Name: Thembelani Gumede
Province: Kwa-Zulu Natal
Facebook: Thando Timberlen
Twitter handle: @Timberlen
Instagram: Thando Timberlen
Write a short blurb (summary) about yourself. In no more than three sentences.
Thembelani is a young leader passionate about community development and the education of the African child. Currently, in his community, he strives to be a role model for those around him by participating actively in changing the ills he is faced with.
Why did you decide to be part of the ACTIVATE! Network?
I noticed how most young people take things for granted and decided to act by involving myself in different projects in and around my community specifically geared on education and caring for those that are orphaned.
What did you enjoy the most about training?
I enjoyed three sessions in particular namely: The State of the Nation, ACTIVATedTalk, and Socio-economic engagement. I found these sessions to be highly interactive and they helped me a great deal in refining my public speaking and discourse skills.
How has training helped you or changed your perspective?
Since returning from training, I have not had a moment to sit down and be idle. I constantly have something to do mostly geared towards being of valuable use to my community. I am passionate about children from the community I reside in, to the extent that I have dedicated my life to being an aide to orphans and children of school going age.
Have you been inspired and been the inspiration in your community and those you interact with?
I believe so, yes. Most people in my community consider me to be a young beacon of hope. I have started a Kids Club where children come into to do their homework because I have observed how some of these children come from child headed households and some have single parents. Now, because of the food question they are out all day hustling and as a result of this, there isn’t someone dedicated to help them with their homework.
What do you think the role of the youth is in developing the country?
The youth needs to have a solid opinion on issues of national importance, that way the powers that be can take us seriously.
What is your field of interest?
Education and community development.
Now that you have completed training, how do you plan to keep active in the network?
I have collaborated with other community based organisations such as Zoe-life and Kurisanani with whom I am now doing my volunteer work with in Limpopo for the benefit of children who need a hand up. By engaging young people in art activities, I have been able to reach out to a lot of people in my community. On the 16 June this year we will have a youth event to discuss pertinent issues that relate to us the youth.
What are your plans for this year?
To finish my volunteer internship in May and go back to my community in KZN to implement all that I have learned. On the 27 April 2018 in Limpopo, we will be having an event and I would love the support of activators in and around the province.
Is social media an effective way by which you can receive communication from us?
Yes it is.
Additional information you would like us to know?
I thank the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers programme and Activators at large for being so instrumental in my life’s journey.