By Action Sekata
The Activators who represented ACTIVATE! at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam done so brilliantly. The influence of the network was felt and inspiring stories were shared with the world. Gratitude to these Activators who represented the network wonderfully.
Activators gave their all in making their presence known and recognised by the 18 000 delegates of the 22nd international AIDS Conference. The ACTIVATE! delegates had various responsibilities, others were deployed as volunteers at the conference to assist with day to day operations, others were part of Global Youth Village, which is a space where young people all over the world gather and share their youthful projects.
As the beast in Youth activism and change driving, ACTIVATE! was invited to be among the panelist on the topic of Global youth activism. The network voice was the articulate and well spoken Yolokazi Mfutho, 2016 activator from the historic province which gave democratic South Africa two Presidents, the Eastern Cape. ACTIVATE! was chosen among hundreds represented organisations at the headquarters of Youth Against AIDS. Wowing to debates was how Yolokazi shared the constructive character of her fellow Activators. “ACTIVATE! is a network where young people are not only anti-government but they work together with government and those in power to provide solutions rather than simply complaining.”
EL J Sebeo and Kholofelo Baloyi were the ACTIVATE! face in the Global village connecting and making networks with the youth global constituency. It was in this space were one can comfortably conclude that the future is promisingly bright. All the dreams of the desired future were perfectly practiced in this space, the energy and youthful innovations were shared here. Tolerance, equal and unjudging atmosphere was the livelihood of the area. Elias Sebeo had this to say, “The Global Village provided an opportunity to learn more about the challenges faced by young people in different countries and regions of the world. It challenged one’s ability and own beliefs to accepting that we now have a global character and identity to embrace. This is a space where everyone was free to be themselves without fear of being judged. Activator Kholofelo Baloyi, a calm thinker and an active activist in the African continent adds profound remarks from Sebeo’s observation. “Global Village was insightful in many ways. It was a space where youth all over the world united over same challenges with bright ideas and sounds thoughts. It was an area where one felt really presented. A space for young people by young people who understand the world they live in and provide direction on how to deal relevantly with those problems.
Matlhogonolo Tlhomelang was the ACTIVATE! agent at the Namibian first lady conversation with young people. The first lady shared, in detail, the need of parents to come to the level of understanding languages and methodologies of youth, adamant that failure to do so may lead to youth not understanding the message, no matter how valuable it is. ” The first lady shared realistic approach in communicating with youth, if message are miles apart from young people way of doing things then we won’t get anywhere”
Nozipho Zungu was a permanent feature and ambassador at youth Against AIDS headquarters. At all times this intellectual whom we pride ourselves with, wore her pan-Africanist lenses and provided protective membrane to African continent and blackness. Justice will be to quote her in communication with executives of UNAIDS. “UNAIDS and allies must stop giving HIV/AIDS a black face. When you read and view all mediums of communications, the face behind HIV/AIDS is black. This is not an innocent action but a propaganda to instill the idea that HIV/AIDS is blackish. If we continue this way, our objectives of finding cure won’t be realised because we distorted and operate on hidden agenda.
All the Activators present at this conference were overwhelmed and could not stop thanking ACTIVATE! Change Drivers for investing in them and dedicating resources to assist them in making the Amsterdam conference a problem-free experience.