Twelve Years of Youth Empowerment: The Journey and Impact of ACTIVATE! – By Ramadimetja Makgeru

Theme: The work of the organisation (ACTIVATE!) – covers a programme.

Synopsis: Celebrating a decade of moulding young leaders, this article will trace the journey of ACTIVATE! from its inception to its current form. Through inspiring stories, such as the young woman from Limpopo and the various challenges and milestones faced by ACTIVATE!, the article will shed light on the organisation’s commitment to building a network of change drivers, nurturing leadership, and stimulating innovative approaches to societal issues.

Twelve Years of Youth Empowerment: The Journey and Impact of ACTIVATE! – By Ramadimetja Makgeru

“Remember the times we used to dream about making it big from the township?” We all have those dreams, neh? And over the past twelve years, ACTIVATE! has been the wind beneath the wings of so many of our dreams. The winds of change started blowing from the very heart of our townships, reaching every corner of South Africa. Let’s jive into the story of ACTIVATE! and the countless youth they’ve touched.

From Humble Kasi Beginnings
Every powerful movement starts with a vision. ACTIVATE!’s birth wasn’t in the grand halls of Johannesburg or the elite spaces of Cape Town. Nah, fam. It started with the essence of young leaders, inspired by the raw spirit of Mzansi. They believed in the power of us, the youth, to drive change and challenge the status quo. Their core belief? The gold isn’t in the cities—it’s in us, the young people. And in the heartbeats of our communities.

Let the Numbers Talk
Sure, the journey wasn’t all about the glam and hype. ACTIVATE! had its fair share of challenges—funding, naysayers, and the evolving socio-political climate of South Africa. But like a Gqom track turning up the heat, they made every setback into a comeback, using adversity to refine their mission. In the 12 years, ACTIVATE! has mentored over 4,500 young leaders and has been the catalyst for more than 600 community upliftment projects. Those aren’t just numbers; they’re testaments to transformed lives and empowered dreams.

Deep Dive into ACTIVATE!
Twelve years later, ACTIVATE! is more than just an organisation—it’s a movement, a culture. They’ve woven a rich tapestry of young leaders across provinces, backgrounds, and disciplines. From tech innovators in Johannesburg to social activists in the Northern Cape, the ripple effects are undeniable. The motto? “We don’t just talk; we ACTIVATE!”. Beyond the success stories lies ACTIVATE!’s modus operandi: rooted in community, driven by passion. Through leadership programs, mentorships, workshops, and direct community engagement, they’ve been the cornerstone for budding leaders. They’re not just about ideas; they’re about execution—turning vision into reality right in our kasis.

Looking Ahead, But Rooted in Today
So, what’s next for ACTIVATE!? Well, as Amapiano takes over our airwaves and TikTok trends shape our dance moves, ACTIVATE! is pulsating with the zeitgeist, forging partnerships, and embracing modern platforms to resonate with today’s youth. ACTIVATE! remains in rhythm with the changing times—drawing lessons from both current global trends and the undying spirit of our local communities. ACTIVATE! focuses on harnessing our authentic South African narratives, ensuring we tell our stories our way.

A Call to Our Youth
Countless stories and immeasurable impact—ACTIVATE! isn’t just an organisation; it’s the heartbeat of South Africa’s young change-makers. Their journey is a testament that with passion, vision, and action, the youth can and will shape the future of this nation. As we relish in the tales of the past 12 years, it’s vital to remember that the story of change isn’t done being written. ACTIVATE! is a platform, an opportunity. Let’s take a moment to celebrate the beats of the past. And here’s a challenge to you: What will your impact look like in the next decade?

Heita da! Let’s take charge. How about sharing your change-driven stories below? Or, if you’re looking for ways to dive in, connect with ACTIVATE! and be part of the next chapter of South African youth empowerment.


About the author:

Ramadimetja is a freelance writer deeply committed to social justice. She uses her writing as a form of activism to amplify the voices of grassroots leaders and community members. She aims to produce insightful and thought-provoking work, often shedding light on underrepresented issues and challenges facing marginalised communities.

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