What’s your passion?
My passion is in lobbying and advocacy. Lobbying for people to sit up and take notice and act and advocating for structural and legislative changes. This takes shape in different ways, my passion requires a talent to organise people and to motivate them to connect to the issue.
Why do you believe in the work that you do?
Because it is the elevation of voices that could easily otherwise be involved. It says all things are connected and that privilege should not dictate who gets an ear. My work connects people in ways that would otherwise impossible. I do this work selfishly; because want my kids to inherit a better country. I do it because it feels good to know that change is possible if you put your back into it
How do you connect with Activators and those around you?
I prefer physical spaces to connect with Activators and people around me. I must say though that I find that speak with my people virtually purely because time and space does not allow for physical spaces all the time. This is not to say the connection is not genuine. I have be part of successful projects that were started and planned virtually and electronic mediums.
Share with us what you do, how many people you touch and how long you have been at it.
Mocha Panda: This an initiative that was born in 2012(while I was part of year1 of the Activate! programme) when I saw the need for young people to be part of policy making through consultation. My belief was that young people should not wait to be asked what needs to happen but should organise themselves and submit what they see as an alive National Youth Policy for their on development. This happened successfully in 2013. Over 500 youths were part of this initiative.
Mocha Panda has since grown to be a conversation driver that disseminates information to young people and elevates their voices. It has the following of 434 people though we do not have constituencies. Currently we are running advocating for young people to register to vote and to stand as candidates in the upcoming election.
How has ACTIVATE! Supported you so far in driving this change?
Being part of the network has allowed my missions to happen nationally. The incredible connections have allowed me to grown in my approach of things. You have got to love the project planning model! The network has carried me and inspired me when I thought, the magnitude of what I wanted to achieve was too big.
What do you think is the priority in setting the agenda for our country in the next 5 years?
Economics is priority. I have heard people say education but I think that every single one of us is being educated by life one way or the other but economically our people are at a back foot. In speaking of economic, you speak of land and mineral right. I must insist that land and economy are same thing.
How do you motivate yourself?
By reminding myself that possibility of things to be better always exists. I can be a better person, I can make my immediate surroundings better. Other young people recognising the work that I do through Mail and Guardian Top200 in 2014 made me say ; “Thyini!, so I am making it better.”
Final message to young people?
Inkunzi isematholeni! We are leaders of today. Every day we wake up, it is an opportunity for us to connect and mission to our vision.