A SHIFT NEEDS TO HAPPEN IN SOUTH AFRICA, AND IT NEEDS OUR GENERATION TO LEAD IT.
r e v i r D e g n a h
C a f o y e n r u o J
E want to start a national conversation. A conversation about who we are, where we’re going, and how we can collectively build a positive future as South Africans.
As Activators we have already begun this conversation within our network of over 700 young people. We’ve come together from rural villages and major cities, from privileged suburbs and marginalised townships. We are from different racial groups, have different political affiliations, and different religious beliefs. But we’ve come together to have the tough conversations, not ignore them. And by doing so to find the power, passion and capacity to collectively drive positive change in South Africa.
During the rest of this year we will be producing a series of supplements like this one, to share tools and conversations that have shaped us and our ability to drive positive change. Today we want to start having that conversation with you! Driving change isn’t easy: it takes courage, commitment and the ability to motivate ourselves every day! The starting point for this journey is to get to know ourselves better, and learn about what drives us, what we value, and what our big goals are for ourselves and the country.
HE Activate network was started on the premise that there are already thousands of extraordinary young South Africans who wake up everyday committed to making a difference.
If we can build our capacity and connect through a purpose-driven identity, we can be the architects of a new path for our country. We aim to be a generation of effective citizens who love South Africa enough to raise the bar on what we can do, what our communities can create, and what our government can deliver.
ACTIVATE! Journey of a Change Driver | Supplement 1 | A Sense of Self | 1
A Sense of Self
HIS supplement features tools that can help you develop a better sense of your own strengths, your roles, your goals and the values that drive you.
We recommend using these tools by yourself, or in groups, to explore what you can contribute to drive positive change. We have included some insights from Activators about how these tools have helped them discover what they can contribute – and what their big ideas are. This print supplement is just part of the conversation – we’d love you to join us online where all South Africans can contribute to defining and driving positive change!
Who Do You Think You Are? A
SKING the question “Who am I, really?” can be the start of an important and empowering journey. But where do you even begin this journey? “The expression ‘face your demons’ became much more real. As soon as I took the challenges out of my past, put them down on my collage, and spoke about them openly, I could actually move on from them. The freedom of getting them off my chest was really powerful!“ – Cindy-Lee Cloete
OLLAGES are a creative way to explore your own life. They are a helpful tool to bring you closer to understanding who you are, where you come from, and where you are going. Using images can unlock things inside us that we often overlook, and can surface new insights into ourselves and journeys.
“Sometimes it is not enough to express verbally what you want to achieve. Creating a visual image makes it more concrete in your mind and inspires you to want to achieve.”
Because I am ready to share my story with the world, I no longer judge myself or compare myself with my peers. I am more content with who I am, and the journey has just begun! – Mokgadi Matlakala
– Chrissie Cloete
Add your Voice! After doing the collages I realised I had so much potential in myself, and it made me realise that no one can take away who you are as a person. – Bridget Moopelwa
Do your own past, present and future collages. Share your experience online! ActivateLeadership
Follow the links and hashtags to add your voice online.
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MY COLLAGE JOURNEY – SIPHELELE CHIRWA
I! My name is Siphelele. I am 30 years old and I live in Cape Town’s oldest township – Langa. For the past 11 years I’ve been working with different NGOs in the city – I especially love working with women and young people. At the moment I am a course leader for an NGO called Educo Africa, where I run wilderness programmes. I love what I do, because nature has a lot to teach us. Most of it all it helps me to do what I love most: serve others. Before I joined Activate, I was really stuck. I felt like I had hit a glass ceiling with what I was doing in my community. I felt tired, and was on the brink of giving up! When I went through the process of making my past, present and future collages, I realised that I was just living each day as it came without really taking account of where I come from and where I am hoping to go. My sense of myself was only in my heart. It did not give me a real sense of direction. Being an Activator helped me unpack why I felt so stuck, why I felt there were limited opportunities to break through the barriers in my life.
By getting to the root cause of the challenge in the collage session, I realised I could get to the solution. Asking myself “who am I?” helped me get to grips with why I am me, what drives me, what directs me, what makes me special, and what I want to be for myself, my community and my country. The collages unpacked for me a much deeper understanding around who I am and what I wanted out of life going forward. I realised how important I was to those people around me, and also that I had the power to positively impact the world around me. After a journey that began with the collage experience, I am much clearer about where I want to go. Understanding the challenges I have experienced make me who I am today, and also drives my passion for my community. This passion drives me into my future. I often put up my collages at home to remind myself. When I reflect on the changes in my own life, it brings up a lot of stuff. I work really hard on who I am in my life, and bringing my strengths and passion for my community to life.
The collages unpacked for me a much deeper understanding around who I am and what I want out of life going forward. AST P Y M
Seeing my whole life represented on the collages gave me the resolve and energy to drive my passion into my future. They also showed me what was missing that I really wanted or valued in my life! Sharing my collage with other Activators, and hearing their stories, helped me realise that I am part of a community of passionate young South Africans from all over the country, who have all walked long, often difficult journeys, but are moving confidently into their futures. It was a big realisation that I am not the only one! – Siphelele Chirwa, Langa, Cape Town
NT E S E Y PR
E R U T Y FU
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What Roles Do We Play? T
HESE are the roles that we feel are the most important for driving positive change for the future of South Africa.
young man was once asked by a stranger what he was. “I am a taxi driver”, was his response. His little boy was standing next to him and said, “No you aren’t! You are a daddy!” This made the man reflect on how he lived his life and spent his days. He realised that to some people he is a taxi driver, but at night, when he tucked his little boy into bed, he was a father.
“Only my role as an activist and community leader can help build a better community. It is not just me alone – every young person in our community can play this role.”
STUDENT OF LIFE
EN Z I T I C
“Roles give you a sense of responsibility and we all should be responsible for our lives and our country. We are citizens and being active in that role is important.”
ITY N U COMM DER BUIL
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CHANGE DRIVER ACTI V
OR T A C U ED
“I am an activist within my community and an asset to my community members.” Mokgadi Matlakala
MY ROLES – BAXOLISI DLALI
Y name is Baxolise Dlali. My home is in Cofimvaba, in rural Eastern Cape. In 2006, I set up my own community organisation called Masifunde Together where we help young people to improve the quality of their education. I believe that the answer to the myriad challenges we are faced with in South Africa can be solved and I want to be part of that solution and hopefully inspire others to do the same. My goal is to achieve social justice for all. I see my roles in my community and in my country as being a leader, a unifier, a visions caster, social justice crusader and an equipper.
I consider myself to be a warrior leader and my dream for South Africa is social justice for all. I am a Christian who loves sport. I have a viral interest for current affairs and I value excellence above most other attributes. I don’t want to recreate, I want to be a trend-setter and the more I know about myself the better I will be able to influence and change the world. Activate does not define who you are, it creates the space and opportunity to go on your own journey of self-discovery. I consider myself to be a warrior leader and my dream for South Africa is social justice for all. Leadership begins with leading yourself and if you don’t have a strong sense of who you are, it is difficult to plan a better future for yourself and those around you. I think it is important to be aware of the roles you play because roles take up time and if they are not strategically aligned to your vision, you might not be getting anywhere. Even though some roles are forced on me by circumstance and a sense of responsibility, I am increasingly moving in the direction of my primary identity and my priority roles. In addition to Masifunde Together, I’m involved in many organisations. I seize every opportunity I can to contribute to my community, and to connect with other change drivers. Aside from Activate! I’ve also been involved in Parliament’s Bokamoso Barona youth ambassadors programme and I’m a Global Changemaker through the British Council. I am very excited about being appointed as a youth advisor to the UNAIDS South Africa reference group. It’s inspiring to connect with so many amazing young people working together in South Africa and across the world to bring about positive change! Baxolisi Dlali, Cofimvaba ACTIVATE! Journey of a Change Driver | Supplement 1 | A Sense of Self | 5
Which Roles Do You Play?
Think about the roles you play les ta
st of yo ke up mo
Which are your priority roles? Which roles should you be playing for yourself, your family, your community and your country? 6 | ACTIVATE! Journey of a Change Driver | Supplement 1 | A Sense of Self
Add your Voice!
What roles could young people take on to make a positive impact in South Africa? ActivateLeadership #ActivateRoles
The Activate! Network A
CTIVATORS are re-shaping South Africa in many different ways.
Some have full-time jobs and are infusing their work with the spirit of innovation that fuels the network. Others have conceptualised new projects, motivated by the idea that a small ripple of change in one place can stir up waves of change across the country. Some are students, many are volunteers, all are passionate about their
future, and the future of South Africa. Activators know that everyone, at every level, every day, can be change agents in their own society and context. The ACTIVATE! network connects young people who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate creative solutions. Activators use the power of this network to mobilise, connect, innovate, set trends and lead change.
N the following page we’ve mapped the 742 Activators already in the network.
Go online to connect to Activators in your area and select ‘connect me to an activator’. Fill in the form for the Activator you want to connect with, for example EC12. This will send an email to the Activator who can then make contact with you.
If you want to join the network, check out the back page for details on how to apply.
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G14 G13 G9 G3
G 45 G8 G18
G11 G37 G44 G15
G31 G12 G46 G47 G27
FS 8 FS 6
NC3 NC2 NC1
FS 10 FS 7 FS 4 FS 3 FS 1
NC11 NC10 NC9
Mount Frere WC15 WC14 WC23
EC5 EC7 EC8 EC14
WC3 WC1 WC13
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Port Elizabeth Plettenberg Bay Knysna
East London Saldanha
Hibberdene Port Shepstone
Harding Margate Munster
Richards Bay Ventersburg
Number of Activators joined in 2013 per province
MORE THAN 700 ACTIVATORS ARE CONNECTED
27 Krugersdorp Midrand Randburg Germiston Springs Delmas Vosloorus
Activators joined in 2012
The Activate! Network
Which Values Drive You?
HESE are the values that are most important to us.
Add your Voice!
What values do you think could create a brighter future for South Africa? ActivateLeadership
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MY VALUES – CHARISSA SHAY
’M a second-year UCT student, who is passionate about education! I am an Activator because I want to see things happen in South Africa. Being an Activator is about my own action, inspired and supported by fellow Activators and South Africans. It is also about seeing South Africa through new eyes: a place where challenges become opportunities and there is always room for growth and innovation.
My top value is self-reflection. That’s because I believe in knowing the past and knowing why I do things. I’m also a firm believer in ‘understanding’ as a value. I like to understand why we do what we do. That way, I can move forward with a better knowledge of situations and people. My values are influenced by people like my family and close friends, but I do feel that I have chosen my values and actively pursue some of them. My values play a big role in how I interact with people. In all my roles in life, I seek to understand what everyone feels in a situation before moving forward. This helps me figure out how I am similar to, or different from, other people. That brings me closer to my own identity. My key values: Reflection, understanding, self-control, learning, people development, honesty, appreciation, harmony and belonging. These values inform my actions and interactions. They are also what I fall back on when I don’t know what or who to be.
My top value is self-reflection. That’s because I believe in knowing the past and knowing why I do things. My preferential values: I believe in inclusivity, and so I try not to advocate for any cultural or religious belief that is discriminating or exclusive. As human beings, it is crucial that we belong and are recognised and accepted. Reflection is important because it gives me the space to be aware of myself and others with regards to feeling accepted and included. My instrumental values (purpose driven): Learning for me is the most important. To be a teacher and drive change in education I need to educate myself first. Young South Africans can have different preferential values but can have a shared identity with a common purpose. Driving change is not an easy process and it requires working together with people from various backgrounds with potentially very different preferential values, but we can come together to focus on common goals! A distinct youth identity in the drive for a better future means that we play to our common values. Our differences make us unique but that which we fight for together connects us and makes us strong. Charissa Shay, Cape Town
We all have our own set of cultural and traditional values. These are important to us and are a part of where we come from. They form our heritage. These values may make us different but they are also a part of our identity. At the same time, there are values which we all believe in. They give us common purpose and create solidarity and focus.
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What We Are Aiming For! Our personal goals
Our goals for South Africa
“I want to constantly be learning formally and informally”
“I want to create a unified and loving South Africa where children are safe and are given the tools to prosper from an early age. I want it to be a place where giving is second nature.”
“I’d love to be a teacher because I want to be a part of influencing young minds to think creatively and out of the box and to be active not passive. I want to teach people how to learn, not what to learn” Charissa Shay
“My goal is to become one of South Africa’s leading environmental education practitioners.”
“I want to see equal education for South Africa.” Bridget Moopelwa
“I want to be a part of an active group of change drivers and support them where I can. I would like to challenge South Africans to become the change they yearn for and stop waiting for their neighbours to make the first move!”
“I would like to work with my husband on international conservation projects all over the world, specifically on habitat destruction and species decline. I would like to bring back to South Africa all that I have learned.”
“I want a country of active citizens with an accountable government.” Pearl Pillay
“I want to see the world, climb a mountain, and touch a whale.” Pearl Pillay
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“I want to have a society that feels safe and is free from relying on our government.” Mokgadi Matlakala
MY GOALS – MOKGADI MATLAKALA
If we’re smart; if we know our own story; if we know what needs to be done, then together we will be the generation that develops South Africa. That is my dream and my goal.
OTLOKWA, in rural Limpopo, is where I call home. It is a place where people are proud of who they are. We have a rich self-identity, we socialize and respect each other. I have big love for my community because I can see the huge potential there is for it to develop. Working with young people, and seeing their lives transform – seeing happiness on their faces – is priceless. But life here is often not easy. One of the major challenges that we have is teenage pregnancy. I had my child when I was still a teenager. Changing from being a teenager to being a mother was hectic. I am also a product of teenage pregnancy, and it felt like it was history repeating itself. What I learnt from that experience is that we need to make informed choices, we need to know that as the youth we are still young, there is still more that we can do. I would advise young people that there are big opportunities out there: focus on your studies, make sure that you are stable, and make sure that you are established in your life, in whatever area you are involved in. Then you can think of having a family, because it takes a big heart; you have to be responsible, and you have to be very emotionally strong. Although it was hard, having a child was not the end of my dreams or my goals. I had to pick myself up, go back to my dreams and start planning. After passing Matric, I got a job with Home Affairs. When I started earning my own salary, I decided to use some of the money to get my tertiary degree while I worked. I’m now in my final year studying public relations. I put in time and energy to bring about change in my community and in my workplace. I am the Secretary of the Youth Forum within Limpopo Home Affairs. We make sure that the Department responds to young people’s concerns. We also motivate young people to work within the public service, to realise that it is a good place for young people to work and to make a difference.
When I knock off from work, I run a youth group called the Actioneers. We want to make a difference in our community, and to make something out of ourselves. We do art, drama, poetry, music, make sure that the kids go to school and make sure that their school work is up to scratch. They say every generation has its own struggle. Our struggle right now as young South Africans is finding our own identity so that we can develop South Africa. I believe in twenty years from now, it will be possible for us as young people to be identified as the generation that came and fought for development. We are not a lost generation! I see a South Africa that will be a liberated country: where politics won’t be the centre of attention; where we will not be still fighting about issues of apartheid and racism, but will have emerged as a group of people from different backgrounds and different races, finally united. To get there will be a journey that our generation must lead. We have to be strong and confident and be sure of our story, not only ourselves, but our whole communities. We have to be smart and intelligent and engage with different people at different levels. If we’re smart; if we know our own story; if we know what needs to be done, then together we will be the generation that develops South Africa. That is my dream and my goal. Mokgadi Matlakala, Botlokwa
See Mokgadi’s story online at www.activateleadership.co.za ACTIVATE! Journey of a Change Driver | Supplement 1 | A Sense of Self | 13
Activate Your Goals!
Use these images to think about your goals. You can find a full set of goals, roles and values cards online at www.activateleadership.co.za/cards
Think about your goals What happens when you get up in the morning? Do you have an idea of what you are going to do, or does the day just happen? Do you go to work able to set your own agenda or are you following someone elseâ€™s plan?
Add your Voice!
What are your personal goals? What are your goals for your community?
Are you volunteering or studying with a purpose or are you just doing it? Do you set short-term goals? Do you set long-term goals?
What are your goals for South Africa? ActivateLeadership #ActivateGoals
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Do you dare to imagine and set yourself ambitious goals, goals that most of your friends and family tell you are impossible?
Friends/Friendships Creativity Education Community Service
Health ACTIVATE! Journey of a Change Driver | Supplement 1 | A Sense of Self | 15
“Activate! is the most diverse youth leadership network in this country.”
- Koketso Moeti
Co-financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW and the DG Murray Trust.
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We want to start a national conversation. A conversation about who we are, where we're going, and how we can collectively build a positive f...
Published on Jul 5, 2013
We want to start a national conversation. A conversation about who we are, where we're going, and how we can collectively build a positive f...