5 mins with Fernando

What’s your passion? Realising my potential by bringing about change in my community, especially working with young people.

What change are you keen to drive? After my background with drugs and gangsterism, which led me to jail for seven years, I am trying to reinvent my community, revitalise it. I want to work with young people, give them skills and guide them away from choosing gangsterism and substance abuse.

How are you driving change?

  • ‘Serve Is’ campaign, which is an awareness and youth volunteer movement
  • A golfing project, using a vacant piece of land close to our community for young people to learn and play golf
  • Finding solutions to the wetland / waste problems in my community
  • An E-block community resource centre.

How has ACTIVATE! supported you so far in driving this change? ACTIVATE! connected me with a lot of like-minded people leading to work opportunities and working together. A highlight was learning how to run community dialogues and getting different people to participate.

What do you think is the priority in setting the agenda for our country over the next five years? Being informed, educated, knowing our rights and holding government accountable in a non-violent way. We are so privileged to have an opportunity to become skilled and educated; our parents didn’t.

How do you motivate yourself? I set myself reasonable goals and timeframes and work on my personal issues.

Final comment? One of the hardest things is not getting too attached to and depressed by social issues. My vision for South Africa is too see young people standing up and becoming role models in our country. Be yourself, be real and pursue your dreams.

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