By Paul Mabote
(Writer, Poet, Creative, Learner, Observer)
Young people who have gone through the ACTIVATE Change Drivers programme have proven to possess an increased sense of social awareness, and a stronger urge to implement positive change in their different communities across South Africa. These Change Drivers transform the lives of those around them daily with their remarkable work through NPO’s, business ventures, artistic expression, volunteerism and social campaigns, among others. This article shines the spotlight on six Activators from across the country, and the different community projects they have planned for Mandela Day 2019, which is celebrated on 18th July.
Paddling over the age gap
2019 Activator Timothy Sibongiseni Mtsweni is the founder of Top Shayela Rides. His innovative company manufactures and sells quadricycles in the township of Mzinoni in Bethal, Mpumalanga. What is even more amazing is the idea that he came up with to celebrate Mandela Day with his community. Timothy is offering young children free rides on his quadricycles to visit elderly residents throughout Mzinoni, and to hand them small gifts. He has also organized a community photoshoot on Mandela Day which will include land and drone shots, as well as studio shots depicting residents of Mzinoni riding on his quadricycles. The objectives of his initiative he says, are to take care of the elderly and to shape the characters of the young children.
If the shoe fits
In Mankweng, Polokwane- Limpopo, resides Activator Khomotso Matlala. Matlala, together with his colleagues at Organ of Hope NPO, are running a Mandela Day project that seeks to solve a serious social issue. Many young children are going to school without proper school shoes, due to the circumstances of their disadvantaged backgrounds. Through their initiative, Matlala and his team are aiming to collect 1000 pairs of school shoes and donate them to underprivileged learners in the Capricorn and Sekhukhune districts, between 18th and 31st July 2019. Matlala says “we need to dress all underprivileged learners in the two districts by the end of the year so as to restore their dignity and to support their academic journey in as far as having proper school uniform is concerned. We also aim to work hand in hand with the Limpopo department of basic education in doing away with the pit-toilet systems so that our schools can be kept safe and hygienic.”
It was written
Creative writing is something which Mpumelelo Mtjekelo is very passionate about. The Bloemfontein based Activator has organized an event on the 20th of July to share knowledge and skills with other young people pertaining to poetry and creative writing. The event will take place at Motheo TVET College. Mtjekelo says that she hopes that this will bring forth a common ground in poetry among the young people, while offering a platform for an open mic session. She says that among the contributors in the initiative are NYDA and Motheo TVET College. “The aim is to engage with the creative writing community and find out what their current challenges and enquiries are. To recognize different styles of writing and relate to other writers’ written pieces.”
Activators, Victor Ntsala and Nkosana Mbatha have an event taking place in Kroonstad in the Free State where they will be commemorating Mandela Day by doing acts of Ubuntu. Among their partners are YEE Foundation, Hope for Africa, Red Cross, Future Modelling Agency, Lemohang Youth Development and Social Development SEDA. They will be donating shoes to four schools in their area as well as distributing food parcels in 3 different wards.
Kimberly based Activator Lebogang Ditsebe is the manager of All Access Resource Youth Hub, a station powered by ACTIVATE! Change Drivers. For his 67 minutes, he has organized a short march and a dialogue session in his community to come up with solutions to Gender Based Violence and the promotion of moral values.
A big hand to all these young leaders who continue to wave the ACTIVATE! flag high and to be facilitators of positive change in their respective communities.