Name: Isasiphinkosi Mdingi
Province: Eastern Cape
Facebook: Isa Mdingi
Twitter handle: @Endinakokulue
Write a short blurb (summary) about yourself. In no more than three sentences.
Isasiphinkosi is a young driven activist and leader who is passionate about community work, children rights, human rights, gender issues and social justice. Her long standing interest in striving to alleviate poverty, gender oppression and liberation of women is premised from a lived experience. She always aims for the impossible and works hard to achieve, a risk taker and does not sell herself short.
Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?
I wanted to grow in leadership as a young leader and activate was offering that great platform for me. Also, I wanted to be among other great leaders and learn from them about how they go about making an impact in their own societies.
What did you enjoy the most about training?
I enjoyed the interaction with other recipients, the insightful discussions we would have. Three highlights for me in the training was in module 1 doing wash line, module 2 learning about different leadership styles and module 3 talking about Africa.
How has training helped you or changed your perspective?
The training has helped me on how I engage and finding solutions to problems as I love solving problems. It has changed my perspective when it comes to working with communities and using resources one have.
Have you been inspired and been the inspiration in your community and those you interact with?
I have been inspired by quite a number of phenomenal women whom I met before and during my Activate training to name a few Aphiwe Ntlemeza, Yolokazi Mfutho and Sibongile Tontsi. Their work inspires me to do good. I have also been inspired by the learners I always come across when I visit their schools eager to change their background as a result some of them I mentor and are now pursuing their degrees/diplomas in different fields.
What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?
South African youth has a huge role to play in the development of the country, firstly, they are the ones who are to shape the future of the country for the current generation and generations to come. Secondly, young people constitute a large number in the population of the country and are mostly affected by diseases, unemployment and poverty. Lastly, it is now upon them to deliver the country to the economic liberation it needs.
What is your field of interest?
Gender, education and development.
How are you driving change in your community/How would you like to drive change in your community?
I have been involved in the fight against gender based violence and rape culture more especially while I was still at the University of Fort Hare. Through United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Youth Advisory Panel) I have been actively involved in making sure young people what are Sexual Reproductive Health Rights. In addition, on my personal capacity have been doing career guidance and mentoring to high school learners from disadvantaged communities.
Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?
I have been active through attending programs organized by Activate! like the A! engagement that was held in Port Elizabeth.
What are your plans for this year?
This year I am planning to do my masters overseas if I do get a scholarship, continue with my community work in helping grade 12 learners in their journey post-matric.
Is social media an effective way by which you can receive communication from us?
Yes, it has been effective for me so far as I constantly receive emails and see updates on the Facebook group.
Additional information you would like us to know?
I will be leaving the country going to the United States of America, I have been invited by the Department of State to receive an award as an Emerging Young Leader I will be joining other young leader from 9 different other countries in Washington, DC.