Activator, dancer, choreographer and theatre practitioner starts a gym in Bloemfontein

By: Zilungile Zimela


16 MARCH 2018

Re: Activator, dancer, choreographer and theatre practitioner starts a gym- a safe space for the LGBTIA+ Community.

Bloemfontein born Activator Sifiso Teddy Mhlambi, fondly known as the ‘Pink hustler’ has always aspired for only the best things life has to offer. A little over two years ago he was approached by a newly established gym (SS Health Club) that was at the time in search of trainer who specialised in aerobics or any dance oriented workout, for which he was the perfect fit.

“While the trainer there, I decided to enrich and further my knowledge into a healthier lifestyle as I was in a steady journey to self-reinvention,” added the flamboyant Teddy-B.

From the first day conducting his first training, Teddy-B felt the strong desire to one day open his own establishment also focusing on promoting healthy living- a gym that would have the dual function of firstly being a fitness hub and a safe haven for the members of the LGBTIAQ+ community. He added sternly that, “as a theatre practitioner and member of the LGBTIA+ community I have observed how the same community can neglect to lead a healthy lifestyle thereby contributing to the deterioration of our health.”

Teddy is a classic example of what happens when a young person decides to take action steps and journey towards attaining personal goals, in this case “personal fitness goals”. The gym is currently undergoing massive facelift and will be open for business towards the end of 2018 with a whole list of fun and interactive workouts that will have your body bolting with fresh and new energy.

The high-spirited and ever motivated hustler Teddy maintains that “When in doubt…Be extra!”


Notes to the Editor:


ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.

For more information:

Facebook: Teddy B Vuitton

On social media:

Twitter: @ActivateZA

Facebook: ACTIVATE! Change Drivers

Gender-Based Violence and Human Rights Imbizo

By Rammolotsi Sothoane

The South African constitution guarantees equality for women and the LGBTQIA+ community as well as the right to freedom from violence, and access to socio-economic rights such as housing, land, health and fair labour practices.

As South Africa commemorates Human Rights Day on the 21st March, it is important to reflect on progress that has is being made to empower communities to exercise their rights as enshrined in the constitution. Notwithstanding progress that has been made through legislation focused on the promotion of redress and equality in South Africa, much still needs to be done to address the structural determinants of inequality, exclusion and fragmentation among other things.

The high and ongoing incidence of rape cases, the perpetuation of rape culture, as well as other forms of physical and psychological violence against women, girls and the LGBTIQA+ community represent a profound social challenge affecting communities across the South African society. Our efforts to build peaceful, interconnected and cohesive communities across the country must be cognizant of the dire need to address challenges facing the most vulnerable in society, centering women, children and the LGBTIQA+ community.

Gender equity and justice are fundamental human rights, guaranteed in the South African constitution. These cover political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights, including sexual and reproductive rights. Throughout history women’s rights and gender equality have been seriously undermined by patriarchal economic, trade and fiscal policies that have increased militarization, violence, poverty and inequality (United Nations Human Rights, 2014).

With respect to the afore-mentioned, it is incumbent upon to us to create enabling spaces for conversations that will ultimately propel meaningful action aimed at creating an inclusive and equitable society. ACTIVATE! Change Drivers and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation are committed to creating platforms for critical discourse on pertinent issues affecting communities across the country. The Gender-Based Violence and Human Rights Imbizo represents an effort to promote quality education on gender and human rights in an effort to build cohesive, interconnected and inclusive communities across South Africa. Imbizo (derived from the tradition of African people) are essentially solution based dialogues aimed at creating enabling spaces for people to engage and share practical solutions to challenges affecting the nation or community.


Activator Ashraf Kenny cycles for clean drinking water in Mali


16 January 2018

Re: Activator Ashraf Kenny cycles for clean drinking water in Mali

Young and taking charge!! Activator and community activist Ashraf Kenny with 21 Friends in collaboration with the Islamic Relief Worldwide NGO,will take on a 200 km cycling challenge through Andalusia, Spain to raise funds for the relief of the water scarcity conundrum in four areas of Mali. The cycling challenge takes place between the 17 – 20th January 2018 and aims to raise a total of R50000.00 which will provide water for 4800 people in dire need of clean water.

“Living in areas where there has never been a working water supply; the residents are exposed to drinking water from rivers that are a long walk away from home. These are the same rivers where they also go to wash and do their laundry. It is of dire importance that help should come now! While this is the reality in many countries across the world, the ripples of change have to start with a single droplet.”


  1. Click on this crowd funding link to make your financial contribution:
  2. Deposit or transfer your contribution into the Islamic Relief South Africa bank account. Account Details are as follows:

Account Holder: Islamic Relief SA

Bank: Standard Bank

Account Number: 005318459

Branch: Fordsburg Branch

Branch Code: 005205

Reference: Ashraf & Contct Number (e.g. Ashraf 0712345678)

  1. Visit the Islamic Relief South Africa offices at 396 Imam Haron Road, Lansdowne, Cape Town. Please indicate that you are donation towards Ashraf’s Cycle for Life.
  2. Share this information with everyone within your network (all friends, family and fools) and encourage them to donate towards the initiative.

Donations can be to whatever value you can afford and can be made until the 10th of February 2018.


Notes to the Editor:


ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.

For more information on the Cycling Initiative :

Ashraf : 0722021007


For more Information:

Ashley Roman: 071 604 3574


On social media:

Twitter: @ActivateZA

Facebook: ACTIVATE! Change Drivers


Instagram: Activate_za



Activator Makes The News

Roxanne chatted to The Big Issue about how celebrating the children’s birthdays is about not making them feel abandoned. She credits the ACTIVATE! network has helped her reflect on herself and refine her strategy. You can read the article here

ACTIVATE! Exchange: Stretching our vote beyond election time

“When youth participate in the democracy and development of their countries, then Africa will be set to claim the 21st century”, Kingsley Y. Amoako, Ghanaian-born international civil servant and diplomat who led the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Indeed public participation is a fundamental part of any democracy and allows for the strengthening and maturing of democracies.

In the South African context, our Constitution emphasises the importance of active involvement and participation by citizens. The relationship between government and citizens is very important. Ultimately government is accountable to citizens for decisions taken – at a macro level, at a community level and at an individual level.

At a macro level public accountability is exercised through oversight by public representatives in the legislative arm of government. At a community level government should consult and involve communities in discussion about projects and programmes that directly affect them. At an individual level citizens have the right to hold government to account for, and get reasons for government decisions that directly affect them.

According to the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa accountability is ‘hand in glove’ with the duty that comes with the elected privilege of serving the people and is the bedrock of true democracy and effective governance.

Without accountability and transparency, democracy is impossible. In their absence, elections and the notion of the will of the people have no meaning, and government has the potential to become arbitrary and self-serving.

It is clear, therefore, that young people as members of the South African have a role to play as active citizens who understand how to voice their interests, act collectively and hold public officials accountable. Young people are a major force in the contemporary world and are often at the forefront of global, social, economic and political developments. 

The context of youth participation forms the basis of the next ACTIVATE! Exchange, a series of events and facilitated dialogues, that take place throughout the year. They provide a platform to discuss what young people are doing to create change and what can be done to support them.

This series taking place in 3 venues in 3 provinces (Johannesburg,Gauteng; Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town, Western Cape)  on the same day will explore the question of public accountability and how young people can contribute to it. On the panel, members of the ACTIVATE! network will be joined with prominent businessmen and civil society.

Seats are limited, to book please send your name, organisation and city to Candice at exchange@localhost

How do we protect our freedoms in the context of a dispensation (government) we have chosen?

The events of 21 March 1960 were not random. They were the result of careful mobilising and a combined effort aimed at achieving a specific goal. In this case, fighting pass laws. What this combined effort did achieve was to push the government of the day to declare a state of emergency on 30 March 1960. However, on 13 April 2011, we watched as a group of police beat Andries Tatane to death during a service protest in Ficksburg and on 16 August 2012, South Africans stood by and watched as police opened fire on a group of strikers.

Reflecting on what Human Rights Day means, Activator Nqaba Mpofu writes, ‘While the events of this day also mark a fundamental attack on the pass laws of the apartheid system, the public today has a further challenge of devising peaceful yet effective means of demonstration. Maybe it is safe to admit that we as the youth, and as a nation, have been playing a waiting game in many areas pertinent to our rights.’

What happened to that spirit of solidarity of 1960? How do we protect our freedoms in the context of a dispensation we have chosen? Join ACTIVATE! in a Twitter interview with Janet Jobson on 04 April from 12pm to 1pm #ActivateEngage 

Young Person On The Move

Activator Anele Cele was recently featured in the local Standerton paper. Read what she had to say about her ACTIVATE! experience.

ERRATA: caption should read “Ms Anele Cele with Chris Meintjies (CEO: Activate Change Drivers).”

Shaping ideas that work

Sometimes when a challenge or problem forms part of our daily life, it becomes difficult to ‘see’ it differently. We end up stuck in a cycle of looking for solutions within the problem and never really get anywhere. This cycle is something that many young change drivers are confronted with in their journey of finding solutions for challenges faced by their communities.

 “The innovation tools that are introduced to Activators during train aim to open up ways of thinking. The tools stimulate unexpected ways of looking at situations and coming up with ways of looking at problems and finding solutions we have never thought of before. If we aim to address the problems we have been living with for decades, our current way of thinking won’t do it, we must cultivate new ideas.”, says Landy Wright, Programme Director

The ACTIVATE! Innovation Toolkit

A number of innovation tools have been developed for the ACTIVATE! programme. These innovation tools are designed to enhance and amplify thinking processes, to spark creative conversations, to open up new insights into old problems and to explore innovative solutions to challenges we face in South Africa. 

Here we explore some of the innovation tools Activators are exposed to during their residential training:

Archetypes –The Archetype cards contain short stories about archetypal characters – characters that represent a particular way of acting and thinking. The cards don’t tell you the names of these characters. Nor do they tell you what they look like. Each archetype is represented by a hat they might wear. This is because archetypes are not specific people, but characters you meet over and over again in stories (and in life). You’re familiar with these characters without having to know much about them. You expect them to behave in a certain way. You can use these archetypes to help you think of different ways of dealing with a challenge. Knowing about Archetypes allows you to be mindful of how you are thinking. Are you thinking like a politician, a headmaster, a business woman, an NGO worker, an artist or a satirist? How do your inner archetypes expand or limit your ways of thinking? The more you are aware of Archetypes, the more you can liberate your thinking and the more solutions you can create.

Concept cards Often when we are confronted by a problem or a situation we make an instant judgement and jump to an instant solution or conclusion. The introduction of Concept Card provides Activators with an opportunity to examine a problem or situation through different frames of reference and perspectives. The Concepts cards aim to guide our thinking about challenges that we face. During the training the example of a figure and ground card is used. The card highlights the fact that our minds are hardwired to notice the foreground issues first and not the seemingly unimportant background issues. (We notice the figure first before the ground)  But what if the background issues are the primary issues when addressing that particular challenge? That specific object card has thus enabled the mind to consider all issues when moving to a solution, both the foreground as well as the background issues, which we might have been totally overlooked before. 

Washline – a visual way of presenting ideas by literally plotting every aspect of a project idea and ‘hanging it on a wash line’. Although the Washline comes across as a linier planning tool, new ideas and steps can be added and the project plan amended and modified simply by shifting the items on the wash-line.

Object cards – using everyday objects to unpack project ideas. This encourages creative and in-depth, critical thinking. The object cards are images of everyday objects, simply things around us that we know well. But when you apply them to problem solving and solutions creation you will see these very same objects can very powerful tools for innovative thinking because they can help you break out of your usual way of thinking and see new possibilities. The cards are there to help externalise thinking by helping to focus on something outside of the mind, for example, a hosepipe in a discussion about education can be seen as being a tool where teachers pass information through to learners. This then encourages a debate about the analogy this illustrates. The idea of teaching simply being a way of ‘piping’ information from one end to another in a very linear manner. This means you can handle that thoughts can be handled like objects on a table, rather than struggling with the foggy thoughts that sometimes appear to be in our minds. Once you’ve established the habit of seeing common objects as tools to think with, you’ll start to see the whole world as your own thinking tool box.

Icon cards – The Icon cards have descriptions of iconic people. These are real people who, through their words and actions, demonstrate ways of being in the world. Some have overcome tremendous difficulties. Some have acted in unexpected ways to show great moral character. Some have contributed knowledge that has allowed us to learn more about ourselves and our universe than we had ever imagined. All of them have at least one unique and powerful lesson we can learn. These icon cards help develop the habit of recognising remarkable traits of iconic people, not just a source of inspiration, but a potential tool to think with. For example, Nelson Mandela is known changed the course of history by encouraging reconciliation. One could then can turn this into a question by asking, ‘how can an act of reconciliation help solve a problem?’

 “The feedback we get from Activators is always so positive and many find the tools relevant to their work, whether it be running their own project or in their jobs. For example, the wash-line method helps to identify “blind spots” during planning.”, says Lauren Daniels, Training Programme Officer.

As ACTIVATE! trainers, we believe that it is possible to learn how to innovate and that public innovation is a critical component in addressing the entrenched, divisions in SA.

Reflections on the Showcase

The 2014 ACTIVATE! Innovation Showcase was a resounding success with over 340 delegates coming together to celebrate their shared identity, the roles they are playing as young leaders, to share their projects and innovations and also to welcome in the latest graduates to the network.

The event added more fire to the growing shared identity of Activators from different corners of South African society from poor to rich communities, from graduates of top universities to school leavers, across all races, languages and cultures.

“The most rewarding part of the experience for me was seeing this ACTIVATE! network demonstrate an emerging solidarity, shared identity and singular voice as leaders who want a better life for themselves, their communities and their country, all in the spirit of nation building.”, says Chris Meintjes, CEO of ACTIVATE!

Click here to read Activator, Lionel Kgatla, perspective of the showcase.

Looking ahead into 2014

2013 has been an important milestone in the growth of ACTIVATE! and nothing says more about the magic that Activators bring than this quote from Landy Wright, ACTIVATE! Training Director, “I continue to be amazed and awed by the experience of   bringing together so many young people who are driving positive change in South Africa. Listening to the level and depth of their conversations, observing the intensity of engagement in the programme, noticing the impact of bringing these young people together is a continuous inspiration. There is no single highlight; there is a continuous unfolding of optimism.  The young people who come together in ACTIVATE! have insight into themselves and their social context. They are not naïve. They know the challenges. They are not easily swayed or influenced. They have resilience and they have a vision of their future and the future of this country”

Here are some highlights for 2014

  • Welcoming new Activators into the ACTIVATE! network and looking forward to the connections that will surely come from their spaces
  • The Innovation Showcase in January: this annual event is a chance for Activators to get together in one space to share, collaborate and network.
  • There are five exciting platforms that will be launched at the Showcase. Details will be shared with all Activators soon. Watch this space for more details.
  • From 2014, Activators who have completed all three training modules will be able to register for an accredited NQF 5 qualification in Community Development. Regional workshops around this qualification will be hosted across the country.

These are a few of the many things expected to happen in 2014. Of course, this list doesn’t include any of your exciting projects and initiatives. We’d love to hear from you and what you have planned. Please do email us on communications@localhost 

Now More Than Ever: Targeting Zero

ACTIVATE! was hosted by the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) at the recent International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. ARASA is a regional partnership of non-governmental organisations working together to promote a human rights approach to HIV/AIDS and TB in Southern Africa through capacity building and advocacy.

The conference was a great platform to expose ACTIVATE! to more than 7 000 delegates who included world’s leading scientists, heads of states, civil society representatives, government leaders, youth, policy makers and activists.

Some highlights from the conference:

  • Zambia’s first lady Christine Kaseba-Sata offered a keynote address that paidspecial attention be paid to women and young people in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the continent: two key population groups suffering from high rates of HIV infection.
  • Other speakers acknowledged the silence that most often accompanies discussions of men who have sex with men and sexual minorities in Africa and highlighted the need for dialogue and understanding in order to influence legislation and traditional values around this issue.
  • The Global Fund has outlined its priorities for funding in sub-Saharan Africa that make clear the importance of outreach to this key population, a position reiterated at ICASA by Mark Dybul, the Secretariat’s executive director, at a workshop organized by the Women4GF lobby group.

This year’s ICASA was an opportunity for the international community, and all Africans, to join efforts in committing to achieving an AIDS-free Africa.

ICASA Pre Youth Conference: For youth, by youth, with youth

Ahead of the 17th International AIDS Conference in AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) in December, the ICASA YouthFront will  host a youth pre-conference under the theme: “Now More Than Ever – Getting to Zero: for youth, by youth, with youth“.  Discussions will cover issues on Leadership, Accountability and Participation.

The ICASA YouthFront is a coalition of youth-serving organisations working on HIV/AIDS and Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights of Young People in Africa. The core mandate of the YouthFront is to ensure effective and active participation of young people in ICASA.

Click here to keep updated with ICASA YouthFront’s newsletter #Cape Connect

ICASA is a key event on HIV/AIDS for the African continent. The conference theme “Now More Than Ever: Targeting Zero” is derived from the UNAIDS’ vision of striving for “Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths”, but it also highlights the need to “now more than ever” maintain the commitment to ensure access to treatment for everyone in Africa irrespective of their ability to pay for such treatment. 

This year’s ICASA is an opportunity for the international community, and all Africans, to join efforts in committing to achieving an AIDS-free Africa.

The objectives of ICASA 2013 are to:

  • Serve as an advocacy platform to mobilise African leaders, partners and the community to  increase ownership, commitment and support to the AIDS response.
  • Provide a forum for exchange of knowledge, skills and best practices in Africa and from around  the globe.
  • Mobilise support to scale up evidence-based responses to HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted   infections, tuberculosis and Malaria in order to achieve the millennium development goals.
  • Act as platform to hold accountable all stakeholders to scale up and sustain the AIDS response.
  • Create opportunities to define priorities and set policy and programme agendas to enhance  mobilisation and effective utilisation of resources.

Inspiring Possibilities: 2014 Innovation Showcase

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” ? Gloria Steinem, American journalist

This year’s theme is, “Inspiring Possibilities”. 

The word, ‘inspire’ is a verb that the Oxford dictionary defines as “to fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” 

The wide of range pitches/project ideas received from more than 100 Activators are a clear indication that the possibilities for innovation are limitless. The Showcase Expo will be a physical space where all submitted work will be displayed for all to see and to spark conversations.

The 2014 Innovation Showcase is an exciting event in the ACTIVATE! calendar for many reasons. Activators from across the country get the opportunity of getting together. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on each other’s ideas and the potential of collaborating to address the most pressing issues in our various communities and the country. During the interactive sessions, Activators will get to “pick” the brains of leading individuals in the innovation sectors. We imagine a world café/ speed-updating session where a room full of people share their ideas and insights, and inspire the network to think bigger, bolder, wider, deeper; more and more innovative, creative and connected. 

All Activators will receive an official invitation to the Showcase. So please, save the dates and make sure you don’t miss it. 

Showcase dates: 17 – 18 January 2014 (16 and 19 January will be travel days)
Venue: Alpha Conference Centre, Magaliesberg

We have moved!

Just as the network of Activators has been growing steadily. So has the team that supports the network. It, therefore, made sense that a move was necessary to fit everyone comfortably. 

After looking around, Chris and the team finally settled on a gem – the Muizenberg Station House. This building is one of Cape Town’s well-known historical buildings (the station opened in 1913!) as well as a National Heritage site – marking the start of the “Historic Mile” that stretches to nearby St James.

The team has been hard at work making the space feel like home. We hope to create a space where Activators, partners and other interested parties can pass through for inspiration and a chat.

ACTIVATE! Exchange: Cape Town

Imagine what would happen if everyone worked together?
What are the game changers that will put the country on a trajectory to success?
How do we heal our woundedness as a nation?
What does it look like to show up for change?
What is the ideal South African identity?

Asking the right questions that will allow South Africa to unleash its full potential, was the central theme that youth leaders and stakeholders from the private,public and non-governmental sectors grappled with at the ACTIVATE! Exchange, the discussion forum of the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, a youth leadership network, at the District Six Museum in Cape Town on 08 October 2013.

“We think we’re no longer in a state of war just because there aren’t bullets flying everyday but we are in a state of war – a state of psychological war – in which my identity has been disposed. We have to spend time making the correct diagnosis otherwise we will continue to sweep up the water while the tap remains on,” said Tumi Jonas, currently completing an Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Cape Town as well as the founder and secretary of ONE PATH AFRICA, a global peer-to-peer leadership network.

As a second-year Activator, Jonas is one of the growing body of young leaders that form the ACTIVATE! network that was founded in 2012 to identify and equip a critical mass of entrepreneurial and socially-aware young leaders between the ages of 20 – 30 with the skills and support that will enable them to become the change-makers needed to secure the country’s future success.

A core challenge to all South Africans, and the youth in particular, will be to face the issues of our wounded society with honesty so that we can reach an understanding of the structural reasons for marginalisation and then begin to build an inclusive identity based on a sense of solidarity, belonging and purpose, rather than on race or class, said David Harrison, the Chief Executive Officer of the DG Murray Trust and former director national HIV prevention programme, loveLife. 

“The ACTIVATE! Exchange affords us a platform to table the critical issues and to kick start a process to formulate strategies and touch points to address these collectively,” says Christ Meintjes, Chief Executive Officer of Activate! 

“Facing some of these issues may be challenging and even painful –  the idea of our collective woundedness and sense of feeling small in the face of each other, for example became a key discussion point yesterday in response to the question of  “why are we not standing up”  –  but it did equally allow us start formulating positive responses, and in this case, to  conclude that there is a potential for power in the vulnerability of woundedness because it opens up the ability to connect.” 

Among the speakers at the Cape Town ACTIVATE! Exchange were: 

David Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the DG Murray Trust, who founded the Health Systems Trust, a non-government organization supporting health services development in South Africa and headed up LoveLife, a national HIV prevention programme for young people before joining DGMT. He also started the South African Health Review of Health and Health Care in South Africa, which is published every year. 

Zamandlovu Ndlovu, communications specialist with the National Planning Commission (NPC) responsible for the external communication of the NPC’s work and the National Development Plan’s progress. She is a patron for the Citizen ZA movement and an honorary member of the Golden Keys Society. 

Miranda Simrie, Director at KS & Partners Management Consulting who has worked in economic and social development, SMME support, and enterprise development for more than 10 years. She has been credited for conceptualizing and developing the 2012 Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week and has been recognized for her role as Principal Researcher and co-author of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2011 South African report.

Zikhona Tumi Jonas, a second-year Activator, psychology honours student as well as founder and secretary of ONE PATH AFRICA global peer-to-peer leadership network.

Akhona Mbenyana, a second- year Activator with extensive experience in the field of sustainability and environmental education, training and development. He has worked for SANCCOB, Omni HR Consulting, and has volunteered for organizations like Greenpeace Africa and Climate Action Partnership (CAP). 

Cindy-Lee Cloete, a second-year Activator and Environmental Education Director at Nature’s Valley Trusthas a National Diploma in Nature Conservation from Cape Peninsula University of Technology and a passion for Environmental Education.

YOU(TH) can change things!

How you can help? We are looking for Activators who are willing to be our ambassadors and help with the recruitment campaign, either by inviting other young people in your networks to apply, be available for media interviews (and be ready to speak about what Activators are doing in your region), putting up posters, handing out flyers, send us a short video clip telling us how ACTIVATE! has helped shape your project or idea or what connections you have made with other Activators (use your cellphone! Nothing fancy required). If you can think, it will probably help.

We would like to grow the network and take it to a higher level in 2014. Please drop us an email on communications@localhost and let us know how you can help with recruitment in your region.

Watch our social networks for more information!

The Activate Cafe!

Activators had the opportunity to mingle and chat at the Activate Cafe, where different stations were set up with the resources available for Activators through the Junction, information on how to host Exchanges, what Switch is all about and how Connect can help kick start conversations amongst Activators with similar interests.

Inspiring, Connecting and Driving Change!

12th – 15th August 2013, Alpha Conference Centre, Gauteng

Activators came in from all around the country equipped with our amazing high energy and forward thinking.  The main objectives for the two-day event were to provide a space where we could reconnect with each other and start exploring ways of driving change as a group rather than only individual projects and ideas. 

The event was a mixture of break-away sessions and opportunities to ignite, listen and organize real action; and the opportunity and privilege of listening to three inspiring change-drivers:   Sharon Rutto of Ushahidi from Kenya; Paul Mason an expert in Digital Campaigning and Community Organising in South Africa and Australia and Yemi Adamolekun, Enough is Enough from Nigeria.

All three speakers set a stimulating tone with their success stories of how YOUNG people have used the power of social media, innovation and courage to raise awareness around pertinent issues. Also how they have managed to shape those ideas into successful organisations with global appeal. And most importantly we were enthused by all three of them in showing us that youth have the power to use non-violent protest as a way to change the conversation in SA.  In typical Activate! style, discussions led into awesome activities that involved mapping ourselves physically on a massive ground map of SA so we could get bird’s eye view of where we all operation from and making clay.   It was exciting to find common connections and our united voice, allowing us to take ownership of the network and bring our experiences to the conversations. We were encouraged to ‘co-create’ and collaborate through finding links and ideas. The processes used saw ideas such as the beginning of the A! campaign and the idea of an Activate! Charter with basic principles. 

Judging by some of the feedback received, the event was definitely a success and those who couldn’t make it were sorely missed. We connected with global players, who are innovating to build democracy and accountability around the world. It was an awesome opportunity to collectively move to the next level of driving change!

Hey!  And guess what? The @ActivateZA Twitter handle was BUZZING with updates from Activators via #ActivateChange, at some point we were even trending on Twitter. How cool is that?

Ideas Put Into Action

Activator Thabiso Hlongwane was featured in the Sowetan. He talks about putting ideas into action. To read the full article click here.

Mandela Day: Protein, vegetables and love

The head office team went to Home from Home in Khayelitsha as part of the Mandela Day initiative. We were split up into teams and went to visit 7 homes. We went armed with soup, rolls and some desert treats.

The team was warmly welcomed by the staff from Home from Home and we were given more information about the organization. Chris brought his family along to do their bit on Mandela Day. Althea also brought her puppy which got all the love and attention from the kids. 

Home from Home is an NPO that provides support and supervised community-based foster care for; orphaned, abused, neglected and vulnerable children within the community. They have a small unit family structure headed up by house mothers or parents with no more than six children. If you would like to find out more about the organisation you can go to their website 

The day was a success and it is good to be involved with other organisations doing good within their communities.

To view more pictures you can got to our Facebook Page.