By Selokela Molamodi
Since the wave of Covid-19 swept through the globe, there has been many questions regarding human rights and freedom. April 2021 marks exactly 27 years since this country stepped into a new dispensation. There is no lie in the fact that this democracy has had many turbulences and positive moments. From fighting corrupt leaders, fighting for free higher education to winning the World Cup and winning Miss Universe – it is very safe to say that we have seen it all. Out of everything we have achieved so far, there is no denying that the youth of this country is the backbone of its very freedom.
The community also plays a very important role in protecting human rights and thus protecting freedom. Over the years, the best way to do this has been through activism. The establishment and existence of platforms like the ACTIVATE! Academy has, in many ways, kept the spirit of activism alive. It has helped to empower many young people to take their role in society very seriously. This was the case with Diesel Masia, now Magistrate D. Masia.
Having graduated from the University of Venda as an attorney in 2013, Diesel believed that it was in his best interest to move to Gauteng. “I have always been an outspoken person so I knew I had to do more than practice,” he explains. A colleague introduced him to ACTIVATE! and he has not looked back since then. For Diesel, it was more than just about being qualified. It was about learning more about entrepreneurship and growing his independence. For an extrovert like him, it was of course about meeting new people during his intake in Durban.
“When I came back from Durban, I knew I had to hit the ground running. I decided to open a law firm because I had no aspirations of working for someone else,” he emphasises. After running a one-man show for almost three years, things finally opened up for him. When asked about what kept him going during the very tough times, he explained that it was the tools and values he had received from the ACTIVATE! programme that helped to shape his already-loud personality.
As of January 2021, Diesel has been holding down the position of Magistrate in Mamelodi. He simply bursts into a chuckle every moment he recalls that it is now his job. “I wake up at 4am in the morning and I look forward to go to work. Every single case matters because I know that everyone’s rights deserve to be protected.” His passion for people has, in many ways, informed his decision to be a member of the judiciary. Magistrate Masia has also stated that he understands the power he and his colleagues hold in ensuring that freedom is not compromised, even in the slightest way. “Magistrates hardly say anything in the media, however, I felt the need to share a few words so that other Activators will be empowered,” he concluded.
It is individuals like Magistrate Masia that make the fight for freedom worthwhile. Nothing is as inspiring as seeing influential people be the change that we all wish we could be. All this requires exposure to the right platforms like ACTIVATE!. A wise man once said: “nothing works if nothings works.” This simply means that if we do not put in the work, nothing will ever work or change in our favour. In the end, the legacy of freedom lies in the elimination of the very heavy fight to protect human rights.