What drove you to be an Activator?
I was involved in several volunteer community groups in my locality, and I found ACTIVATE! to be an organization that encompasses and embraces the goals and initiatives of a person who is looking to help and influence progressive change. I was fortunate to be part of an intake of strong, passionate, energetic, and compassionate young people who are working independently and together to create positive social change in South Africa.
How long have you been doing it for?
3 years, I joined ACTIVATE! in 2013
Tell us about your involvement and the experiences/ results you have had?
For the most part of my life as an Activator, I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and being part of a cause that strives to improve my community and country. I am always inspired when I feel my help is going towards a rewarding cause. ACTIVATE! has supported me in many ways, the most recent was being selected to form part of the first group to do the Community Development Course. This is one of the programs which I believe ACTIVATE! outshines itself. The course provided me with the necessary theoretical knowledge to arm myself in tackling development. It is also proved to me that the network cares even beyond year one.
What are your thoughts on Active Citizenship?
We must be active participants in our democratic country. There will be no significant improvement in the conditions of our people and their struggle until we fundamentally change direction by being active citizens who shape the future of their communities.
Do you think that the voices of the youth are being heard?
Yes, slowly young people’s voices are beginning to be audible in the corridors of power. Young people are starting to participate in matters that affect their future. The recent #FeesMustFall campaign serves as an example of this participation.
Do you think that the youth is doing enough?
We are getting there, even though the majority of youth feel content with being critics of the status quo without applying sufficient action for an alternative. I believe that we must assume our role of being solution providers because by complaining only we will not yield results.
How accountable do you think municipalities should be for lack of service delivery?
The immediate task of every municipality is to deliver services and if any municipality is failing this task they must redefine their mission. Because of this, they should be completely accountable.
What was the Walala Wasala experience like for you?
The experience was awesome. Learning from influential young people who possess amazing intellectual prowess and discussing how young people can be capacitated in order for them to be self-reliant was really beneficial.
I know that the message shared will be beneficial for all South African youth, so I really urge everyone to watch the show.
What topic did you cover?
Skilling young people
What were the results?
We had young people in business, government and NGOs and the collective agreement we reached was that skilling young people will help curb the scourge of poverty and that skilling young people should be the major focus of government.
If there is anything you could have changed in the experience what would it be and why?
Having input from the private sector in the discussion of skills development would have been very beneficial because I feel that the provincial corporate citizens and captains of the industries have distanced themselves when coming to the issues of skilling young people even though they have a great role to play.
Why would you encourage youth to be future Activators?
I am certain that with the ACTIVATE! program they will learn a great deal of really interesting and useful skills and tools to empower themselves and their communities. It will be the most intense, interesting, challenging and awesome experience of their lives. The experience one gains in the first year will be a turning point in their lives and career. It will change and develop views on the world, yourself, and your future.
How are YOU going to continue contributing towards the activation of change in your community?
Because ACTIVATE! stations are at close proximity with young people out there, I will use them as platforms to network with other Activators to create discussions, lobby and advocate for change. The enemy of the people is inequality and its cronies. That will be the centre of my fight. That’s where we should direct our rage, if we are talking about and wanting real change.
Action Setaka is a 26 year old Community Development Practitioner and has been an Activator since 2013.