5 Minutes With Liza

What’s your passion?

As a photojournalist, I am passionate about people and for South Africa to celebrate each other and our differences, to work together and improve lives, especially in Kempton Park – where I’m born and bred.

My passion area in community work is fundraising. I have to say I really enjoy that, but also being part of the events and helping plan the events that we host at the organisation I’m part of, Helpende Hand.

What change are you keen to drive?

Education, community upliftment, poverty, environmental awareness and charity.

I want to encourage the celebration of our history and who we are through culture. I feel like we sometimes lose that a bit, you know, and it’s important because we’re all South Africans and we all have different cultures, and people tend to stick to their own culture rather than exploring other cultures.

In my community work with Helpende Hande, I’ve seen a huge gap between people that live in Glen Marais, Tembisa and Bredell and a mind shift needs to happen. People need to be aware that it’s not ‘us and them‘, it’s we all work together to improve our lives.

How are you driving change?

As a volunteer at Helpende Hande, we educate, empower and uplift communities through various interventions and cultural enrichment activities. We have a mobile theatre that we take to old age homes and screen traditional Afrikaans films. We also collect books and host stationery drives and distribute what we collect across our network. Using my professional skills, I create multimedia packages for the organisation, showcasing what we do these are used at our conferences.

In addressing environmental affairs, I initiated a mini-recycling platform where we encourage people to recycle.

At my full time job, a company called V2 Publishers, we launched a free newspaper for women in Pretoria called ‘Ladies’ about empowering and educating women. I take photographs and write stories for the publication. I also work part-time for a student website called www.studentvillage.co.za.  

How has ACTIVATE! supported you so far in driving this change?

ACTIVATE! has really opened a lot of doors for me in terms of community development and encouraging me to branch out of my comfort zone. I also feel that it has opened me to more exposure, especially in my career.  The journey has led my involvement with Helpende Hand. Through this, I’ve learnt new skills and can definitely say that I am constantly pushing towards new heights. Last year, we (Kempton Park) were voted the best branch in Gauteng

Networking with fellow Activators has also proved very beneficial and inspiring. Meeting people from all walks of life has been amazing. We support and learn from each other.  

How do you motivate yourself?

I set myself goals and follow steps to achieve them. I make sure that I take every opportunity that comes my way, and I never say no. Some people say that’s a bad thing, I say it’s a good thing. I read something that says, “Never say no, even if you don’t have time, you will figure out how to do it later.”

Final comment?

Many feel where they come from dictates their future, they don’t realise the information that is out there and what they can achieve if they look for opportunities. People need to believe that they can rise above their circumstances.

Youth also need to focus on gaining work experience. Many believe when you get a qualification you’ll get a job, but the market is saturated with graduates. Do an internship during the holidays, even if it’s unpaid, just do something.


PROVINCE:  Gauteng

MUNICIPAL DISTRICT: Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality

Activator since: 2013



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