and other parts of North West province.

‘’On the 16th of June I will be part of a career day at my former high school while on my birthday which is on the 23rd of June I will be donating 30 School uniforms to boys. On the 30th of June  me and my team will be hosting the Youth leadership talks in Rustenburg Youth leadership talks are a platform for young people to come together and have a festival on interaction ‘mgruvo

The Bokone Bophirma based Activators long term plan is to build a strong sense of identity among young boys and create opportunity for personal growth and development for young males around Zeerust and other parts North West province.

Mogajane encouraged fellow Activators to support the initiative by starting similar campaigns for the greater good of our society and country at large. They can also assist by donating white shirts, grey trousers and black school shoes (any size that can be worn by primary school kids), Activators can also play a role by being mentors to these young boys.

 

 

Youth Day Graduate Networking Picnic

Bushbuckridge born Youth Development graduate, Warren Vutivi Khoza, calls young people to celebrate Youth Day in a fun and educational way with the first ever peer-mentor Graduate Picnic in rural Mpumalanga. Having had the privilege of being a pupil of the first English-medium private school in rural Bushbuckridge, Sam Nzima English Medium Educare Centre, Vutivi is aware that not many young people in his community get to enjoy the same privileges. His recognition of the lack of information and motivation for rural learners and took it upon himself to be the change he wants to see in his community. Vutivi says that he is tired of the trivialisation of Youth Day as a day when young people get dressed in school uniform and embark on drinking trips. In honour of the many young people and the recently deceased local icon, Sam Nzima, the picnic is meant to celebrate education in a fun, cool and fashionable way. There is no harm in having fun on Youth Day; it would however be a shame if we, as young people, forgot what the day is really about…

The picnic will be a gathering of about 30 graduates and 30 high school learners. The aim thereof is to create a motivational/inspirational space where local graduates will share their stories with high school learners in efforts to encourage and motivate them to aspire to further their studies. The activities done during the event will include:

 

  • Adopt a Rural Learner Initiative (where a graduate will adopt a Grade 12 Learner and pledge to check up on the learner at least once a week; assist the learner in choosing a right career path; help them throughout application process and ensure that the learner applies on time as we as share tips and advice on how to tackle the challenges of varsity life).
  • Graduates will also share on the following topics:
  • How interesting was your course and why did you choose it?
  • Best memories you had in varsity
  • The most embarrassing moments you had in varsity
  • Entering the corporate world after varsity
  • How to apply for jobs (how to put your documents in order, authentic links to check for job applications, etc.)
  • Tips on how to tackle interview questions
  • Games and networking
  • Picnic (light meal)
  • Photo shoot

There are only a limited number of seats left. However, you can still sponsor a rural-based learner to attend this wonderful networking event for only R180.00. The event will be held as follows:

Date: 16 June 2018

Venue: Machete Lodge in Mkhuhlu (eMantangaleni).

Time: 11:00 am till late

RSVP & Registrations: Vutivi Khoza +27 79 397 6740

Account Number: 1395636794 (Capitec)

Dress code: Smart casual/semi-formal with a graduation hood and/or cap

If education truly is the key to success, it is our duty and responsibility to pass down the key once we have opened our own doors #IfYouRiseTakeSomeoneWithYou!

Freedom in our life time

By Bongo Hlongwane

Ubuciko Bomlomo Infortainment (UBI) and Aids Foundation coordinated freedom day celebration program in Ntuzuma F library, under the theme “freedom in our life time”.

The objective of the event was to promote healthy life style and to encourage the rising stars to make education fashionable. Aids foundation employee, who is an Activator and UBI volunteer Lokishi Comrade Martin asserted that art is a powerful tool that they use to attract young people to be part of their event in order for them to transfer information. He said they were able to get mass youth to participate in the event whereas if they mobilised on the basis of health young people were not going to pitch.

Building from making education fashionable, on the presentation lokishi handed  Central Application Forms together with National Student Financial Aids Scheme forms to the youth, encouraging them to further their studies . Young people need to invest in getting knowledge, he said it should be a two way process where young people  will be capacitated with skills like financial skills which will assist them to a take stance in freedom .That escalated to the issue of unemployed graduates.  He stressed that graduates are role models in their spaces by that he emphasized that graduates need to go out there and volunteer in non-profit organization, saying that in that process they will gain experience which will make them employable candidates.

Aids foundation resource officer, Buhle Zuma unpacked the aids foundation projects, she said it a bridge project which aim to link 15-21 year olds with services as these young people are from vulnerable communities with limited access to information. Building from that on the presentation she conducted she emphasized on personal responsibility where she outlined the importance of using condoms whenever engaging in sexual activities. She also urged attendees to donate blood as it is part of serving and saving peoples’ lives. “Without knowledge young people are not free”, Ntobe Ngema appealing that youth is free to practice freedom by going to local clinics for HIV testing and taking initiative to utilize condoms. YouTH is free to live a healthy life style” she added.

The event consisted various artist from around Durban central, the genres performed includes music, comedy and poetry which dominated the stage. One of the artists Sphamandla Ndlove (Nsuname) shared his perspective of freedom, saying that freedom is not free. “in this century people do not necessary need to be chained in order for them to be slaves”, he said people are now constrained intellectually by the system which tells them that they are free whereas that freedom only exist in paper (Constitution). He delved saying that freedom will be brought by the land which consist wealth and that land is not on black peoples’ hands. He then drew from the event saying the youth got to exercise chapter 16 of the constitution but it was unfortunate that the leaders were not there to support youth initiative.

Buhle Zuma wrapped by asserting that freedom is free, young people need to take their tools and work to maintain their freedom. It is time for young people to support youth programs said lokishi urging youth to support the next event Qoute a Poet Chapter 7. The information shared is like union under each layer lies another layer.

Gigantic steps to empower A! Stations

By Lwazi Nongauza

‘’Where there is no human connection, there is no compassion. Without compassion, then community, commitment, loving-kindness, human understanding, and peace all shrivel. Individuals become isolated, the isolated turn cruel, and the tragic hovers in the forms of domestic and civil violence. Art and literature are antidotes to that.’’ Susan Vreeland

‘’We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.’’ Cesar Chavez

These two famous quotes by the great global thinkers perfectly describe the decisiveness of 30 Activators who paved a new dawn for ACTIVATE!’s vision at the ACTIVATE! Youth Resource Stations at Alpha Conference Centre on the 20th to 23rd of April 2018.

The workshop mainly seeks to reflect on the meaningful work by stations and ultimately pave a new way forward for stations to be fully equipped for ACTIVATE! Youth Resource Stations that will be supported with internet, Personal Computers (PC’s), tablets, social entrepreneurship study guides, basic furniture, and youth relevant mix library content.

The main objectives for the ACTIVATE! Youth Resource Stations are to create valuable and accessible platforms that give a hand-up to an Activator who is running projects at grass roots level. Stations are also geared at providing key resources and information to enhance the preconditions for further education, employability and entrepreneurship among the activators and youth at large. Supporting youth to achieve their goals through connections to opportunities and promote spaces of engagement that foster collaborative solutions being other key objectives.

ACTIVATE!’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Mentjies, digitally joined the three day long workshop that was spearheaded by Baxolise Dlali, Nathacia Olivier, Tebogo Suping, Bongiwe Ndlovu, Kim Barlow and Claire Gemmill.

The outlined organization’s big long term plans for the stations and the roles of ACTIVATE! Youth Resource Station managers are expected to engage in activities that inspire communities, provoke national progressive discussions, connect activators to opportunities and influence national policies.

Eastern Cape based ACTIVATE! Youth Resource Stations, Onke Jezile who runs homework club intends to use ACTIVATE! Youth Resource Station to equip kids in E-Goso Village with basic much-needed personal development and computer skills.

‘’I am extremely grateful to ACTIVATE! for the kind of support they have invested in us as Activators and South African youth at large. I, together with other young people in my area, will use the A! station as youth empowerment platform where Activators and other young people in my community can host events, development conversations, type CV and avail internet access support centers for job hunters.’’

 

Limpopo based Maphanga Moses intends to use the station to empower the disadvantaged young people in his community.

‘’The Limpopo based ACTIVATE! station in my community will use the resources to specifically support primary and high school learners. The internet access really helps us with our university to help the grade 12 learners to apply for tertiary institution and bursaries online.’’ Said Moses

ACTIVATE! intends to launch stations in different disadvantaged places of the country. In order to ensure that we have a proportional representation of stations at all times, interested qualifying Activators from rural and isolated areas are encouraged to apply to run stations.

KwaZulu Natal ACTIVATE! Youth Resource station manager Menzi Michael Qwabe who has always been trying to secure a sponsor for internet facilities, entrepreneurship theory support content and library amenities for young people in his Umhlabuyalingana, he strongly believes that the resources from A! Youth Resource station will have massive impact.

‘’I can assure everyone that the A! Station resources will efficiently and strategically be used as centre place that will empower all ambitious and emerging creatives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, civil society leaders and students. These resources will now find it easy to amplify health awareness advocacy flagship project. ‘’ said Qwabe 

Mpumalanga station managers Anele Lastborn Cele and Lwandle African Child Jiyane praised the ACTIVATE!’s resourceful support

‘’ Finally it feels really good to know that we will be able to continue best serving our people and communities without all the worry about inadequate resources. We will use the resources to empower distressed unemployment youth, young desponded harmful addicts, vulnerable members of society educational training support for teenagers emerging artists and innovators.’’ said Jiyane

ACTIVATE! Youth Resource Stations are part of a working formula where youth with will power and initiatives receive support that is relevant to their initiatives. The combination of people with skill and initiative connecting to relevant resources is rare in our country, where resources are not received by people that can use them and sustain the initiatives as they grow. These stations are not to be determined by people in office space alone, but Activators throughout the country can take a step of identifying a need for an ACTIVATE! Youth Resource Stations in their area and demonstrate the spirit of activators with or without start up resources.

 

MODERN SARAFINA

By: Paul Mabote

ABSTRACT

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

Learners on gender: “Our vision is a gender fluid society”

By Nomtika Mjwana

ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, in partnership with the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and Africa Unite, hosted a gender and gender-based violence hackathon with young community members who were predominantly learners from several high schools in the Western Cape. This took place at the Africa Unite Offices on Saturday March 10 in Spin Street, Cape Town city center.

The hackathons form part of the interconnectedness and inclusivity project that the above listed organisations (ACTIVATE! and IJR) are working on, which aims to create enabling and inclusive spaces of engagement around gender and gender-based violence, racial identity and intersectionality respectively.

“Despite 23 years of democracy and gains made in terms of access to socio-economic and civil rights the legacies of colonialism and apartheid still impacts how we relate to one another, specifically as it relates to gender. Marginalised gender identities battle to access what should be inalienable human rights, and until we address this legacy of inequality, we will fail to address the gender crisis.”- extract from the gender hackathon concept note.

The objective and purpose of the hackathon was to create a safer and brave space for learners to engage on issues of gender and gender-based violence (GBV); explore with them their perceptions around the roots causes of GBV and train them in hosting Hackathons in their own communities. Learners [Peer Educators] from Rosendale High, Simunye High in Delft Portlands High Mitchells Plein, Nelson Mandela High Nyanga and Heideveld High in Heideveld were in attendance. The group also included a few other community members, including Mr. Meyer, a teacher from Heideveld High School.

In holding the conversation, learners were first asked to identify and share what their understanding of gender, gender identity and gender roles was. “We need to understand what young people know as sexuality. They are raised and taught in a particular way, and if we want to unpack gender-based violence we need to unpack both the understanding of gender and that of violence. This way we take the conversation of GBV far beyond the heteronormative context”, Lezerine Mashaba, ACTIVATE! Interconnectedness Project Manager and the facilitator of the hackathon.

It was interesting to note that the peer educators’ definitions and understanding of gender was broader, and not so often associated with one’s sex. Furthermore, they shared interesting insights around gender as a social construct, and the confined mannerisms that gender binaries may entrench.

One of the learners spoke on how gender-based violence is primarily based on rigid gender roles, and those can be enforced through different forms of violence which can be emotional, physical, verbal, psychological and economical. They further explained that people may be violated because they are women and society feel entitled over them and their bodies, but also to other gender diverse persons because they either have a different sexual orientation from them [heterosexual] or because they do not conform to the rigid gender expectations that are placed upon individuals based on their sex assigned at birth.

Drawing to the end of the session, the learners engaged on how to create spaces of conversation and gender sensitization, as well as painted a vision of a gender just society. Some of the key elements that stood out spoke about a gender just society include:

  • A society that respects people regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity
  • No gender is dominant over the other
  • Promotion of self-love to be kind and loving to others
  • Freedom from judgement, gender stereotypes and discrimination
  • Gender fluid society and fair representation in media
  • No violence against women, children, gender diverse persons.

ACTIVATE! and IJR will continue to have these conversations on other platforms, including a webinar on March 19th and an Imbizo on March 21st , critically engaging on Human Rights and Gender Based Violence.

 

#SheDecides

By Rammolotsi Kgotso Sothoane

 

On 01 March 2018, the SheDecides Flagship Event brought together SheDecides Global Champions  with 200 Ministers, youth leaders and parliamentarians from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Activators working with initiatives aimed at promoting sexual and reproductive health rights and women and girl child empowerment contributed to proceedings at this progressive gathering. Among these was Bongiwe Ndlovu who works closely with the A! Health Sector and Capacity Building at ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, Zanele Mabaso and Lerato Marulane both Youth Champions for She Conquers and Kanyisa Booi who is the country representative for FEM.

SheDecides is a global movement to promote, provide, protect and enhance the fundamental rights of every girl and woman.  Among the key objectives of the SheDecides Flagship Event was that of encouraging more leaders from governments, parliaments, youth-led organisations and other supporters, in particular from the East & Southern African region, to Stand Up and Speak Out for SheDecides.

The event reaffirmed that every girl and every woman has the right to do what she chooses with her body; she has the right to health. The gathering further asserted that these rights affect her personal development, her participation in society, her livelihood and whether her family and community thrive.

In his opening remarks, South Africa’s Minister of Health Mr Aaron Motsoaledi described the SheDecides movement as a movement for humanity. “SheDecides is more than just a health issue, it is a human rights issue”, he stated. Mr Motsoaledi maintained that the SheDecides movement has the potential to fundamentally alter the power relations between men and women and therefore address the pertinent issue of gender inequality in general.

Activator and She Conquers Youth Champion Lerato Marulane echoed the Minister’s sentiments in her address. She emphatically stated that quest for gender equality must be cognizant of the need to empower women and girls to exercise their human rights.

Among the dignitaries represented at the event was Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director at UN Women, Diane Jacovella, Deputy Minister for International Development from Canada, Ulla Tornaes, Minister for Development Corporation from Denmark and Lilianne Ploumen MP and SheDecides Founding Champion to name just a few.

Key among the resolutions of the SheDecides Flagship Event was the need to mobilise communities and individuals across the world to work collaboratively towards advancing the fundamental human rights and status of women and girl children. Moreover, the event explored the pressing question of building capacity, increasing financial resources and enhancing accountability for action to achieve the afore-mentioned.

#SheDecides

#WithoutQuestion

A! Health Champions Hacking Tarvens

During the AIDS conference in Durban, it was discussed that the number of new recorded HIV infections has increased to 2000 per week. And that the demographic that is most affected is youth aged 15 – 24. This prompted the forming of the A! Heath Champions that will focus in dealing with the various diseases that seem to be targeting young people.

                                      Hackathon on Alcohol and Drug Addiction in Thobelani Secondary, Mpumalanga

The community engagements are called Hackathons and they seek to explore community social ills through conversations. It involves sharing ideas, experience and innovation solution. One of the biggest problems facing South African Health Sector is that the existing interventions are not working. Most of the time young people shy away from local stakeholders such as clinics for information because of the stigma of being judged by the health professional for living a certain lifestyle. The A! Health Champions, have taken it upon themselves to use the Hackathon model to hear the real voices of youth regarding the following issues:

  1. With so many interventions aimed at reducing the high disease burden, why are young people not using them and why are they continuing with risky behaviour.
  2. We also wanted to find out if young people knew what role their behaviour is contributing to the country’s high disease burden.
  3. We also wanted to find out what young people think needs to be done to decrease the high disease burden.                  

Eyadini Labantu HIV/AIDS infection in youth Hackathon in Durban, Kwazulu Natal

 

The A! Health Hackathons hack into spaces that young people normally hang out that are considered hot spots for risky behaviours such as taverns, school grounds, shisa nyamas and clubs as those are places where you find young people who are practising risky behaviours like having unprotected sex or abusing drugs. The aim is to use these Hackathons to find out the real reason why young people are engaging in risky behaviour. The A! Health Champions turn these hot spots into safe spaces.

Inter-generational Hackathon on Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights in Tso’s Butchery in Kagiso, Gauteng

 

The A! Health Hackathons were held in various chill spots across the country. The strategy of using these places enabled the A! Health champions to provoke critical conversations. We can hack into big issues so that we could do something about it. The topics that the Hackathons mainly focused on:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Alcohol and Drug Addiction
  • Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights

Hackathons were held in partnership with local stakeholders such as nurses, counsellors and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the medical matters that arise are addressed by qualified professional. The A! Health Champions turned hot spots into safe spaces where youth can open up about real issues that they are facing. We were able to reach many young people in various provinces and we will be continuing the Hackathons with local stakeholders.

                         

Pangu Pangu Shisa Nyama – Kwamhlanga, MP                         Napjadi Liquior Store, in Mankweng, Limpopo

 

 

Our next step is to meet and share our finding in the 1st A! Health Bosberaad where all the A! Champions will meet to share their ideas and develop community interventions that will have an impact in #YouthHealthMatters.

We are the alternative!

 

Because #YouthHealthMatters

Quote a Poet

By Bongo Hlongwane

More than 50 artists attended Quote a Poet Chapter 4 event which was held at Denis Hurley centre in Durban.

UBI (Ubuciko Bomlomo Infortainment) is a youth initiative which was established in 2012 by Ntuzuma youth. Their objectives include promoting social talents, hosting youth dialogues on sensitive issues affecting the youth sector. Activator Lokishi Comrade Martin alleged that UBI is all about touching and changing people’s life through art. He said Quote a poet is all about poetry, artist are obligated to quote their favourite poets before there recite

Usonkondlo Senzo Shampie set the tone at the event, when he recited his poem “We never born hating. We are never born with knowledge of any racial, religious, culture or any other sort of discrimination. My own people your own land, your right, your voice to make decisions.”

Building from that Mazwi Shazi performed “Asikhulume, uthi oxwayisayo qaphelani laba abathembisa ukuphatha kahle izinhliziyo zenu, anozibuza phela nani ukuthi loko bakufunda kanjani, nakulezo zinhliziyo kwenzakalani, ”  (let’s talk, the advisor says be conscious of those who promises to nurture your hearts, ask yourselves what happened to the one they were practising with” this poem challenged the audience to be introspective.

Young woman Sim China Zungu recited her poem, “I shouted out loud, i shouted out loud, till the voice left me (ngamemeza ngamexa kuze kube uphimbo uyangshiya), i can hear your footsteps (ezakho izingi ngisazizwa), there is a man who took my virginity when i wasn’t matured” i can still hear his voice shouting in my ears.”

The artist line-up who did outstanding work on stage include, lady Africa, Sim Chana Zungu, Heavy Weight, BZ Shangase, kush Mahleka, Thando Fuze, Zanele Khoza, Kyle Allan, Zanele Khoza, Thembelihle Shezi, Miss Allene and Juvas Icamagu

The Activators who are affiliated with UBI are Slindelo Martin, Nhlanhla Mkwanazi, Mlu Zuma, Ntuthuko Dlala and Lokishi Comrade Mathini.

Lokishi asserted that women dominating the line-up was intentional. He said they stand for womens emancipation, he furthermore said women are isolated when it comes to art and Quote A Poet is fighting that stigma. He said they will host Chapter 5 in November.