What is your passion?
I’m passionate about law, especially principles such as equality, and literature.
What are you excited about lately?
The fact that I’ve just established a student chapter of Constitutional Literacy and Service Initiative. And of course my published novel.
Share with us what you do, how many people you touch and how long you have been at it?
I’m a human rights activist – a member of the University of the Free State Centre for Human Rights and I work with the communities around me to advance constitutional literacy. I’ve reached so many people and because of the lectures, people are becoming increasingly aware of their constitutional rights. I also touch a lot of people through my literature.
Why do you believe in the work that you do?
Because I can reach as many people as possible and at the same time have a positive impact on their lives.
How do you connect with Activators and those around you?
We invite one another when we have projects. Because most of us are studying we hardly get time to be together but as long as one of us has an event or needs help in organising one we drop everything and avail ourselves.
How has ACTIVATE! supported you so far in driving this change?
In terms of networking and mobilising people behind my work, ACTIVATE! has taught me a lot. Also because of the contacts I’ve made ever since I joined the programme I’m able to pick up a call and I know there’s someone as passionate as I am who’s willing to help.
What do you think is the priority in setting the agenda for our country in the next 5 years?
Education with an entrepreneurial mindset. What we are grappling with currently is the unemployment and, through education alone, I don’t see us combating this social ill. Employment opportunities have largely shrunk leaving thousands of qualified graduates with no prospects of employment. But you see, with an entrepreneurial mind set spearheaded by education itself, we’d stop being dependent on the labour market that has proven that it won’t accommodate every graduate. But rather create employment for both ourselves and those around us.
How do you motivate yourself?
I look up to people who are doing great things out there and I ask myself: what is it this that this guy is doing that I’m not? From there on, I take out some of the key attributes behind their success. It being work rate or patience. I also look backward a bit and there I see thousands of people looking up to me and I tell myself should I fail, I’d have failed thousands of people looking up to me and probably motivating themselves through me.
Final message to young people?
Unity and hard work is key. All our problems are going to be solved if we work together and equally put an effort to build the kind of a country we envisage as young people. The one we’ll lead in the near future. One other thing is patience which is something we lack as young people. We want things to happen and happen now, to an extent that for us to be heard we need to torch a building or two. But with patience and dealing with our problems in a civilised manner there’s bound to be a prosperous future ahead for us.
Ntshala is a 2014 Activator from the Free State.