Singayisusa Nanini Na!

By Kanyisa Kayise Booi

On the 01 August 2018, I was in the front lines of #thetotalshutdown march that sought to bring the country to a standstill, to bring to an end to “the purging of womxn in Southern Africa and to stop Gender Based Violence towards womxn, children and the LGBTQIA community”. The struggle songs sung in 1956 still applied to this generation of the oppressed and shunted, we sang them as though they were a prayer to reach those who had the power to change it.

I caught myself thinking of Section 9 of the Bill of Rights of the South African Constitution and all its assertions and wondered why the South African government was breaking the law. Why was this group of people marching here seemingly unworthy of that which the supreme law of the land provides? Looking around at womxn with placards of statements and experiences with the silent singing of “senzenina?” I realised that it should be about being deserving, it is our right to live lives of dignity.

Thousands of us sang and screamed from different corners of South Africa because we were tired. What was said in 1956 (wath’abafazi wathi’ imbokodo) was no longer true. We are not hard objects to be thrown round. We concede that if you strike us we will bleed – to death. As we bused to Pretoria in the mist of the singing stories were being exchanged. What caught me is a womxn who told hers: “I belong to the Rastafarian religion. You know how everything is about peace? There was no peace in my home. I was beaten almost every day. My family said kuyanyamezelwa (you must endure) and my friends and sisters said I must leave. I never expected that leaving would bring the worst amount of abuse and torture. He beat me to near death because leaving him was embarrassing to his social standing; ndimjongise ngabantu. He raped and mutilated me so that I couldn’t even think of enye indoda (another man) ever again. Nothing prepares you for leaving, you imagine that thought things may be tough because you are starting over but you never think a person will come after you with such great violence…evil even.”  We can take this story apart and be shocked but this is a story of a woman who left and still violence followed her and the law did not protect her. This man has remarried and is living his best life.

We marched because we live and walk in prisons while violators roam free, ready to do more harm. We demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa receive our memorandum of demand because he is the one who is ultimately responsible for this country. We cannot continue to be the raped, abused and murdered; at this point we are ready to advance.  One of the activists in the march said to President Ramaphosa – “You will make us violent womxn, in the end we will kill these men. We need the world to know that in the words of Winfred Madikizela-Mandela, “…singayisusa nanini” because the worst thing that could be happening to us is death and that is already happening.

 

Madiba stall becomes the action zone in the Netherlands

Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi presided over official opening of the South African Exhibition Stall at the International AIDS Conference in Netherlands, Amsterdam held under the theme “Breaking Barriers Building Bridges”. South Africa is represented by a strong delegation of more than 500 Aids activists, researchers, and scientists, government officials, Students, HIV/Aids ambassadors as well as Premiers, Deputy Ministers and MECs.

The Exhibition Stall, fondly called Vilakazi Street, is a South African corner and home and it shares South Africa’s stories, challenges and achievements on the fight against HIV. The stall didn’t miss an opportunity to join the centenary celebration mood of Albertina Sisulu and Nelson Mandela. This rainbow nation corner shares some of the most profound quotes made by Dr Nelson Mandela on HIV/AIDS. This is also a corner where HIV activists such as Prudence Mabele who is counted among the first black women to publicly declare their own status and known for her resilience and the fortitude to fight the stigma when it was not fashionable to do so. Tseko Simon Nkoli who was involved in the struggles against apartheid within the ranks of UDF and was detained in the Delmas trial as one of the Vaal 22 who was one of the first publicly HIV-positive African gay men is also celebrated through the stall.

Unlike all the stalls in the exhibitions, the South African stalls was a promising zone of actions and commitments on how to deal with challenges presented, the government responded immediately to requests from civil society which did not mince its words in reminding government of its promises.

The chairperson of deputy chairperson of  SANAC Steve Letsele, whose contributions to this conference has always emphasized actions than meaningless rhetoric took it to the podium and appreciated the history shared as well as government commitment to help eliminating HIV-AIDS.

” The global statistics says transgender gender population are 49 time higher of contracting the HIV than any other population and we need to be concerned “

“I’m happy about the presence of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and MECs who are present here. Umfundisi reminded us of ‘adopt a sector’, meaning that 18 sectors we work with, adopt a sector, work with them to deliver so we can create change.” On the spot the Deputy Minister  Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu adopted the men’s sector, Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi adopted sex workers and committed to speak with police to shift focus on prohibiting them to operate but declared to protect them against harm and abuse. Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi adopted people living with HIV and requested all MECs to adopt a sector in their respective provinces.

The Deputy Minister Hendrietta Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu instantly convened the men’s sector to draft a programmatic plan of action where men will respond to HIV/AIDS debacle. The ministry committed resources to assist men programmes, in this meeting the ACTIVATE! Network was represented by Kgotso Sothoane who was positive that ACTIVATE! will assist in mobilisation of adolescent boys and young men throughout the country .“ Through partnership with various stakeholders including A! Men, we will assist in mobilizing young men in the network to participate in dialogues, men parliaments and other activities to be hosted across the country. We are confident that we are equal to the task as one of those organisation with documented evidence of coordinating successful men-focused engagements across the country including the Intergenerational Men’s Summit hosted in March 2018 in Gauteng.  We have no doubt that we can replicate this success anywhere because we have armed ready activists who are thirsty for such developments.”

Activator Thando Mkhoyi walking for literacy on Mandela Day

By Lwazi Nongauza

“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” Nelson Mandela

This  will be the overriding theme at the young people led ”Nelson Mandela Day Literacy Fun Long Walk in Khayeslitsha on the 18th of July.

Cape Town based Activator Thando Mkhoyi, together with his social enterprise ”Double Keys Production’’ team, will use Mandela Day to fundraise for his literacy intervention in Khayelitsha and nearby townships.

The event aims to highlight the current literacy crises and also teach the public about the possible potential social transformation education has for the current and future youth. In explaining the significance of the Mandela Day Literacy Fun Walk, Robert McKee explained that storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.

”We are hoping to cultivate a culture of storytelling, reading aloud and play based approach in order to contribute towards literacy development especially in disadvantaged areas like Khayelitsha, where a child who is born from this community is only exposed to 8 million words and even less than a child who is born from an advantaged community and professional family who is exposed to 43 million words in their early years,” said Mkhoyi.

Among many other innovative support campaigns Mkhoyi ‘s  organization ”Double Keys Production” intends to use Mandela Day Literacy Fun Walk to fundraise for the grassroots literacy initiative to educate the public so that children who continue to experience the power of storytelling end up doing well in their academic journey. According to Mkhoyi, this is one of many things that the late President Nelson Mandela died still advocating for.

“Education and kids support were some of Mandela’s notable core-values. This annual Madiba’s long walk to better develop education system is one of many commitment signs by our dedicated team which will ensure his legacy continues daily. That’s why even in the coming months we are planning to host many follow-up literacy initiatives that support the Mandela Day Literacy Fun Walk vision,” said Mkhoyi

Mkhoyi went on to say the gift of education is indeed something to be celebrated. Education is an investment essential to empowering individuals to reach their full potential and to make their own positive impact on the world. To work towards Mandela’s honorable vision of a free and equal society, the world will require the knowledge, resources and insight that education brings.

One of the prominent Khayelitsha based writers, Daluxolo Hoho, who is expected to attend the event, has pleaded with community members to support the event.

”I strongly believe that some of Khayelitsha’s problems can be directly linked to illiteracy. Therefore if as the residents of this troubled townships we are serious in our quest of turning the Khayelitsha narrative around and keep Nelson Mandelas education legacy going, then we all have to attend Double Keys Production’s Mandela Day Literacy Fun Walk,” said Hoho.

Activators and all other members of society who wish to support the initiative are encouraged to contact Double Keys Production project manager Zuko Petse or Yandiswa Pearls  on doublekeysproductions@gmail.com

 

A Souljah’s Purpose

By Relo Malepe

Who is Fikile Jimmy Souljah?

The third son of four, parented by late Moola and Nomvulaza Mokae. I was named after my mom’s father, the late Fikile Jim November. I was born in Taung, in the North West, raised by my mom’s parents in the Free State in a small town, Hertzgvill. At age 14, I moved to Randfontein, west of Johannesburg to live with my mom and siblings.

Why Jimmy Souljah?

Jimmy is my middle name, Souljah is self-given. Which means warrior of God.

What drives you?

The need to empower my family and community makes me want to do more and work hard to achieve economic independence so I can fulfill this passion. It is more of a purpose.

Why fashion?

I always choose to answer this question by quoting Georgio Armani “I never thought in my wildest dreams that I will be a fashion designer, fashion chose me”

Challenges?

Running a small business on it’s own is a challenge I have to face on a daily basis. That’s one. Second, economic struggles are real. If it weren’t for money, I would be travelling my entire life.

What impact does your job allow you to achieve?

Fashion is art, and art is a great tool one can use to air their inner views and most importantly, it is self fulfilling to see someone beautifully covered by the work of my hands. It’s priceless.

When did you realize fashion is how you want to make a living?

When I enrolled for a fashion design course I didn’t know it was something I could do for a living. For me it was doing something rather than staying at home. I was encouraged by my lecturer to give it my all even if I did not like it. From then it’s been about passion.

Advice to others?

One, you don’t need a background in sewing to begin or train as as fashion designer. Anyone with a learning attitude can do it. Secondly, be prepared to be your own boss; that includes a lot of hard work for you to be your own designer.

How about the Indonesian-inspired trend you want to introduce?

Yes I’m launching my brand later this year. My inspiration comes from African traditions. I love colours, prints and patterns. So Indonesian Batik and our original African prints. It is a fusion of Batik and our original African prints. The fabric is from a province in Indonesia called West Papua. So my brands is about challenging three things: self Conciousness, change and restering pride.

What’s the idea behind this Indonesian inspiration?

Well I am not just a designer, I am a social activist in my own accord. West Papua faces hard times being oppressed by the Indonesian government. And the world talks little about this apartheid-like state. As a South African social activist with apartheid history, I believe my brand will play a part in spreading awareness about West Papua’s existence and struggle, with hope that more people will know about it. The more the Indonesian government is exposed, hopefully, West Papua will be freed.

Joining the ACTIVATE! network has been blissful. I got to strongly learn about myself in the first week and met incredible influencers, it’s a network of dreamers with a great potential to assist me on my journey. I am looking forward to the future, and it looks positive.

Enabling Activator Motsatsi to continue #PayingItForward

 

By: Baxolise Dlali

Motsatsi Mola is a 2013 Activator from Enable Village, located in the outskirts of Tzaneen in Limpopo. She is a youth and community activist who wants to bring opportunities to her village, particularly for the young people in her village. At first glance, you would not understand what fuels her restless and hungry passion for development until you spend time with her.

After completing her Grade 12, she was almost faced with a bleak future due to the lack of opportunities afforded to the youth in villages. What made it worse is the fact that she could not even apply for university entrance because all or most applications processes were only done online. Coming from a village with no internet connectivity, or other opportunities for youth, she started volunteering and that is when she fell in love with community work. She mentions that ACTIVATE! changed her life for the better when she got accepted to be part of the programme in 2013.

When we handed over her station’s equipment and officially declared her station launched, she was moved to tears, the proverbial tears of joy. During our post-launch engagement, I enquired about the emotional state she was in during the launch she said two seemingly simple, yet far-reaching and profound statements.

One, she mentions that the opportunities she was denied after matric of not being able to apply for opportunities and university, that is what her station was going to focus on the most. In essence, her station will become to the youth and larger community the bridge she needed most yet never had. It dawned on me how we can sometimes take the small things for granted, yet they mean (and are) the world, literally, to other people.

Secondly, she says that every time, without exception, ACTIVATE! visits them in their communities and see how they live, hope becomes personified and they, in turn, are encouraged and re-energised to go on as it gets really difficult at times – to a point where they even think of quitting.

This story for me is so relevant because, when you interact with her without understanding, you may think that she borders on being impatient or disorderly when in fact she carries the weight of her village on her shoulders. She does not seem like she will rest until her village is an opportunity hub. And the Enable Station will enable her to start a journey towards achieving that!

Community development is my passion- 2017 Activator Kgadi Mmanakana

By Puleng Portia

Famously known as the “The Possibilitarian”, Kgadi Mmanakana has become a change driver in her community and the Limpopo Province at large.

Hailing from Ga-Matlala small community named Ga-Ramalapa on the outskirts of Polokwane, her dream of becoming a change driver in her community was something that began when she was still in high school. “When my fellow classmates didn’t understand concepts, I would gather them together and explain it to them.” Community development is something that she never saw coming. Being a community change driver was a dream she did not choose but rather it chose her, she believes the superpowers she possesses are to serve others.

When she was born her family marked her as a possibility, “I adopted the name The Possibilitarian because I was looking for a name that represents possibility and also I regard myself as the definition of possibility.” When she was asked if there’s anything that she’s doing besides developing her community she laughed and  admitted that she is a nerd and a lifelong student pursuing business and personal  development. She also owns a consulting company, “I am always learning and refining my craft on a daily basis,” she said.

Changing the status quo in my community gives meaning to my life, that we were all called to live a life of service, to do something because you want to do it and not called to do it. She added that, “What I do serves my soul as it always feels right to do it because I have no box to tick.”

One of her highlights in her community work was when she was awarded the certificate of Distinction of an associate fellow by the Royal common worth society; a United Kingdom Organisation in the year 2015. Her work has been well received as she gets love from her mentees as well as Facebook friends who attend her sessions. Nothing satisfies her more than to see people see value in the time invested in her sessions.

Her long term goals are to have formal coaching programmes were people subscribe to be part of the programme and at the end they create new beginnings for their own lives, this year she has started a new inspiration tour and a coaching programme. New Beginning circle where she coaches young men and women on a one-on-one basis focusing on what they want to achieve. The theme of the whole coaching programme is “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.” With Education, skills development and Entrepreneurship the long term goal is to have training programmes that will up-skill community members, help them to be employable and also to create jobs for others.

Though she feels she hasn’t done enough for her community, she draws strength from Kgadi, a strong and brave women who sees problems and comes up with calculative solutions.

 

 

 

Mordecai is passionate about the people and their betterment

Name:Sizolwenkosi Mordecai Ndlovu

Province: Gauteng

Facebook: Mordecai Ndlovu 

Twitter handle: @Mordecai_Ndlovu

Instagram: @mordecaistarz


Write a short blurb (summary) about yourself. In no more than three sentences.

Hi my name is Mordecai Ndlovu, from Gauteng, I’m a student at Vaal University of Technology.

 

Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?

I decided to join ACTIVATE! to further make a meaningful contribution in my life, my community, my country and the continent at large. I needed to be part of a community that is passionate about the people and the betterment that of.

 

What did you enjoy the most about training?

I loved the part where we were tough about the power of storytelling. I have been having many battles in writing my story so more young people can be inspired and to realise their God-given talents. Furthermore, I also youth to want to be active participants in the development of our nation as I believe that we all have a story to tell and the training helped me find the confidence to tell my story.

 

How has training helped you or changed your perspective?

The training has changed the way I view my everyday activism. It has helped me to be more vocal and confident in the injustice we see on a daily basis; which in my case is how we fail to further develop policies that address the unemployment rate especially amongst youth and women. The training has mostly helped me to find amazing young people that have the same passion in community development. I have found young people I know will be future drivers of a better Africa and society.


Have you been inspired and been the inspiration in your community and those you interact with?

Yes. After the training, in fact, during the training I noticed that I began to change. By developing campaigns with Activators in the training that can truly make a meaningful difference in our country, from day 1, I managed to introduce 4 other Activators to join me to start a campaign #0%UnemploymentRate that aligns to a continental campaign Africa Youth Entrepreneurship Day. On our last day I also collaborated with 5 other Activators and we gave birth to the 3 City Substance Abuse campaign that we wish to host youth at the 3 of the biggest stadiums in South Africa. Lastly, I established two stations one – in Mbombela, Mpumalanga that will focus on Filming and The Arts program in collaboration with Ubuntu Youth Centre and St Mark School. The other station based in Bedworth Lake Residence that houses approx. 500 student which half of them are from disadvantaged communities in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Kwazulu-Natal.

 

What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?

I believe the role of youth in developing the country is to be active participants in social youth program, also youth should be able to understand and support tools that make local government work. Youth need to be able to be vocal in addressing policies that advance youth interconnectedness and inclusion. The youth need to be able to be active participants of innovations and entrepreneurial excellence in the need to create employment.

What is your field of interest?

My interest is developing tools to get youth to being active and leaders of economic participation.

How are you driving change in your community/How would you like to drive change in your community?

Back in 2014 I presented Africa Youth Entrepreneurship Day – AYED campaign in Accra, Ghana where I was afforded an opportunity to represent my University and my country at the Continental Student Summit. Through that campaign I’d like to create platforms to create dialogues, conversations and strategies to address policy development that nurtures African youth economic participation in the 21 century. I like to see more Universities making students beneficiaries as economic participators in their respective universities. I’d like to see communities supporting and celebrating youth and women in their communities, I’d also like to see a better integrated strategy that allows youth and women to be more active participants in their communities’ economic development.

Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?

I believe I will further take the knowledge from the training to build more momentum to mobilise, organise and activate youth in South Africa and the continent at large to be self-driven economic participants in community and economic development in their communities. I’d like to grow the 2 stations to address the issues youth face on a daily basis through workshops, training support and dialogues. Lastly, I would love to see our event created such as the ‘Reaching 0% Unemployment Rate’ and the ‘3 City Against Substance Abuse’ grow yearly to make an impact.

What are your plans for this year?

I wish to build 3 strong stations, VUT Bedworth Lake Station that focus on ICT and Entrepreneurship Support, Mpumalanga TV Station that focuses on media and youth development and Norkem Station that will focus on Social Youth Development.

Lastly I plan to grow the AYED campaign so that it reaches the whole continent through social media in preparation for 2019. Furthermore, I would like to have small activations for the 3 City Against Substance Abuse in my community.

Is social media an effective way by which you can receive communication from us?

Yes, I’m a big social media driver.

Additional information you would like us to know?

Thank you for the opportunity afforded!

 

Mokgubi: Without education, I am nothing.

Name: Mokgubi Kgaphola

Province: Limpopo- Mphanama Smart Village


Write a short blurb (summary) about yourself. In no more than three sentences.

I am Mokgubi Kgaphola, commonly described as a moving library and a standing bookshelf because whenever my mouth opens, you’d realise that I’m a creator of conflict, a sculptor drama, and inventor of character. I am nothing extraordinary, simply your average everyday undiscovered humble world leader, activist and friend.

Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?

Because Mr Koketso Marishane saw potential in me and presented me the vision and objectives of the program and I saw my space and role in it.

 

What did you enjoy the most about training?

The conducive environment created by the trainers.

 

How has training helped you or changed your perspective?

The training enabled me to see life from a different angle: from subject to pro-active citizen like Dr. Mamphele Ramphele.


Have you been inspired and been the inspiration in your community and those you interact with?

Yes. I get inspired daily by the continuous work of inspiration by Mr. Marishane and many like him who selflessly offer themselves to be of service to both our communities in SA and internationally. This inspiration pushes me to acknowledge, celebrate and continue with the positive narratives that Mr. Marishane and associates have started by continuously placing the positive stories of our nation and the people on sustainable platforms for global recognition.  

 

What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?

The role of youth in SA as a developing country is to find a healthy balance between working to live and living to work towards a healthy national ecosystem.

 

What is your field of interest?

Education for People and Community Development. Without education, I am nothing.

How are you driving change in your community/How would you like to drive change in your community?

I’m happy that I am already part of a sizeable network of global shapers that seeks to address the most pressing and daunting challenges in the world and my role is to use my resources to communicate the messages the world needs to hear.

Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?

I’m constantly keeping abreast on developments by Activators within my space through active engagement with them virtually and otherwise thus there’s always the element of intimate connection.

What are your plans for this year?

Love myself more by surrounding myself with kindred and disciplined spirits like Mr. Marishane. My elevation is determined by the company I keep so the more I am in the surround of stars, the more my chances of becoming like them.

Is social media an effective way by which you can receive communication from us?

No. I don’t do social media. It disturbs my peace of mind.

Additional information you would like us to know?

Mphanama is rising and the future looks bright.

Nonhlanhla Thrifts For Change

Name: Nonhlanhla Dube

Province: Gauteng, City of Ekurhuleni

Facebook: BlackBird Projects

Instagram: dubenonhlanhla_


Write a short blurb (summary) about yourself. In no more than three sentences.

I am Nonhlanhla Dube, a community newspaper writer and a change driver. I’ve been volunteering since 2013 during varsity days. I’m a mother of 2 and believe this somehow has influenced my passion and interest in driving change in young people’s lives.

Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?

I figured being part of a group of like-minded individuals would help me find direction in this industry of giving back and driving change.

What did you enjoy the most about training?

I enjoyed quite a number of things, but mostly I enjoyed meeting young change drivers from different places across SA and hearing from them the challenges they are facing in their communities and learning the different strategies they use to tackle them. I also enjoyed module 3, I still think it should be adopted as a subject in schools.

How has training helped you or changed your perspective?

It has helped me look beyond my challenges and not let the frustrations of the social ills we face in my community get to me. It has also helped me have a network and support of people I can look up to and call on when the going gets tough. The training also equipped me with information I wouldn’t normally get in a textbook.


Have you been inspired and been the inspiration in your community and those you interact with?

I believe I have been an inspiration yes ☺ I have been inspired by a lot of things in my community, mostly things that i believe need to be changed or addressed.

What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?

I think our role is to do things differently, change peoples perspectives by provoking what they already know and teaching them new, better ways of thinking, taking decision and acting. We should be at the forefront of driving the change in our communities and making our “leaders” account. We should be at the forefront of changing policies and protecting our own, as young people we should infiltrate those decision making positions.

What is your field of interest?

My general interest is community development, right now I have programs focusing on young people and the youth.

How are you driving change in your community/How would you like to drive change in your community?

I recently co-found an NPO called BlackBird Projects, under it I have various projects that we plan to implement. One that has been running for a year is called #KiddiesBookClubTembisa; it’s a holiday book club program that runs on school and public holidays. Due to availability and funding issues we can only run once a week, for only 2 hours. We have also just started to run fundraising campaign #ThriftForChange to help us raise funds that we need to run the various projects we have lined up.

 

Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?

I plan to keep in touch by joining the various Whatsapp groups, to keep in touch with member of the network. Especially those near to me and those that are working in the same field as I do, I also plan to attend events that I can get to.

What are your plans for this year?

This year the plan is to grow and stabilise the #KiddiesBookClubTembisa program, to create other means of raising funds, to start and run a successful human trafficking campaign in my region in Tembisa and to establish partnerships with local businesses and other nonprofit organisations and government entities.

Is social media an effective way by which you can receive communication from us?

I’ve recently quit Facebook and Twitter; however Whatsapp and Email have been the best source of communication.

Additional information you would like us to know?

A bit about #ThriftForChange

I was sexually harassed while I was working on a community development project a couple of months ago. I figured it would continue to happen everywhere I went knocking and asking for help for my NPO, BlackBirds Projects and projects we are running in the hood. I then decided to come up with a unique way to help us raise the funds we need, while getting the community indirectly supporting our initiatives.

To avoid asking people to donate money, we’re collecting re-sellable stuff to sell to people at thrift prices, instead of just giving the clothes away. We’re collecting donations in a form of clothes, furniture, deco stuff or stationery- anything really.  Please support the #ThriftForChange campaign.

 

Celebrating young leaders this youth month

By Nomvuyo Sebeko

The month of June is all about celebrating the bravery of young people and how determined they are when it comes to improving their lives. We at ACTIVATE! have dedicated this month to celebrating all the young people in the network who are #payingitforward in their communities. We had an opportunity to have a conversation with one of the young leaders:

Meet 2016 Activator Mzwandile Chilwane from Gauteng

“We are ready to lead and help South Africa to be the best we want it to be”

Mzwandile is a 28 year old business owner who is passionate about creating jobs and changing people’s lives. The name of his business is Mzobu (PTY) LTD it was founded in 2013 November when it had only four employees. The business is based in Tsakane and focuses on skills work which includes carpentry and plumbing sometimes they do office painting and renovations. As a young person growing up in the township, his dreams have always been to uplift the people in the township and use the skills they have to help them feed their families.

Mzwandile Chilwane joined ACTIVATE! in 2016 because we was interested in learning how he can use his entrepreneurial skills to uplift his community. He identified with the fact that ACTIVATE! is all about young people changing the world. Through the network he partnered with other young people to organise a unique spa day treatment for the elderly people of Tsakane during Mandela day last year. He also took some time out of his business to talk to some young people about starting a business and sustaining a business, by doing so he opened doors to be a mentor for other young people interested in business.

Talking about youth month and how young people of today are representing the youth of 1976, Mzwandile mentioned a lack of passion and how he thought young people were not putting a great deal of effort in to be successful. Social media was one of the first things he saw as a disadvantage for young people as it only influences them in terms of the trends and flashy lifestyles, “They think posting about the good life means hard work while not putting in any work,” he says. 

“The struggle of the youth of 1976 was for better and equal opportunities in life. The struggle of young people today is social media and the “fake” life, the pressure that is put on us by society in terms of being successful and making it while we’re still young is very real. Talking about his business and future plans, he wishes to employ more than 20 people in the next four years, he has been observing the demand of accommodation and wants to join the property investment business in the coming year where he will be buying and selling / renting houses.

Limpopo GBV tour actively against gender-based violence

By Tlotliso May

South African men are on a killing spree. In the past ten years or so homosexual people were brutally attacked on the basis of their sexuality, in an effort to “Correct” their identity into one that society accepts. This behaviour was popular enough to even gain a term coined after it, “Corrective rape” which targeted mostly lesbians in which they would get raped because according to the people that did this, there was something wrong with them and it had to be corrected. Currently, it is women who are being targeted by men in South Africa, it is almost impossible for one to watch the news or even browse through social media without coming across news of a woman who was murdered, raped or both in any order. Week in and week out we hear news of how a woman was murdered by her ex-lover or her current lover over a disagreement, it is against this backdrop that Activator Moses Maphanga along with several Activators decided to work tirelessly to establish a campaign against gender based violence. At face value one can just think that gender based violence is just violence against women , but Activator Maphanga and his fellow Activators  also tackled the violence against the LGBTQ community – which having went through the Walk The Line activity was greatly necessary.

There is an undeniable reason that gender based violence must be tackled in the communities where it is rife, and not only through the hashtag #GBVLimpopo.  The conversations about what is going on in our communities should not only be held between Activators.

The GVB roadshow currently underway invites community members and leaders and members of the LGBTQ community to come and give their take and propose solutions towards how gender based violence can best be stopped. The involvement of community members varies from the leadership of community – such as the local councillor and the tribal chief of the Limpopo region.  The police also had presence and they were represented by the CPF.   This event was the first of the many to be held across the province.

The Activators have invited participation from Activators in the province and South Africa as a whole. This invitation comes out of a need for collaboration in order to put an end to the misogyny and homophobia that we see in the  country.

Activator Moses Maphanga used the access that he has with the ACTIVATE! Network to ensure that he partners with other Activators in the province and one such Activator is a 2013 Activator named Motsatsi Mmola . Except this project he is also involved with an Enable Station from which they assist learners by providing them with any academic support and beyond that they help grade 12 learners with applications such that they can be well prepared for the year.

For more information on the tour contact lezerine@localhost

 

 

Mokgophi Kgothatso – An Activator Extraordinaire

By Tlotliso May

Kgothatso has recently attended a business course from the British Council which was held in Diepsloot. It is evident from this that He shows the propensity of an extraordinaire- he takes every opportunity that he is presented with and ensures that he further grows and diversified his network, despite having one that is very beneficial to him at the moment, case in point Activate! This will in return benefit the Activators that are or that will network will him.Activate as a network consists of various types of people commonly grounded on their wish to see change in society. It is one of the few networks that one can find that has so much diversity that a person of a totally different nature can find themselves in conversation or in contact with an entirely different person – as a matter of fact, it is recommended for activators to network as much as they can with activators who work towards change in a different sector. The diversity in the network is characterised by race, ethnicity, language and educational level. One of the Activators that represent extraordinary experience and leadership skill is Mokgophi Kgothatso, who hails from Limpopo. His accolades really precede and he had to cement his already rich profile by belonging to an organization that has members that same the same vision as he does for the communities that they belong to.

He is also a managing director of a company called Spinder Projects (Pty) Ltd. This company was named ‘Spinder” because the name speaks to innovation, since it is not an existing name in the dictionary. The company is a level one contributor of the broad based economic empowerment and has been officially registered for one year having customers who have been part of its customer base for over the past three years. The company offers the following services: Company registrations and consultancy, graphic design, print works, waste management apparel design etc. The primary goal that this company has is to positively change the status quo and address the issue of unemployed, yet qualified graduates. This will be achieved through incubating such individuals and ensuring that they benefit both parties.

Kgothatso also has a more philanthropic side of him, he gives his time and resources to the community without expecting anything in return, except witnessing the change that Activate! Advices its members to fight to see in their communities. He belongs to a non-profit organisation called Fetakgomo Youth Development, which was founded in 2011 by concerned youth of Ga-Sekhukhune, in a selfless effort of empowering their fellow youth in order to look beyond their current misfortunes and circumstances. Kgothatso has also served in the Black Management forum, first as a secretary and subsequently the secretary general of the organisation in 2014. He shows deep and sincere involvement in organisations within his community that seeks to promote youth empowerment, another key characteristic of an activator in their respective corner of South Africa. His greatest quality is teamwork, he is not a one man show type of an activator, and he believes that collective efforts ultimately become a greater good.

He has been able to integrate the strategies that Activate teaches in his approach towards company and his non-profit work to ensure a smooth and maximized throughput in his activities. The wash line methodology has also helped his endeavours and ensures that he uses hit time in an efficient manner. Kgothatso has collaborated with two other activators in ensuring that they use what they were taught in training in real life situations and thus impacting their lives but the lives of those people in their communities and the clientele of Spinder Projects (Pty) Ltd. He has paid it forward by having charity programmes where they provide clothing for the needy and host career exhibitions for those young people who need to get knowledge in terms of which career they want to follow and they get to give them knowledge on how they can better themselves and ensure that they qualify for those. Not only has Activate impacted his professional life, but it has also positively impacted his personal life because he has gained more confidence and believes he can serve and service his community better even through the knowledge he has received from reading the manual on how to make local government work.

Kgothatso has the following motto for his life and work : Follow me if I advance , kill me if I retreat and revenge me if I die.

 

 

Activators lead the African Youth Business Dialogue

By Lwazi Nongauza

Five Activators are set to lead a global simulcast African Youth Entrepreneurship Day (AYED) conference. Young African people will pave a new African youth policy at Vaal University of Technology on the 3 June.

Among other things, the fifth annual upcoming conference aims to promote social, economic, gender equity fair employment strategies through African youth entrepreneurship dialogues and strategies. Adopting the recent collective African youth entrepreneurship in development policy advocacy resolutions which was signed by AYED member states (like Ghana, Botswana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia and Kenya) is one of the key milestones the event is set to finalize.

You can follow AYED on their social media platforms Facebook: Young Poeple In Business Initiative, Twitter: @YPIBI, Instagram: @YPIBI and Youtube ‘YPIBI NETWORK

The highly digital infrastructure setup that will see their countries joining  the proceedings that will be led by the five (Zandile Lephoto, Mordecai Sizolwenkosi Ndlovu, Reynard Mathews, Onwaba Ngumla and Andile Nala) South African based social change drivers.

One of the South African leg event organizers Lephoto explains one of the core reasons AYED is advocating for more flexible environment that allows underpaid and physically challenged unemployed youth to acquire relevant job market skills empowerment opportunities that their lives

‘’Our participation is informed by our constituency which commands us to continue fighting for social justice (more especially at the work place) for people living with disability. The sad reality is, it doesn’t matter how qualified and competent physically challenged can be, this continent prejudice job market space still do not get jobs. Those who do are either used for fronting and shockingly get paid 60% less than the conventional so called abled body people. That’s why I as young leader advocate for in AYED platform.’’  she said

You can watch previous all the videos AYED events here

African Youth Entrepreneurship Day executive member Mordecai Sizolwenkosi Ndlovu said social change drivers who find relevance in the initiative can join to come and attend but for those who are far from Vaal University of Technology can digital join by watching the live stream videos at the comfort of their homes are offices but most importantly sign endorsement petitions here

‘’Any form of support (more especially signing of petition) by fellow Activators is always welcomed. Our win is their win because besides anything else, we are in this social justice struggle together’’

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating A!fricanness

By Melissa Nefdt

Calling for a New African Masculinity

Ntsikelelo Mzibomvu’s story is one we’re familiar with. Growing up in a household where there wasn’t much income, he developed his entrepreneurial talents early on. After a failed business venture, launched unfortunately during a global recession, that he asked himself: ‘What is the one product that costs nothing, that I will always have, even when I’m broke?’ He knew he could write, research and facilitate, and so decided to turn himself into the product. He is now a published author, runs training and teambuilding for a list of corporate clients, and coaches individuals on a journey to personal achievement.

His story is one of relationship-building and collaboration, of talents coming together to make something greater than yourself. And it is just such a collaboration, with a Zimbabwean artist, Greatjoy Ndlovu, which resulted in Ntsikelelo’s third book, The Path To Great Joy — a beautiful hardback of portrait paintings and inspirational words. Written by Ntsikelelo, it speaks of the artist’s journey, but also the experience of being a man in a patriarchal society.

Nstikelelo is passionate about women and child abuse, but comes at it from a different angle. “We wanted to look at the abuser, the pain that the abuser goes through.” While this may seem a controversial statement at first, he goes on to explain: “We need to pay more attention to what men are going through, and why they do what they do, and how society pressures them and in response, they either fail or they succeed. That’s what the book focuses on, trying to create the path to great joy.” It’s about looking at the root causes of the problem of toxic masculinity on an individual but also societal level.

The problem, says Ntsikelelo, starts at an early age. “As a boy, you’re taught, “Don’t cry, don’t let your feelings out, hold them in,” and that repression of emotion can lead to depression, can lead to suicidal tendencies, it leads to abuse. By trying to be a man, they actually become something that is not men, and become the enemy of society.” He believes that the other side of the same coin — of being a healthy man who is able to express his emotions, forgive himself and others, and can create a vision for himself — that such a man has no need to express their power in abusive ways. Such self-actualisation is what he aims to achieve through his life’s work.

Ntsikelelo believes that although this is a worldwide problem, it is particularly bad in African culture. “We are rooted in patriarchal ways. It becomes more problematic because it’s not just a behavioural thing, it becomes something that men want to protect. People want to protect their customs, and because our customs are patriarchal, we are trying to protect wrongdoing.”

He sees the solution as twofold: to have a culture that is always adapting to the environment and evolves over time, and in embracing education as a path to innovation. “A lot of men think that they don’t have to educate themselves because they have a cultural way of living. They look at education as the Western way…This is a particular problem in Third World Countries. If people have a proper education, they can build their own buildings, they can build their own trains and planes and cars.” He references the movie Black Panther as a fictional example of what African nations could be capable of through education and innovation.

His message to his fellow Activators is simple: “Every Activator is a vessel for impact. The impact that every vessel can have, depends on how much development it goes through. So you have to continue developing yourself, as you’re trying to have an impact. Keep growing, keep evolving.”

The Path to Great Joy can be bought on Amazon or directly through Ntsikelelo, who can be contacted on 0749537092 or lelo@8eenconcepts.co.za.

Activator scoops international award in USA

By Lwazi Nongauza

Activator Isasiphinkosi Mdingi has raised the African continent as she scooped the prestigious Young Emerging Leaders Award which was held at the Department of State in USA on the 2nd of May 2018.

Mdingi is one of 10 remarkable young people who have received this prestigious award while crisscrossing the United States of America perfecting community development through the intensive exchange programme. Honourees first visited Washington, D.C. where they were recognised in a public ceremony for their efforts. They further attended  meetings with U.S. government officials and non-governmental organisations. The awardees then traveled to Austin, Texas to participate in professional meetings and engage with their American counterparts. The young leaders have reconvened in Washington, D.C. to share project plans and examine ways they can collaborate and build on their experiences.
This hard working 23-year-old law graduate and activist had once represented South Africa and the African continent at the Preparing Global Leaders Summit in Russia 2015, she is once again validated by the USA Department of State as one of the honorees for this prestigious global youth leadership award after being nominated by the US Embassy in Cape Town.

The annual awards ceremony is meant to acknowledge the outstanding leadership achievements of young people from all of over the world who are involved in building peace, combating extremism, empowering youth, driving youth economic participation and growth.

Some of Mdingi’s achievements include playing a key role in drafting anti-rape and sexual assault culture policy proposal document and robust engagement with South African Minister of Social Development on how to curb all forms of gender violence at South African tertiary academic institutions.

While reflecting on her ongoing programme in United States of America, the Eastern Cape based Activator said she is planning to use the opportunity to secure resources and relationships that will address the plight of young vulnerable people and females in her community.

‘’The information I gained during my visit to the United States of America and the processes I’ve learned will help me in restrategising my work and guide me in the future, designing projects that create meaningful impact for my people in South Africa and the African continent. I have formed formidable relationships with a number of members and many other stakeholders has committed to making sure that I will be able to amplify my projects in the Eastern Cape,” she said.

One of her upcoming ground-breaking projects is to assist the Department of Higher Education in quickly drafting policy that will address prominent Gender Based Violence and ever-increasing sexual assault culture at all South African tertiary higher learning institutions.

The decisive leader whose next mission includes studying a masters degree in International Development in the United Kingdom despite being rejected many times by local and international academic funders.

Mphanama station receives computers

By Mokgubi Kgaphola
On the 25th April 2018, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers made history by delivering its’ first ever Information & Communications Technology (ICT) packages in the deep village of Mphanama, Ga-Kgaphola. This comes shortly, after lengthy negotiations that begun in 2015 when ACTIVATE! Change Drivers first visited the community for a roadshow led by Koketso Marishane.
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is on a continuous mission of recruiting to train young people between the age of 20-30 years, who have a sense of self and ready to tackle the national challenges in their communities.
“We’re indeed delighted to witness the miracles made by ACTIVATE! Change Drivers. It’s evident that, our young people don’t just talk for the sake of talking, but talking for action. We’re proud of the breed Activate! Change Drivers has produced for our community” said the Mphanama Ward Councillor, Mr. Klaas Diphofa Klaas.
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers has already trained more than 2000 young people across South Africa. Some of them are already making global history through their activism.
“Our presence here today, serves to re-affirm our commitment that we have made days ago when our national team led by our CEO launched the station, that indeed, we’re serious about the development of our people, the Activators residing in rural South Africa. We’re aware that ICT plays an integral role towards the realisation of people becoming global citizens thus we’re continuously making efforts to leave nobody behind. We’re particularly proud of the kind of leadership that the community is producing and on behalf of our CEO, Mr. Chris Meintjes, this is our way of saying, we’ve noted the needs of our people in Sekhukhune District and we’ll continue supporting them in their drive towards positive change”, said the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers National Stations Manager, Mr. Baxolise Dlali.
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers has been in existence since 2012 and it aims to train 5000 young leaders in South Africa by 2021.
“We’re immensely delighted by the deliverance our ICT tools. We now feel empowered, strongly enabled to tackle global challenges from our local community to better ourselves”, said ACTIVATE! Sekukhune District Managers, Mr. Wellington Makanatleng and Ms. Initia Mogosoane.
“We’re happy for our kids, both Activators and those who’ll be joining the organisation. Indeed, change has come”, said the station patron, Mr. Powder Kgaphola.
“In an attempt to combat unemployment, bridge the inequality gap and reduce poverty that exist in this province and elsewhere in the country, we deemed it fit to motivate for the project implementation of this nature in Mphanama as part of our National Development Plan 2030 Vision”, said SA’s Youth Ambassador in The Presidency, Koketso Marishane.
“We’re honoured by the affirmation ACTIVATE! Change Drivers has shown to our community and our people. Were already seeing the fruits of their sweats and yes indeed, we remain proud of their actions. Our kids are in safe hands and the future of the country looks bright” concluded the Chief of Kgaphola Royal Council, Hon. Mr. Mpho Kgaphola.

4th Annual Matlhwaring Career Guidance Day

Matlhwaring Community Development Fund was founded in 2013 in the rural area of Joe Morolong Local Municipality in Kuruman. These areas include, but are not limited to, Galotlhare, Logobate, Mentu, Suurdig and Kortnight. MCD was founded by a group of young people trying to address the problems they were encountering in these areas. The founding members being the late Kgopiso Letobane, Boikanyo Letobame, Shadrack Gaetshele, Galaletsang Seatile and Activator and MCD Chairperson Baamogeng Hube.

The NPC was envisioned and birthed by the late Activator, Kgopiso Letobane, who passed away in 2015. Like it is said, heroes and legends never die as their legacies outlive them. Kgopiso was indeed such a hero as the MCD Fund continues to live and multiply his legacy. To date, the organisation has hosted four Career Guidance events which the founders fund from their own pockets. All in efforts to ensure that their dream to see the young people in their community succeed is realised.

MCD Fund Members in their green organisational T-Shirts and the attending learners.

The 4th Annual Career Guidance event, hosted in Kortnight on the 28th of April, was an absolute success. The MCD Fund team invited a vast array of young professionals from Joe Morolong amongst whom were a 28 year old teacher Mrs Nomsa Mathiba and a 26 year old engineer, Tshepo Sephiri. This clearly motivated the learners as it proved to them that it is possible to succeed against all odds. Also in attendance, were the local Royal Leadership and Local Government Officials. The local government officials informed the learners on the careers that are in demand within the municipality and the funding opportunities available for those fields of study.

Mrs N Mathiba (educator), Mr M Segami (Joe Morolong local mun.), Chief Sekang Sesinyi and Mayoral Rep. Counsellor Mr Keboreng Modise.

Of the 80 learners in attendance (as well as any other learners within Matlhwaring), three top achieving matriculants will be chosen for a fully funded bursary in Town Planning, Engineering and Medicine (respectively), all in efforts to increase the number of graduates in Matlhwaring. These learners have to take a 25km to 40km bus ride to school every day and can thus not attend most, if any, of the extramural and extracurricular activities offered at school. And that is not all, within the entire area, with over five to ten rural villages, there is neither a library nor well-functioning ECD centre that meet the standards set by the Department of Social Development, never mind internet access. The nearest hospital is at least 30km away on rocky gravel road and does not always have doctors in residence. The alternative being a clinic which opens at 8h00 and closes at 16h00 only on weekdays. This means that there are no medical services over the weekend unless one can afford to drive to the hospital or one that is outside the area.

Yet, in spite of all these challenges, the MCD Fund provides opportunities to make it in spite of the triple threat of unemployment, inequality and poverty. The team has managed to source containers where they want to run an internet café within the community and are currently sourcing funds for the necessary equipment.

The self-help attitude shown by the community members of Matlhwaring is unbelievable! Not only can it be seen through the efforts of the MCD Fund team but also through other community initiatives. For instance, the venue where the event was hosted used to be a chicken project. Upon its failure, the residents of Kortnight cleaned it up and continue to use it as a community hall while working on reviving the project. Another example is their sporting community. When the government couldn’t help them build sports grounds within their communities, they took matters into their own hands and built soccer fields using wood, sticks and empty mealie meal sacks. They currently run local sports tournaments where the local community members pay R10 each to watch and support their village teams. These funds are then reinvested into the hosting team. This way, they sustain the tournaments while waiting for assistance from the government.

Kortnight sports ground 

The MCD Team as well as the community of Matlhwaring are looking to build a library in Suurdig village, which is located at the centre of Matlhwaring where they will run afterschool programmes and hopefully offer internet access for the young people in their community. There are currently no funds or resources for this except land and a plan of action. Anyone who is willing to donate books is encouraged to reach out to Activators Baamogeng Hube and/or Kay-Dee Mashile on the contact details outlined below, regardless of where in the country you are. Should you want to contribute funds towards the building or buying of new books, also feel free to contact either one of the two Activators.

Another initiative is the establishment of an ECD centre( in Kortnight). Book donations and financial contributions for the purpose of book purchase are also welcomed. Children’s books in Setswana and English can be purchased for as little as R50 to R80 from the Books Direct team, contact Kay-Dee for details and help develop the community of Matlhwaring from young to old.

Mr Baamogeng  Hube

Co-Founder and Chairperson Matlhwaring  Community  Development Fund

Cell number:  0768291124

Email: b.hube@702mail.co.za or admin@matlhwaringcd.co.za

Website: www.matlhwaringcd.co.za

 

Miss Kay-Dee Mashile

Cell number:  0723423689

Email: MashileKD@gmail.com

Social Entrepreneur actively taking charge of his future.

Name: Luvuyo Nojoko

Province: Eastern Cape

Facebook: Luvuyo sjingo Nojoko

Write a short blurb (summary) about yourself. In no more than three sentences.

I am Luvuyo Nojoko a young Activator (2016) from Port Elizabeth.

I’m in a leadership structure both in sport and other youth development programmes. I am from a previously disadvantaged community called Well Estates in Port Elizabeth. I am a member of a vibrant youth development organization called Unstoppable Youth from Wells Estates. I have been involved with the organisation for more than two years.

Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?

I joined ACTIVATE!Change Drivers in 2016 through a 2015 Activator and leader Misile Nikelo. I decided to join ACTIVATE!Change Drivers because of the leadership word associated with the programme, and I believe that I have always been a leader throughout my life hence the interest to learn more on leadership.

What did you enjoy the most about training?

I enjoyed Activate programmes because of the attention one gets in the programme and the manner in which it was conducted, the programme was also in line with community development. I have shown interest in community development activities especially educational activities and the arts.

How has training helped you or changed your perspective?

The programme helped me understand expectations of the leadership process and required skills to achieve desired developments in all spheres of leadership. Activate assisted me with the opportunity to network with young leaders around South Africa. I have improved in my management skills and understanding the importance of being relevant.

Have you been inspired and been the inspiration in your community and those you interact with?

The future of South Africa is mainly dependent on young people taking action in developing others.

What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?

Driving change is the main interest connected to my vision and partaking in the activities of a youth based organisation called ” Unstoppable Youth” when doing different educational programmes. I believe and know that South Africans don’t need food parcels but we need information.

What is your field of interest?

Social entrepreneurship is my field of interest because it does not only benefit me but the entire Country. My relevance to the network is through inviting and attending other activator events or  being active via social media like facebook and whatsapp.

 

Activator Women of Worth #PayingItForward

By Kay-Dee Mashile

As Easter concluded International Women’s Month and National Human Rights Month, we say hello to the month where we celebrate and promote the Freedom of South Africans. With the 24th Anniversary of the Democratic Republic of South Africa, we reflect on the freedom of contemporary South Africans and, in this case, South African women (especially women of colour). Not only is it befitting since the whole world pressed for change last month, but even more so because Activators are #CommittedToChange all year round!

#PayingItForward in the area of Women Empowerment are KZN based Co-Founder of Women of Worth Movement Society and 2016 Activators Nomfundo Msomi and Nompulelelo Khati. Through Women of Worth Movement Society, Activators Nomfundo and Nompumelelo, as well as their partners, strive to improve the lives of women holistically by promoting the emancipation and empowerment of women as participating citizens in the building of a non-sexist, egalitarian society. Nomfundo chats to Kay-Dee about the organisation and the freedom of women in contemporary South Africa.

In a nutshell, Women of Worth Movement Society (WOWMSoc) is a registered women empowerment non-profit organisation (NPO) which works with women of all ages through a holistic approach which aims to improve their quality of life.

Upon realising that the issues faced by women go way deeper than what is seen on the surface, Nomfundo took up the challenge to find the root cause of the various issues that women (and other members of society) are faced with and affected by. While this was motivated by her curious or inquisitive nature, it led to the birth of the organisation as it unveiled the many challenges that women encounter and are often unable to voice out.

In November 2016, during Nomfundo’s ACTIVATE! Home Task assignment, Nomfundo and her Co-Founder and fellow Activator Nompumelelo Khati hosted a Women Empowerment Dialogue at KwaMashu F Section, KZN, where the day-to-day issues of womanhood were discussed. Among the day’s topics was the question, “What does it mean to be a woman of worth?” Needless to say, that dialogue was the birth of WOEMSoc as it unpacked so much and clearly showed that there is a definite need for a continuation of the movement…

At that time, Nompumelelo was working with a group of women in the community. Upon brainstorming about the home task dialogue, Nomumelelo and Nomfundo did a brief needs analysis of the women that Nompumelelo was working with. During the brainstorming session, the two Activator ladies identified various challenges such as single parenthood and unemployment, among others, as common amongst the women in their community. This then led to the idea of hosting a dialogue which would dig deeper into the root cause of the challenges faced by the women in question. One of the motivating factors for the birth of the organisation also stemmed for Nomfundo’s upbringing and personal experiences. It is also noteworthy that she finds working with other troubled women as a platform to heal and be healed.

WOWMSoc then began as that single event which led to various events and a social media campaign which finally led to its registration as an NPO. The Organization strives to improve the lives of women holistically using psychological methods including that of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the following manner:

  • We want to see Psychological and Emotional wellness among women,
  • We want women to look at themselves in the mirror and see beauty!
  • We want them to Flourish and Prosper!
  • We want them to gain self-confidence
  • We want them to gain skills such as Financial skills, Entrepreneurial skills, Educational, etc.

The WOWMSoc team is looking for Activator collaborations in the fields of youth and women empowerment. The team desires to expand the initiative to other parts of the country and thus call out Activators with projects and originations in these fields to reach out and partner with them so as to maximise their iMac in society.

On the 16th of June 2018, WOWMSoc will be hosting Pietermaritzburg Youth Month Celebrations where they will invite school kids to attend a career expo where various companies will be invited to exhibit and share information with the learners.

The objectives of the event are:

  • To empower and develop the youth while motivating them to stay away from drugs, alcohol and unwanted and unplanned teenage pregnancies.
  • To enhance women empowerment by promoting the importance of self-love, values and integrity.
  • To host a cultural exchange programme.
  • To promote the importance of healthy eating and leading a healthy lifestyle.

In addition, the event will also empower and educate the youth on:

  • Entrepreneurship,
  • Different career options and sectors,
  • Social and economic empowerment, as well as
  • Recruitment and empowerment opportunities.

For more information or possible collaborations, contact the WOWMSoc Team on the details below.

ACTIVATE! Network, a remedy to the leadership problem

By Lebogang Victor Ditsebe

The problem in our nation is a leadership problem; and the root cause of this problem is a lack of leadership in society and government.

Leadership is personal and leadership is not the assumption of a title or being an office bearer. Leadership that counts is self-leadership.

The ACTIVATE! Changer Drivers Network equips us with tools to better understand who we are as individuals and also to better our knowledge on the kind of leaders we are through the LEMON leadership programme. The network in module 1 2018 emboldens the importance of knowing who we are as Activators individually.

Moreover, when we deliberate on personal leadership – we are looking at the ability to lead yourself; and as well in that capacity to lead your community. Without the tools of knowing what kind of a leader you are – leading will just be a showboat, as we see it is in our country there is an abuse of influence and power.

“If we do not know the purpose of something – we will end up abusing it; (abnormally using it).” – Dr Myles Munroe

ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network – also teaches the importance of having key values and morals. Unquestionably, the reason being corruption is being promulgated in South Africa it is because of a lack of a deep sense of moral obligation to the electorate who voted for the representative to assume office.

For example the previous scandal of state capture in government took place under the watch of many public representatives, one of them being President Jacob Zuma who is allegedly directly involved and is facing charges over that, certainly this is a sign of a lack of having values and morals in public representatives who assume office.

Positively through Activate Change Drivers Network – leaders of value and good moral standing are being equipped to be able to make the right decisions on behalf of the public and indeed make informed decisions within their coommunity structures.

In addition, Activators across the country are doing good progress in addressing social ills and pushing the social justice agenda, and Activators are provoking thoughts to confront the status quo.

Consequetly, young people in our country have to be reaffirmed by the commitment of governement to actively participate in youth development, to create skills developement and confront the scarcity of employment opportunities.

Definitely, without a doubt – the Activate Change Drivers Programme is giving us tools to navigate our selves through the socio-political space – in order to learn of using the correct channels on how can we  involve government and getting them involved as a stakeholder through the right channels to address the problems we face as the youth of South Africa

As I have said – my experience about the network is understanding that I am not the only one on the bandwagon of making a difference.Therefore up to this far I can recognise a clear sense of growth in terms of my personal leadership skills have grown as to compared before being selected into becoming part of the Activate Change Drivers Network. In closing – the connections I made, the information I have received is working to my advantage as an activist.

Photo credit: REALentrepreneur