The Activator Issue 1

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The Activator AN



ISSUE 01. JULY 2015

ONE CLICK AWAY INTERNET UPDATE: Getting better access to technology

obile offices are the new trend as employees can work from almost anywhere with everything they need just a Google search away. Digital connectivity has changed the way we read, learn, research and interact. But what are your options when location or lack of resources leave you disconnected?


Infrastructure remains a huge barrier to online connectivity in rural areas, with the cost of data following close by. But technology is also advancing and gives us hope that digital equality can soon become a reality. We’ve compiled a few of the latest innovations to watch that are providing digital access in more rural communities. FREE Wi-Fi Pr ojec t I s iz w e i s a n o n p ro fi t organisation that believes every South African has a right to access good quality, affordable internet, and aims to facilitate this through the roll-out of free government-funded Wi-Fi for public spaces in low-income communities. The core focus of Project Isizwe is to harness the power of the internet in low-income communities for the purpose of education, and to use it as a catalyst for change.

Project Isizwe has been in the news for rolling out free Wi-Fi in Stellenbosch, Pretoria and most recently Tshwane as part of the city’s vision for universal internet access. This year, the organisation will be extending the service to rural Eastern Cape, where it will connect the Ingwe TVET College on their Mount Frere and Lusikisiki campuses in a pilot project. The NGO’s goal is for each citizen to be within walking distance of Free Wi-Fi and offers assistance to communities wanting to connect. If you want to bring free Wi-Fi into your community, the organisation offers a variety of funding resources that Project Isizwe can help you access. For more information, visit MOBILE MODEM BRCK The BRCK is a self-powered, cloud-

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Fernando Visagie with a group of kids in Kimberley, where he has been instrumental in petitioning local government to build a library for the community.





WELCOME! Dear Activators, We are so excited to welcome you to the first issue of The Activator. The journey of putting together this newspaper has been full of discovery and insights into what it means to be an Activator and the kind of support you need to drive change across South Africa. The initial idea behind this newspaper was to connect you with even more resources and opportunities over and above our current platforms, such as the Junction, Blog and Connection Hives on our website, social media groups and Exchange events.

ome of the innovative projects we do to drive change in our communities rely on funding. If you would like to source funding for your project or idea, read on!


Then the most amazing thing happened. As we went about sourcing information, we realised – yet again – that our biggest resource is right in front of us. You – Activators – are the network’s biggest resource. So, we spoke to some experts about how to compile a winning CV and motivation letter (page 13) and found valuable information about funding – platforms, what funders look for and how to apply for it (pages 2 and 10). And the tech resources for change and organisations to watch on page 8 will come in handy. But these are just tools to help you grow and support your cause. And tools on their own do not equal change. We went searching for the meat – the vital organs – that move Activators to keep going in face of so much adversity. On page 14, Activators reveal what some of these obstacles are and how they deal with them. As a network, our biggest strength is our connections with each other. Activism often feels like lonely and thankless work. But as an Activator, you are not alone. Within this network, we have environmentalists, early childhood and youth development activists, food gardeners, sports and personal coaches, designers, writers and photographers, lawyers and entrepreneurs and many more, all in different stages from still sending out CVs or business plans to business owners and industry professionals – all under 35 and at our fingertips. And if you know of anyone else who should be part of this network, recruitment is now open. They can head over to to apply. We hope that this newspaper will not only provide you with useful resources, but will help to bridge the gap and strengthen connections between Activators by sharing your stories each other. If you would like to share your story, submit resources or have some ideas to make The Activator even more useful for future issues, please drop us an email on communications@

Keep connected!



The most important things to remember when approaching funders are: 1. KNOW YOUR FUNDER Read their website, get to know the company and make sure your project fits their objective. “Different funders have different strategic focus areas,” says Janet Jobson of the DG Murray Trust. “It is so sad to see applicants putting in so much time and effort when they haven’t done their basic homework on what the funder is looking for.” 2. KNOW YOUR PROJECT Inside and out! “Funders ask LOTS of questions,” says Janet. A good funding proposal must give a real sense of why your project exists, why your solution works and how you’ll know whether it is working. “Make sure to show that your idea is very well thought through,” says Janet. 3. GET STARTED! Funders always ask what you have already achieved. “You need to show that you’ve tested ideas, hustled and gotten things moving even without money,” says Janet. “That way we know when money is introduced it will go somewhere effective.” 4. DON’T OVERBLOW YOUR BUDGET “Think about how much money you really need versus what you can get through in-kind donations or do yourself,” say Janet. 5. USE YOUR NETWORK The most important people in the startup phase are those you already know. “Ask yourself: Who do I know that can help with marketing? With financial management? Who can connect me to bigger funders?” said Janet. “You’ll be amazed at the assets within your own network – especially when your

network includes 1500 Activators!” 6. REMEMBER YOUR ACTIVATE! TRAINING Don’t forget the helpful pointers in the “Turning Dreams into Reality” Session in Module 2. If you follow the steps from Problem Statement, Proposed Action to Sustainability, you’ll have covered all the bases. 7. HAVE ALL THE CORRECT DOCUMENTATION It shows your project is well run. “Have a simple concept note (2 – 3 pages) with all the important information and analysis to use for basic proposals,” says Janet, “but always tailor it for the funder you are approaching.” Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Funders may want to know what their brand will get out of it, so focus on marketing, whereas foundation funders may be more interested in measurement metrics. “Make sure you do the numbers well. Funders want to see that you understand how the business will really work,” she said. “And always have a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plan.” 8. LASTLY, DO YOUR MARKET RESEARCH It creates a bad impression when something is sold as ‘revolutionary’, and funders have seen it many times before.




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enabled Wi-Fi hotspot router that connects via a 3G data-enabled SIM card or via satellite connection. The BRCK was created by a team of technologists in Kenya and is designed to operate in harsh environments where the infrastructure is not robust. It will work for 8 hours in full battery mode and the smart-power design means it can be charged from a solar panel, car battery, your computer or wall socket. For more information or to order a BRCK, visit or email Wi-Fi KIOSKS The Freedom Toaster e-learning kiosk is a computer pre-loaded with high quality digital educational material such as books, videos and applications that are available for download or printing. The aim of the Freedom Toaster is to make valuable information available to residents in rural communities who do not have access to these resources via an internet connection. The Toaster is Wi-Fi enabled for downloading content, but does not offer browsing access. Fresh, new, high quality content is continually loaded onto the kiosk to ensure that the material stays relevant and provides you with the latest and most valuable educational material out there. For more information or to order a Freedom Toaster, visit or call 021 914 7042. Coca-Cola and UK-based telecoms company, BT Global Services, have partnered to bring free internet access


to various communities in South Africa by installing routers inside the cooldrink company’s vending machines. So far, two Wi-Fi-enabled machines have been installed at the Sasol Integrated Energy Centre in Qunu, Umtata, Eastern Cape and at Thokozane Fast Food in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. Users do not need to buy a cooldrink to access Wi-Fi. SOLAR E-Lamp Local technology company, Zazoo, developed the Sun-e-light, a solar powered lamp that can be used as a torch and to charge mobile phones. Last year, more than 2000 lamps were donated to areas with limited electricity in KwaZulu-Natal. A second version of the lamp that includes Wi-Fi capability is currently being developed and the company hopes to roll this version out soon to enable residents in rural areas to connect to the internet. For more information on the Sun-e-light, visit SATELLITE SKA SA (Square Kilometre Array South Africa) – an initiative to build the world’s largest radio telescope – has partnered with VOX Telecoms to provide farming communities in the Northern Cape affected by the project with voice and data services at a dramatically reduced cost. YahClick by Vox Telecoms is a satellite broadband service that offers reliable, highspeed internet connectivity to users in areas with limited or no internet access, at costs comparable to services on the ground. For more information, visit or call 087 805 0000.


The Junction is a portal for accessing resources, opportunities (like jobs, scholarships, bursaries), contact details for organisations outside of ACTIVATE! as well as contact details for media sources in the country. Activators who are registered on the website are also automatically added to the JUNCTION map and will be able to browse the Geomap and find other Activators nearby – START LOOKING FOR FELLOW ACTIVATORS NOW! Information for Activators on the map include contact details and interest areas. You can also update your profile and write something about yourself, what you’re interested in and why you are an Activator.

It’s a great resource space...

HOW? Log onto using the username and password you created when you first registered for ACTIVATE! If you have forgotten your password, email

The Activator JULY 2015

The BRCK was created by a team of technologists in Kenya and is designed to work in harsh environments where the infrastructure is not robust.



GREAT NEWS!!! We have struck a deal with Inyathelo (a non-profit organisation that works to sustain and strengthen civil society organisations and grow local philanthropy) for access to its AMAZING online database. We have paid a licence fee for 10 access codes. If you are keen to access the database, please get hold of your nodal coordinator with details of the sector and idea you are researching, and they will extract the information for you from the database. See page 24 for contact details or e-mail This is the most up to date Corporate Social Investment (CSI) database in the country! Don’t forget you can also access PRODDER (the SANGONeT Directory) at – this is a comprehensive online directory of NGOs and other development organisations in South Africa. 3



ocial media is a tool of liberation and empowerment,” said the founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, “these truly social channels have the power to radically alter our world.”


A national campaign against Xenophobia #WEAREAFRICAN was launched in April 2015 where Activators stood at robots all over South Africa to protest against violence. “I believe that we, as the youth, need to be willing to serve our country and boldly execute ideas that will solve our social ills” says Activator and Legacy Builder Bongi Ndlovukazi campaign that went viral. People were asked to throw a bucket of ice-cold water over their heads, donate to ALSA, and nominate their friends to do the same. The world couldn’t resist. More than $115 million was raised. What an innovative fundraising idea!

rights abuses and dictatorships. Six Arab nations experienced crippling civil protests and the actions led to the ousting of four dictator regimes.

You only have to spend a few minutes on Twitter to see this radical power as people use hashtags to unite behind global issues and, in many instances, drive real change. Paul Mason, a local campaigner who works extensively with social media platforms, explains this phenomenon: “It happens when people feel a similar way about an issue, and someone is able to capture that ‘feeling’ in three words, like #Blacklivesmatter (against police brutality). People see these words and they think ‘yes, that’s exactly how I feel’ and it becomes a rallying point, ” he said. “Social media also allows for the coordination of activism events, making it much easier to organise people than before.”

#BRINGBACKOURGIRLS When the terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped 270 schoolgirls, Nigerian activist Obiageli Ezekwesili took to social media. “I retweeted and I tweeted help us to demand to bring back our girls,” she said. The hashtag went viral, creating a social media movement, millions joined, including celebrities like Michelle Obama – posting photos of themselves with signs ‘#BringBackOurGirls’.

#RHODESMUSTFALL In South Africa, we saw the power that social media has to change the status quo when UCT students demanded the statue of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes be removed from the University grounds. They received support from around the globe– and Rhodes fell. LANGUAGE AND ACCESSIBILITY In South Africa, we have the obvious issues around access to the internet, especially in poor or rural areas. Paul says: “If you don’t speak English, even if you can get online, there are very few websites in local languages such as IsiZulu.” He said that people with access to the internet are able to create traction around an issue, such as ‘Save Our Rhinos’, to such an extent that the President mentioned it in his Opening of Parliament speech. But issues that do not appeal to these people tend to

THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN The Obamas are well aware of the power of the internet. During his 2008 campaign to be the first black president of the USA, Obama used Facebook and MySpace to connect with younger voters. By doing this, he was essentially bringing politics to a group who didn’t usually vote, and he won!

#ARABSPRING In 2010, a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire when police confiscated his wares, literally igniting a civil uprising. The youth of this Arab country took to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to organise civil protests and spread the message globally, using the #ArabSpring hashtag. It soon spread to neighbouring Arab countries that suffered the same problems of police brutality, human

#ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE The ALSA charity raised recordbreaking funds thanks to this incredible

go unnoticed. (a social justice campaigning platform) has managed to overcome these barriers using cellphone based platforms, like Mxit. DON’T UNPLUG OUR SABC The SABC is moving from analogue to digital, meaning all analogue TV sets will need a Set-Top-Box to keep the SABC switched on. These cost R700 each, unaffordable to many low-income households. Not having TV means people won’t have access to news in their own language or educational programmes for their children. Amandla. mobi mobilised 4500 people to petition the government to supply free Set-TopBoxes. Government complied and has committed to fully subsidising 5 million Set-Top-Boxes to low-income families. A win for the people! This is only the beginning. Social media activism is in its infancy. Imagine the possibilities as more and more people become connected. Paul said: “The next big step in social media as an activist tool will be moving from every computer being a democracy building tool, to every cellphone being a democracy building tool.”






TWITTER ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW Follow @ActivateZA on Twitter and we will follow you back!



@GroundUp_News Our communities. Our news. GroundUp is a community news organisation. We focus on social justice stories in vulnerable communities.

* JUNE16


@ButiManamela YoungRed | | | NYP2020 | Generation2020 | Have Fun | Have Humour Buti Manamela is the Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, Youth Development and Administration of the Presidency.



NYDA @NYDARSA The NYDA is a South African youth agency aimed at creating and promoting coordination in youth development matters. #INVOLVEYOUTH @InvolveYouth The world now has the largest number of young people aged 15-24 in history. Almost 90% of this age group lives in developing countries. JAY NAIDOO @Jay_Naidoo Chairman of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), former Minister in the Mandela Cabinet, founding GS of COSATU and political and social activist.


@_IJR_ The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation helps to build fair, democratic and inclusive societies across Africa.



YOUTH LAB @YouthLabZA A non-partisan think tank for the youth by the youth. We aspire to build youth consensus and put forward youth positions on the pressing issues. LRC SOUTH AFRICA @LRC_SouthAfrica The LRC is a human rights organisation in South Africa. It uses the law as an instrument of justice for vulnerable and marginalised people.

TWITTER 101 Hashtag: Used with certain words to identify a key topic and allow you to search for similar tweets. The @ sign: signifies a Twitter username, like your email address or Facebook name. Tweet Length: Only 140 characters – the length of one sms Tweet Actions: You can reply to, retweet and favourite a Tweet. (See Tech Ticket on page 20 for more information on Twitter.)


@LiveVIPZA VIP (Voting is Power) is an independent campaign focused on encouraging youth democratic participation in South Africa. Brought to you by @LiveMagSA#LiveVIPZA


@hrw HRW provides timely information about human rights crises in 90+ countries. Curated by @jimmurphysf &@astroehlein Staff list: …




he ACTIVATE! training programme was designed to equip young, dynamic leaders with the skills, resources and connections to actively drive change in their communities.


Activators experience and explore the different spheres (identity, articulation, innovation, leadership, navigation of the social-political landscape, and activating change) of the training programme in order to realise a greater vision of equality, social justice and transformation for all. Our advice to you is to CONNECT, CONNECT and CONNECT. Connect with other Activators about common interests, challenges and inequalities. Not just in your immediate neighbourhood/s or communities, but across the country. Work towards BUILDING a network and work towards a COMMON purpose. Stumped as to how you can make that happen? ACTIVATE! has implemented a number of platforms and support mechanisms to assist change drivers in realising this vision. Why not try one of the following: 1. Visit or start up a local station Stations are meeting places – spaces where Activators can get together to work on a particular cause or project, hang out or have an interesting conversation. Visit the ACTIVATE! Junction and use the Geomap to find an existing station, or register your own! Support and resources will be made available for your Station. 2. Attend an ACTIVATE! Exchange Exchanges are hosted countrywide and are a great opportunity to connect with Activators, civil society, business and government. Exchanges are used as opportunities to explore and interrogate a certain theme or hot topics, taking into account the perspectives and realities of different people. It offers incredible learning and networking prospects. 3. Host your own Exchange Keen to set up your own Exchange in your community? We will definitely help make that happen. Invite Activators, members of your community, even your ward councillor! Let’s get the conversation going. 4. Planning a project? The SWITCH programme can help. The SWITCH programme aims to enhance our project planning skills and help us turn our ideas into action step by step. Once you’ve gone through the SWITCH process, turn on the charm where you The Activator JULY 2015

will be able to pitch your project to a group of potential funders. Onwards and upwards, friends!





5. Attend a workshop/ conference or event ACTIVATE! advertises a number of workshops, conferences and events on its different online platforms. These initiatives are hosted by the stakeholders/ partners, other organisations, and members of the ACTIVATE! network. It is a great opportunity to learn a new skill, engage in interesting discussions and expand your networks. Stay tuned for more updates! 6. Start a conversation Host a dialogue in your community, start an ACTIVATE! club or meet up with a few Activators at your favourite spot. Whatever or wherever it is, get talking! Let us know your conversation and what plan emerges. Use social media to invite others to join in the conversation. 7. Get creative! What’s the name of the game? INNOVATION! Throughout training, you were exposed to different creative and innovative platforms such as the flash mob, opinion pieces, creating our iconic selves and more. Why not use one of these platforms to ‘talk’ about your cause… about the work that you are doing… about you, the ACTIVATE! Change Driver. There’s a whole world out there, we are sure that it’s ready for you! 8. Drop us a line Still unsure as to what can work for you or need assistance in a different way? No problem, we are here for you. Send an email: support@activateleadership. and we will point you in the right direction. 9. Keen to study some more? ACTIVATE! community development course will get you there. Sign up for the Community Development course to amplify the work that you are doing by deepening your skills and understanding. For more information, please email

I co-founded an organisation that empowers young people in all aspects of their lives, helping them move away from the streets to find opportunities. Our pillars are the green economy, entrepreneurship, education, sports and recreation, GAUTENG and social development – encouraging the youth to Shoshanguve, Pretoria become active citizens. My vision is to empower people to start thinking out of the box, imagining beyond the obvious and expanding their minds. It is my passion to inspire people to become well educated, because I’ve discovered that without education, whether it’s informal or formal, we are not really going anywhere. It is only when I see this happening that I will sleep better at night. I want people to say they did it because ‘Abuti Rams gave me the edge, the go-go feeling!’ My message for young South Africans would be to learn as much as possible, and not to limit yourself. The ACTIVATE! network is very powerful. Learning about project management – from finances to implementation and evaluation – has really opened my eyes. I’m using this knowledge in all areas of my work. If we change how we see things, how we reason and how we talk, we will be able to transform minds. I want my community to have what we don’t yet have. I would like to start a foundation that focuses on research. It’s an element missing in society. I believe that data should be free, that people should have access to a proper Information technology infrastructure in the country in order to become successful entrepreneurs. ABUTI RAMS: 074 852 9888

@abutirams 5


UPDATE: Fellow Activators making things happen

outh Africa has seen incredible change since 1994, but we know there are still big challenges facing our people. We are a young country with almost 164% of people between the ages of 15 and 34. Last year, 36% of our youth were unemployed. 2The Times reported that overall 5.5 million people were without work in the first quarter of 2015. If you include people who have given up looking for work, this increases to 8.7 million able South Africans not working.


Activators all around the country are making small differences in their communities. Combined, these make a big change to our country. Meet Nathacia Olivier (26), from Benoni, Gauteng. Nathacia started her own business when she couldn’t find a job. “Unemployment is a huge crisis, especially for young people. It is really hard to find a job,” she said. She noticed there were no cost-effective marketing companies helping SMMEs with brand activation, campaigns and events. She took the leap and opened Criar Investments. Last month, Nathacia single-handedly organised a stimulating event for 100 young women aspiring to be entrepreneurs. “We invited women who had been running their businesses for years to speak about the challenges within business and how to overcome these challenges,” she said. “It is hard as young women in business to get support, women are side-lined. I‘m hoping to see these women starting their own businesses and getting the assistance and support they need to grow in business and employ other South Africans.” Growing the economy is key, but with South Africa‘s 2gross domestic product growing by only 1.3% quarteron-quarter in the first three months of this year, worse than the 1.5% of last year – entrepreneurs are more important than ever.


ate about skills development and entrepreneurship, is Thabang Mabuza (27) from the south of Johannesburg. He has worked hard to be successful. Thabang started Lion’s Den Global teaching spaces, where young entrepreneurs get a few minutes to sell their ideas to drive change in their community to a panel of industry experts. Thabang also organises the innovative Ekurhuleni Expo where Grade 9 to 12 learners are given the sought-after opportunity of having deeper conversations with leaders of society and corporations. Thanks to this, 7000 young people have met with leading companies including Kellogg’s, Vodacom and Microsoft. Thabang keeps aiming high, “My vision is to have an impact on over 20 000 young people by 2022 through the career expo and 100 sustainable social enterprises up and running through Lion’s Den.” Go to Entrepreneur Innocentia Sibanyoni (24), from the East Rand, Gauteng, also started her own business. She inspires other entrepreneurs though her fantastic Youth Vibes Business & Leadership Initiative. “It is a positive development platform that empowers young people to explore and develop their leadership potential to make a positive impact on society,” she said.

“I am passionate about young people, entrepreneurs. I want to see change, I want to leave a mark. I want people to know that there are young people out there doing things for young people, inspiring them and driving them,” said Nathacia.

“We are committed to expanding the knowledge and strengthening the practices of young entrepreneurs. Our Business Seminars allow youth to explore the world of business and show them how to develop new business opportunities for themselves and their community,” she added.

Another inspiring Activator passion-

It’s no surprise that a lack of education

On the Cape Flats, Dean Jates is also fighting for community development with his innovative project “My Hoek My Plek” – taking known gang corners and turning them into performance spaces filled with music. and unemployment are linked. Statistics show that the more education people have, the less unemployment they experience. 3In 2011, two-thirds (66.6%) of people with no education were living in poverty, that number decreased to 55% of people who completed primary school and dropped to 23.6% for people who had completed matric. Only 1 in 20 people who had some form of higher education were living in poverty. William Makgaba (30), a truly inspirational Activator from Ga-Dikgale in Limpopo, is educating his rural community in Information and Communications Technology. Like many, he did not have an easy start in life. “I was working as a gardener,” he said. “The old lady I worked for gave me a computer one day and said ‘have a great life’. She died soon afterwards, and it all started from there.” To help his community, William began teaching children how to use the computer just from his room. He joined ACTIVATE! where he learnt how to plan. “With their help I can define a problem and find a solution,” he said. William’s Vexospark Community Technology Centre was born. He found a sponsor in the Peace Foundation Trust and has managed to establish computer centres in five municipalities across Limpopo Province, teaching children

of all ages – an amazing achievement. “My greater aim is to make sure that everyone in SA is getting online training because it is cheaper than going to University or College, where you need residential, food and tuition fees. With online training, people can study at their own pace, at home,” he said. Activator Kefilwe Bopape (24) is also excited about the benefit of skills development in her semi-rural community of Kanana, Hammanskraal, Gauteng. She is driving change through her ‘Life After Matric’ project that prepares learners for the end of school. “Until education does not marginalise a large number of youth who are not excellent academically, issues of unemployment will forever be in our lives,” said Kefilwe. “Life After Matric helps individuals identify who they are, their strength, talents and passions, and aligns those with a possible career path. We also seek to help those who cannot rely on qualifications to use their skills as a means of survival.” “We want to provoke a youth that is able to think and does not accept the situation as it is, that reduces blame on the past or on government. Rather we want to encourage them to search within themselves for a solution,” she said.

Reading clubs are powerful tools against illiteracy – no one knows that better than Activator Gcinumuzi Radebe (25). Thanks to Gcinumuzi’s passion and with the help of his volunteers, 400 children of all ages and their parents, from the community of Majomela in KZN meet every day to read, write and draw. It is inspirational to see this underdeveloped rural community working together to improve the standard of their children’s education. “Everyone can make a difference,” said Gcinumuzi. “It doesn’t mean that you need to have money. You can use your talents, skills and knowledge to drive the change you want for your community.” Youth living in poverty are especially vulnerable to getting involved in crime, gangs and substance abuse because there are so few opportunities or positive activities to occupy their time.4 Keeping children occupied, structuring their time with positive activities is how Activator Fernando Visagie (29) is driving incredible, positive change in his community in Kimberley, Northern Cape. Fernando turned his life around after being sentenced to jail for gangrelated violence. “I want the youth in my community to channel their sport and academics into one direction to improve their lives,” he said. “Gangsterism deprived me of opportunities. I want to stay in my community, to work here to discourage crime and encourage the youth to occupy their time with constructive things.”

“I believe in protecting the value in our community, not vandalising what we have. I was deprived of so many things, I want young people to have more access to opportunities,” he said. On the Cape Flats, Dean Jates is also fighting for community development with his innovative project My Hoek My Plek – taking known gang corners and converting them into performance spaces filled with music. His latest project Ghetto Trek is building a stronger foundation for My Hoek My Plek, which Dean hopes to see in every community on the Cape Flats. Dean chooses artists for each area that will bring something different. “If it’s a house-orientated area, I’ll bring jazz. I’m not into stereotypes, I want to show something different.” In June, he held three exciting Ghetto Trek events at the Cape Town Library, ACTIVATE! offices and in the District 6 Museum. “A ghetto is not a place,” he says, “it is the things we do. If we do positive things then we’re reconstructing the notion of ghetto to positive.” “I want to be successful in life. I love my community so I’m going to change where I’m staying. You don’t have to have a degree – so many bright minds are lost in the school system. I got a Dminus at school and was told that I was not good enough, but I’m doing a lot, I have a bright mind.”

Fernando has organised two successful soccer tournaments, golf lessons and is currently focused on creating safe places to skateboard. Fernando also works closely with Specialist Agents for Youth who, with his help, won National Lottery funding and bought two vehicles. “Now I can take the boys to the big Kumba Skateboarding Plaza more regularly.”

A healthy body leads to a healthy mind believes Activator Mlekeleli Khuzwayo (32) and he is passionate about keeping his community healthy. “I noticed that most people don’t know about a healthy workout,” said Mlekeleli. So he organised two huge, free gym events where 200 and then 500 people came together to be healthy. “I have artists playing music, I tell the people about dieting and we have an exhibition area where new entrepreneurs can showcase their work,” he said.

Fernando was instrumental in petitioning local government to build a library for the community. “I give the community a platform to come forward with their ideas, that I don’t want to assume. Then I work towards what they need and when it is done, like with the library, I find the next project for my community.” He is also currently focused on Early Childhood Development, working to establish a community day-care centre.

Melkelekli operates two gyms that are cheap and easy for the community to join. “I want people to live longer, live better. I have a 60-year-old granny and a 10-year-old girl coming to my gyms, it is all about family and being healthy,” he said. His next project is to get Billy Blanks – the famous American fitness guru and creator of Tae Bo – to South Africa. “I need sponsorship to go over there so I can bring him here,” he said.

1. 2. 3. 4.

Gcinumuzi Radebe spends time with a group of young high-school students at one of his many reading clubs in the remote area of Nongoma, rural KZN.

Read the full articles on each Activator at



THABANG MABUZA 073 934 2955


KEFILWE BOPAPE 078 111 2096


DEAN JATES 074 658 5539

WILLIAM MAKGABA 079 780 5467

The Activator JULY 2015

A few years ago a determined Nathacia Olivier got herself and her family off the streets and now owns her own investment company. We spent time with her in the coffee shop she owns in Benoni.






USEFUL TECH: Resources and organisations


If you’re new to social media, this slideshare will provide some context around social media platforms and tools and make the online landscape look less frightening for beginners:

The Info-Activism How-To Guide is a great resource for activists, advocates and organisations who want to use technology to advance their campaigns. The site is filled with strategies, digital tools and case studies from around the world with a focus on strategic outcomes of digital campaigns. Go to to access the tools. offers some fantastic campaign planning templates and lessons and stories from previous mobilisations for activists and organisers.

The Silicon Cape Initiative is a nonprofit community of techtrepreneurs, developers, angel investors and venture capitalists who are passionate about entrepreneurship and technology. The website offers a wealth of articles, resources and event listings (workshops, conferences, competitions) and is a great resource for start-ups. Visit www. for more information.

Non Profit Tech For Good is a great resource for non-profits who want to use social media to grow their causes, initiatives and campaigns. Follow it at

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organisation representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations (UNAs) and their thousands of constituents. This website has a wealth of resources to help youth get involved in UN-related activities and build the capacity of their associations. Visit to access these resources. You can also access the United Nations Youth Library with tons of downloadable publications at aspx

Opportunities for Africans (OFA) is an online information portal that seeks to connect Africans with up-to-date lifechanging opportunities. The portal hosts various opportunities such as scholarships, fellowships, internships, conferences, jobs, competitions and other life-changing prospects. Go to www. to access opportunities and follow them on social media: and oppsforafricans

The Praekelt Foundation’s mission is to use open source technologies to deliver essential information and inclusive services to millions of people around the world. The organisation uses mobile technology to give communities access to services and information that had been previously inaccessible. For more information about what they do and how to access their services, visit, email or call 011 482 8654.

For a comprehensive list of contact details for government facilities, non-profit organisations, the public sector, media contacts and a Donor Directory in the Western Cape, visit

The Foundation for Human Rights is a local grant-making institution supporting civil society organisations in South Africa, and the region. The Foundation’s mission is to address the historical legacy of apartheid, to promote and advance transformation in the country and to build a human rights culture using the Constitution as a tool. Their website features various projects, articles and downloadable toolkits for NGOs on budgeting, promoting your organisation and strategic planning. Visit www.fhr. to access these tools.

If you’re new to the non-profit sector, this resource will give you tons of information to help you get started:

To keep in touch with the latest news, opinions, vacancies and opportunities in the South African NGO sector, make sure to follow the South African NGO and Development Information Portal, NGO Pulse, a media platform established by the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT). The platform promotes communication and networking in the NGO and broader civil society. Visit for details.


TED (Ideas Worth Spreading) is a fantastic global platform to source videos from thought leaders on any topic: motivation, advocacy, the environment, community development, education, entrepreneurship and more. Visit to browse through the list of resources.

For some great resources and suggestions for books to read about non-profits, follow this blog on Pinterest: www. Pinterest is a

visual bookmarking site where you can store links to useful things you find on the internet. You will need to create a (free) account to access this blog.

Inyathelo is a nonprofit organisation that works to sustain and strengthen civil society organisations and grow local philanthropy in support of a vibrant democracy in South Africa. The institution has a bank of resources for change drivers including useful publications to download from the website. It also has a physical book lounge with a collection of over 2000 books, publications, DVDs, manuals, toolkits, magazines and directories at their offices in Woodstock, Cape Town. Inyathelo also holds regular workshops on various subjects and has a Civil Society Hub which boasts a stateof-the art creative space for individuals and groups to work, learn and share. For information on how to access Inyathelo’s resources, go to, email info@ or call 021 465 6981.

The Nonprofit Network is a resource centre for nonprofit organisations in using social media, websites and e-newsletters. The website has a comprehensive list of website and social media guides to help you with designing your site and creating an online strategy, as well as useful ebooks to download. To access these resources, visit

World Pulse is a powerful online community of women and allies from 190 countries speaking out and building solutions to today’s biggest challenges. It empowers women leaders on the ground by advancing their digital skills and leadership to mobilise and create real social transformation. While the training is aimed at women, the toolkits are downloadable and accessible to everyone who is interested in utilising citizen journalism to further their cause. Visit to download Digital Empowerment training materials and the Voices of our Future Media Training modules.

Khulumani Support Group is a membership based organisation of victims and survivors of apartheid-related human rights violations. Started by survivors testifying at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it has become a globally recognised movement. Visit for more information. is the online home to The Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shack Dwellers) Movement, the largest organisation of the militant poor in post-apartheid South Africa. The movement’s key demand is for ‘Land and Housing in the City’, but it has also successfully politicised and fought for an end to forced removals

and for access to education and the provision of water, electricity, sanitation, health care and refuse removal, as well as bottom-up popular democracy. The best way to make direct contact with Abahlali baseMjondolo is to send a letter to: Abahlali baseMjondolo Kennedy Road Informal Settlement 286 Kennedy Road Clare Estate 4138, Durban South Africa For more information, visit the website or call 031 304 6420.

The Right2Know (R2K) Campaign was launched in August 2010 as a coalition of organisations and people responding to the Protection of State Information Bill (the Secrecy Bill) and currently operate through four provincial working groups — in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. The R2K Campaign is committed to the free flow of information for all – and believes that free expression and access to information are the building blocks of an accountable democracy. For more information or to get involved, visit, email admin@ or call 021 447 1000.

Equal Education is a movement comprising learners, parents, teachers and community members working for quality and equality in South African education, through analysis and activism. For more information or to get involved, visit, email or call 021 387 0022.

Social Justice Coalition (SJC) was started by a group of individuals in Cape Town in response to the 2008 xenophobic attacks and out of concern for the lack of political leadership by our government. The social movement protests against the failure of government to address service delivery, accountability and the associated attacks on the Constitution and Judiciary, and campaigns for safe, healthy and dignified communities in some of South Africa’s largest, most under-developed and dangerous townships. For more information, visit www. or contact the Social Justice Coalition office on 021 361 0298. is an independent, community advocacy organisation that seeks to build a more just and peoplepowered South Africa. They do this by running multilingual mobile petition campaigns and turning every cellphone into a democracy building tool. members from across the country come together at critical moments to take targeted, coordinated and strategic action to make real change. To view or add your voice to the current campaigns, visit

Ndifuna Ukwazi is a Cape Town based organisation run by a group of activists, researchers, teachers and lawyers who use research and strategic litigation to campaign for justice and equality in poor and working class communities. They run legal campaigns and provide strategic research support to social justice organisations. For example, one of their primary objectives is building community understanding of policing in South Africa and giving people the power to have oversight of the police. For more information, visit or call 021 423 3089.

SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. The national organisation is named after the section in the Constitution that enshrines everyone’s right to health care, food, water and social security. For more information, visit, email or call 011 356 4100.

The People’s Assembly is a website that aims to promote accountability and bridge the gap between ordinary people and their elected representatives. Statistics show that there is a growing disconnect between citizens and their representatives. The People’s Assembly seeks to promote a greater public voice and enhance public participation in politics by providing information about our elected representatives and the institutions they serve, and even allow you, the citizen, to provide feedback. To learn more about this initiative, visit, email contact@ or call 021 465 8885.

Occupy Central with Love and Peace is a non-violent, direct action movement in Hong Kong that demands genuine universal suffrage in compliance with international law, in particular oneperson-one-vote and the right to run and be elected to office without unreasonable restrictions. The website features great examples of nonviolent protests. Visit oclphkenglish. for more information.

The Mjaft! Movement was born out of a four-month awareness-raising campaign that targeted the key issues stunting Albania’s socio-political and economic growth and has set a new standard for Albania’s civil society sector. Its core principles are: democracy, active citizenship, the attainability of change, strong communities, equal opportunities, solidarity, volunteerism and other irrefutable power of debate. The movement has empowered communities nationwide and stimulated public demand for the improvement of living conditions. To read more about this powerful initiative and how they achieved this, visit

The Center for Nonviolent Solutions is an organisation started to create a culture of peace in the community of Worcester, England. Founded in 2008, the members began discussing ways to educate the community about the history and efficacy of nonviolence, how to transform conflict and nonviolent communication skills. The organisation’s mission is to provide education and

resources to help the community to understand nonviolence and peacemaking as a way of life and to reject the use of violence in solving conflict. To read about how they are pioneering this shift toward peace and nonviolence, visit

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) is a growing African institution committed to deepening democracy, protecting human rights and enhancing good governance in the region. OSISA’s mission is to initiate and support programmes working towards open society ideals, and to advocate for these ideals in southern Africa, which involves looking beyond immediate symptoms, in order to address the deeper problems. OSISA, where appropriate, also supports advocacy work by its partners in the respective countries, or joins partners in advocacy on shared objectives and goals. Its website hosts some great r esour ces and publicat ions f or download. For more information, visit or call 011 587 5000.

Standing strong, Activator Snehlanhla Zwane-Baloyi, with sign for campaign in June 2014 (left). Screen grab of news insert on Amandla. mobi campaign in June 2014 (top right). Screen grab of SECTION27, a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights.

“Young people are the future of this country. We need to get out of our comfort zones and stop expecting everything to be handed to us. We need to be involved in our communities because that’s where it all starts.” SHOBANE MAFONA Botlokgwa, Polokwane

The Activator JULY 2015





FUNDING: Widening your options

CROWDFUNDING rowdfunding is a relatively new online funding source that stems from an old idea. Like traditional fundraising, it seeks small donations from lots of people, but using the internet expands the project’s reach and takes your fundraising to a global market.


Crowdfunding websites have taken this concept to a national or global scale. Now you can raise money for your project or idea through contributions from a crowd of people all around the world who ‘back’ your idea. Through the crowdfunding website people can donate money or skills to towards your idea – helping you turn it into a reality. When you load a campaign onto a crowdfunding site, you must provide the initial amount of money you would need to raise to get your idea off the ground, along with a time limit in which you must raise this money – your first milestone. If you don’t succeed in meeting this first milestone, all money raised is returned to the funders and your project is removed from the crowdfunding site. So, it’s important not to ask for too much money, especially if it’s your first crowdfunding campaign. Also don’t ask for too much time, as your campaign will lose momentum. Crowdfunding is different to traditional funding as your ‘backers’ get a reward in return for their contribution. Rewards can be as simple as a recognition email for small amounts donated, or products from your project. Rewards should increase in ‘worth’ as the funded amount gets larger.


The team operating the crowdfunding sites will support you throughout your campaign. In return if your campaign is successful they receive a commission on the final amount crowdfunded, usually around 5% for registered NGOs and 7% for individuals or organisations. Here are some websites you can look into: This is a South African crowdfunding platform, based in Cape Town, that helps you raise funds only. Thundafund is an online marketplace showcasing different ideas, projects and campaigns that people would like crowds to donate towards. Should you run a campaign on this site, you will work with the Thundafund Team and you’ll be successful if the crowd thinks your project or idea is great and worth donating money towards! You can use this site to raise money for social or commercial projects. Activators who want to try out this idea should contact Nonkululeko Hlongwane on Facebook, or ask ACTIVATE! for her email address – she’ll tell you about her personal experience of working with Thundafund. To contact Thundafund email Ripple is another South African crowdfunding platform. Through Ripple people can support your idea by either donating


Here are some tips to help you run a successful crowdfunding campaign: 1. Have the time to commit to your campaign, you must be dedicated and creative – go big on Facebook, Twitter and all social media. 2. Tell a compelling story, keep it short – but make sure it covers all the important info – the who, why, where, what and hows of your idea. 3. Make a catchy 1-3 minute pitch video that expresses your goals – this is highly recommended! 4. Inspire your audience to join you on your journey – you are not just asking for money. 5. Think carefully about your fundraising target (don’t set it too high!). Research shows R100 is the most popular amount donated. 6. Thundafund fund recommends 30-45 days to hit your first milestone – too long and you’ll run out of steam. 7. Decide on the small prizes or ‘gifts’ you’ll give to people who donate. Make it something people will like and want! 8. Use your friends, family and networks and ask them to use theirs: crowdfunding works based on social media and spreading the word via networking your message. 9. Do your research into other crowdfunding campaigns, successful or not, so you can learn from others.

money, or via non-monetary material resources or volunteering their time and skills. It’s run by the same company as Thundafund, but Ripple is focused on causes and movements that drive social change. The Ripple Team will provide support throughout your campaign’s lifespan, taking a 5% commission from funds raised at the end of the campaign to cover their costs. For more

information email or call 073 802 1178. This is an international crowdfunding platform providing an international audience. You’ll have to comply with different rules and currencies, which can be complicated. Good luck!

“Growing up and living our lives is hard, it’s a struggle. We all have our stories. But don’t let this break you down. The key is to never give up. Define what you want in life and go after it, no matter what.” THANDILE MPOMPO Kimberley, Northern Cape



Press Play GOIN





Do you have an idea or initiative you want to develop? Do you want to master some tools and techniques that will enable you to develop any idea or initiative? Then, the SWITCH is for you.

So many ideas are born out of a need or an opportunity, but so few of them become a reality with meaningful impact. Activators are also full of great ideas, but these ideas need to be tested, understood and refocused in order to give them the best chance of succeeding and creating positive impact. Ideas also need to be well crafted to attract support from funders, stakeholders and beneficiaries. The SWITCH provides a safe environment to explore ideas and provides all who are part of the process to access tools and methodologies that are best suited to develop and grow ideas and their viability in readiness for sharing with stakeholders. The SWITCH has 4 levels: 1. An Ideas Canvas that enables effective exploration of all aspect of an idea or initiative. 2. Innovation that builds into your ideas ingenuity and creativity in solving a particular problem, which adds tremendous value to an idea or initiative. 3. Understanding what is needed to make your idea a reality. 4. Practising and refining your presentation of your idea to stakeholders. TO APPLY TO COME ON SWITCH TRAINING PLEASE CONTACT

The Activator JULY 2015

I studied sociology and it changed how I think and who I am. I questioned what I could do to change the structures of human society. I’m interested in gender and in helping society unEASTERN derstand what gender is. I’ve found that quite often CAPE people cannot differentiate between gender and sex. New Brighton Homophobia stems out of that misunderstanding, that people do not realise that gender is your psychological make-up and sex is how you are biologically wired. ACTIVATE! gave me a platform. It showed me how to approach things, bring the elements together, navigate among political and social institutions, and organise my own thinking to make a bigger impact. You cannot sell an idea to anybody if you yourself are not organised. I see young people I’ve connected with relating to what they have heard. I’ll hear them discussing their thoughts with others. This motivates me. Globalisation has removed the humanity, the caring, from society. I would love to see more cohesive communities. We’re divided on all fronts. Some of the solutions are right here among us but because we’re looking for something that’s far away or abstract we neglect what is within us. I think young people need to be aware that there is a direct relationship between ‘the way I live today and the future.’ We do not see the power we have. We are creative and energetic, and not afraid of trying new things. If we harness these we can enrich our social environments and our personal development – and make change real. PRINCE CHARLES: 081 446 1903 11


often get asked, “What is personal branding?” A Ghanaian friend of mine, Bernard Kalvin Clive, defines it as “the combination of one’s skills and potential, which produces value and perception in the minds of others.”


I want you to take particular notice of the keywords “SKILLS”, “POTENTIAL”, “VALUE”, “PERCEPTION” and “MINDS”. In your journey, what determines the value that you bring to society is solely dependent on your skills and potential, whether obtained from formal education or from birth. If you have a desire to become a compelling unique brand in your community and/or workplace, but don’t know where to start, here are a few tips to get you started.

These answers will determine whether you will be a person of value or not. For example, my personal vision is clear and is to “INSPIRE LIVES AND BUILD BRANDS FOR EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE”. In everything you do, you need to have a clear vision as this is what the world, employers and potential customers are looking for from you.

CLEAR VISION: Brand life starts with having a clear sense of vision. What is that one thing

LOCALISE YOUR VISION: Once you have defined your role in society, you need to implement your



that you want to achieve in your society, workplace and organisation? What would you not mind doing whether you get paid for it or not?


vision right away in order to bring value. How do you this? By telling the people around you what your role is and what you are good at. Once these people know this, they will begin to share your role with others. This is how value is added in society. The most famous icons started with playing a role in their immediate surroundings in order to become people of value.

COMMUNICATE YOUR BRAND CLEARLY: Once you have defined your role and told people about it, it is important to keep communicating your brand consistently to grow your sphere of influence and market. There are many platforms available today for building your personal brand, but it’s important to remember to be consistent in your messaging so that people can start recognising you. The challenge we have with many young people is that they want to be all over the show at once. Many want to become jack of all trades, but in today’s world we are looking for

@rebrand15 (Twitter) 
diesel masia (Google Talk)

specialists who know what they are doing. Also note that it takes years to build a brand and just a second to destroy it. Always be careful about what you are posting as just one bad message could destroy all your hard work. COMMIT TO EXCELLENCE: Consciously building your brand means being aware of the content and messages that you are putting out to people. When you commit to excellence, you must commit in both word and action. It is not enough to do excellent work but when you advertise it, you make spelling mistakes or your messages are unclear. Big companies such as Adidas and Nivea spend millions to make sure that their messages are 100% correct. Similarly, you must treat yourself like a million-dollar product and make sure that your messages are correct and consistent. If you are unable to do this yourself, find someone to assist you with it.

diesel.masia (Skype)


When applying for a job, remember you may have to write and apply to several job opportunities before being offered a job. NEVER GIVE UP.

obseekers often assume that the easiest part of looking for a job is creating the CV, and the hardest is the interview. However, we forget that it is the humble CV that is tasked with getting us through the door in the first place.


South Africa’s high unemployment rate means that there are hundreds of applicants for every position advertised, which means that your Curriculum Vitae needs to make an impact. Here are a few tips to help you stand out from the crowd: 1. KEEP IT SHORT AND SIMPLE This might sound wrong considering that your aim is to stand out, but when it comes to CVs, less is more. Bright coloured paper, patterns, graphics and wordart are a big No and the general rule of thumb is to keep it to two pages. 2. AVOID LONG PARAGRAPHS Think of it this way: imagine you’re an employer and you have 200 CVs to read through to find one candidate. Employers generally scan text during the first round and don’t have the time to read long paragraphs. Keep to short, bulleted paragraphs that are easier to read. 3. START WITH THE MOST RECENT EXPERIENCE. Many jobseekers make the mistake of listing their first job first. This is a mistake. Employers want to know where you are coming from and the current skills that qualify you for this job. Always work backwards in time from your current position.

THE TECH TICKET The Activator JULY 2015

4. AVOID ACRONYMS, ABBREVIATIONS, JARGON AND TXT LANGUAGE. Language changes all the time and different companies and industries have different terms for the same things. Make sure to spell out acronyms and abbreviations and, where it isn’t clear, explain what a certain task or programme is that you’ve worked on. 5. CONFIRM YOUR REFERENCES The worst thing that could happen is a bad reference, and next in line is no reference at all. Always confirm your references before emailing your CV to check that their details are still correct (they might have changed jobs) and to let them know that you’ve included their details in your resume. REMEMBER When applying for a job, remember you may have to write and apply to several job opportunities before being offered a job. For more information on jobseeking, visit Career Planet at: Mobi: USSD: *121*2288#


10 STEPS ON HOW TO WRITE YOUR COVER LETTER They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The opposite is true of jobseekers and their cover letters. While not always compulsory, a cover letter is being requested by employers more often these days in order to better gauge the competency and personality of job applicants. Career Planet, a web-based career information organisation, offers the following guidelines on compiling your cover letter correctly. A Cover Letter’s job is to entice (make) the reader (a potential employer) to continue on and read your CV. Your Cover Letter, if written well, will set you apart from other applicants and give you a better chance of getting an interview. Here are a few tips to consider: ~~Research the company so you know what the company, or organisation is all about. ~~Understand the job advertised. ~~How do your skills and personality traits fit the job? Include examples of these. ~~How would the company benefit from your skills and personality? ~~Type it out so it matches your CV (See The Do’s and Don’ts of CV Writing). ~~Check for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes! ~~Keep it short (about half a page, no longer than 1 full page). What should I include in my Cover Letter? 1. START your Cover Letter with the advert REFERENCE (eg. job title, code, number ). Look for it. 2. Your name, telephone and/or email address. 3. If possible, the name and position, and company of person you’re sending your CV to. 4. The date. 5. Dear …… (if possible, type in Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr and the person’s surname). This makes your Cover Letter more personal. If you can’t find out their name, write Dear Sir/Madam. 6. Name of job advertised. 7. (Paragraph 1): Describe briefly why this job is exciting for you and why you would like to apply for the job. Always be positive. They do not want to hear about your problems. 8. (Paragraph 2): Briefly list your skills and qualifications and why you would be perfect for the job and the company. This will show you have done your research and that you are focused on THIS job. 9. (Paragraph 3): Let the company know you are confident in your abilities. Let them know you are looking forward to hearing from them. Always come across eager NOT desperate. 10. Finish the Cover Letter with either: ... Yours sincerely (if you know the receiver’s name). ... Yours faithfully (if you don’t know the receiver’s name).


INSPIRATIONS: Activators who have risen from the ground up


Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Adversity is the mother of progress,” and he definitely had a point, but the reality of living in a country with such extreme inequality can be overwhelming. Read here about some Activators who have overcome such experiences.


That is why ACTIVATE! is so strong on networking. It’s so important for all of us to hear inspiring stories about Activators who have managed to overcome hardships, to meet and connect with these encouraging people so that we can keep motivated. These are the kinds of incredible people Gandhi was talking about. One such Activator is Baxolise Dlali (27) from the rural community of Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape. “We grew up without electricity or running water, we had to go and get water from far distances,” he said. When he was growing up, Baxolise’s parents had a good café business, but things went wrong. “My parents lost their business and basically everything, it was tough to make ends meet.” Baxolise got a bursary for high school, as his parents could no longer afford to pay for his education. From early on, Baxolise grabbed every opportunity he could. He was driven by his passion for his community, current affairs and international economics. After school he started a youth-led and youth-focused development organisation, Masifunde Together. In the past few years Baxolise has served as a Youth Ambassador to the Parliament of South Africa and he is the Deputy Chairperson on the United Nations Population Agency’s Youth Advisory Panel. He represented South Africa at the African Union Agenda 2063 youth consultations in Kenya. He currently works for ACTIVATE! and is an entrepreneur.

resources but ourselves. Sometimes our average walk per week was over 100 km because we had to sacrifice taxi fares,” she said.

Lenina had a talent for writing and studied journalism, doing an internship at a printing company. “The owner happened to know the Deputy Editor of Femina Magazine and arranged a job shadow for me there. I wrote two pieces and the Deputy Editor loved it.” After graduation Femina offered Lenina a job, kicking off her career. “I believe when you put effort into something – I was sending out about 10 CVs a day, even for secretary positions – the universe will conspire to give you something better. The trick is to believe and not give up,” said Lenina.

Isaac Maloleka from Qwaqwa in the Free State also grew up in a very disadvantaged home. “It was in winter, my mom couldn’t afford to buy us shoes, and then I had to go to school,” he remembered. Initially he left school to earn money working on building sites, but decided to go back and finish school. “That’s when I realised there’s a little spark of arts in me.” Since then Isaac has earned a good living as an actor.

“Every person you meet is a possible network, even if they’re in a different industry. Every job I got was through someone who knew someone,” she said. As a little girl, Cathy Achilles (36) from Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, found out she was the product of a rape. Her mother married and moved away, and Cathy was left behind to be raised by her grandmother. This had a profound effect on her life, and Cathy used her pain to help others.

When Lenina Rasool-Louw was 10 years old her comfortable life was turned upside down. Her parents got divorced and suddenly they had to move in with her aunt. Her mother, a housewife for 20 years, had to get a job. Technology had changed so much, “I didn’t realise how hard it was for her,” said Lenina.

In 2013, she joined ACTIVATE! and connected with a fellow Activator, Keith Knoop. They established the innovative Youth Interpreter Magazine as a CSI funder for Keith’s Tag Changers NGO. Keith and Cathy travel around the country, spending time in communities, gathering stories for the magazine. “This is not a stagnant publication, it’s a youth movement,” she said. “For each Issue, we visit and profile different communities by interviewing residents, especially the youth. We also host an ‘Each One Reach One” workshop in the communities.”

“My teen years were very lean but we got by on love, fresh air and my mom’s blood, sweat and tears.”

Cathy believes that a lack of resources should not stop people. “When we started Tag Changers, we had no

“My advice to people is lay proper foundations, don’t take short cuts and know your best days are ahead of you.”


Lenina worked hard at school, “I knew we didn’t have any extra money.” She wanted to study and got a bursary, but the registration and travel costs were still a stretch. “During my second year, my mom applied for a credit card with just the amount of credit for my registration fee. By my third year, I got a part time job with Pick n Pay to pay for my transport.”

“I hope to inspire young people to live out their full potential and passions, to dream and turn their dreams into realities, even if they have to conquer mountains along the way,” she said.


Isaac tells of his biographical play “Inside” about a man locked in prison for a relatively small crime. “Small crimes can get big sentences, and brutal crimes can get small sentences. I want to warn people, it is not easy being in prison. Try to stay as positive as you can and stay out of prison,” he said. Passionate about rehabilitating convicts, he established the Social Integration Programme. Isaac works with people released from jail trying to build on the skills they learnt in prison, like gardening or sculpture.


“We try to bridge the gap between them and the community. I achieve this through my workshops, dialogues and my theatre work,” he said. Resources are limited and he is looking for financial partners. “I use the money I make from my theatre to sponsor the work I do with ex-offenders,” he said. Things also did not come easy to Koketso Moeti. “Growing up in a white supremacist world and being black, in a capitalist society and being poor. These ideological things play out in your own life,” she said. Koketso got to her second year at the University of Johannesburg, but with no place to stay, sleeping in the library, she could not keep it up. It was when she fell pregnant that things changed.


“You realise that things have got to change, you want things to be better for your child.” Passionate about challenging the status quo, Koketso co-founded Amandla. mobi, a social justice campaigning platform. “It’s about creating an opportunity for people to see that there are alternative possibilities. Communities are caught up in hopelessness and can’t see that things could be different,” she said. is currently running a national campaign focussed around the Marikana shootings. “Young people tend to see ‘moving forward’ or progress as what’s out there. In reality it’s about what is within your space. Social justice is here, it’s how we treat each other in our spaces.” Lee-Marque Jansen grew up in Tsitsikamma on the Garden Route and he defines his biggest challenge as having limited resources. “There was no place you could go on the Internet and see what was out there in the world. We did not know about the broad spectrum of jobs out there, or the bursaries and opportunities available,” he said. Lee and his mother left his father and half siblings in 2000, “...from there on we were on our own.” His mother was very involved in community activities and Lee assisted her. “That’s where my independence and fondness for supporting communities began.” He started an NGO – FIDOS, Films For The Youth In Action – Films for the Development Organisation. “I’m interested in helping you educate yourself, not to be a better person for your job, but to develop yourself personally.”

Life was not easy for Zandile but she kept motivated. “Believe in who you are, not where you come from, because your past doesn’t determine your future,” she said. Tony Mathipa (25) grew up in abject poverty in Meadowlands, Soweto, his single mom supported five kids on a small salary. “Sometimes we went to school with no food in our tummies or lunch money,” he said. At school Tony excelled at debating. “It gave me a sense of purpose and grounded me.” His mother sacrificed all sorts of things – including food – to pay for his transport to get him to the various competitions. After school – through debating – Tony attended the Youth for Human Resources competition where, although he didn’t win at first, he was noticed, and things started to happen for him. Tony is a Youth Parliamentary Ambassador and became an Activator in 2012.

“Because of ACTIVATE! I established the NGO. Because of the NGO I have connected with a lot of people. Last month Lee was invited to meet the Minister of Tourism, “that was a highlight of my life,” he said. Zandile Motsoeneng (27), from Naledi in Soweto, became an Activator in 2014. Zandile’s parents where abusive alcoholics and could not take care of her and her sisters. They were raised by their grandmother and depended on her pension for survival. “I had my ancestral calling and couldn’t finish my studies but I didn’t want to end up like my parents, uneducated and an alcoholic,” said Zandile. “I went to my initiation school for a year and never looked back as today (after 7 years) I am a qualified traditional healer. I also finished my human resources N6 qualification.” Zandile has also started an NGO, Dikgoro Dibutswe, which defends, advocates, supports and rehabilitates marginalised gay men and women back into the community. The Activator JULY 2015


Tony’s passion is youth and community development, making a difference to young people from disadvantaged communities. He is currently the National President for Youth for Human Rights, an international organisation that educates young people about their human rights. He is also a G2055 Youth Ambassador for Gauteng Province and an Ambassador for the Parliamentary Millennium Program. “Nothing is impossible,” said Tony. “Live your life remembering that you are a role model for someone else younger than you. Set a good example, you never know who is looking up to you,” he said.

Lee believes sharing life experiences, no matter how tragic, is important as it can help other people. “A lot of our youngsters commit suicide,” said Lee who had attempted it when he was young. “I don’t regret it because through that experience I managed to save three of my friends lives because I could tell them that it’s not worth it, that it’s just going to worsen the problem.”


ACTIVATE! has changed my life. It has got me off the couch and doing something. The power of the network, the unbreakable connections, is awesome.

SPEAK TO ME... ZANDILE MOTSOENENG 073 812 7466 TONY MATHIPA 082 056 7379 BAXOLISE DLALI 082 978 8588 LENINA RASOOL 082 266 1398 LEE-MARQUE JANSEN 074 542 7839 ISAAC MALOLEKA 071 184 8394 KOKETSO MOETI 082 583 5869 CATHY ACHILLES 073 592 8805


I believe that if we want to change the world we need NATAL to start at home. Once we’ve made an impact in our Wentworth communities, ideas can spread. The community I come from has always been known for gangsterism, poverty and drug abuse. There is so much hurt, which is why I want to empower it. I am involved in community development, and my heart is with children. I help run a resource centre, a safe space that helps them realise their potential. Mandela said: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.’ We think of education as going to school and getting taught, but it is not only about books and degrees. I have a son. He comes with me to work at children’s homes – he interacts with the children, hands out food, helps with a puppet show. He sees the work I do and asks questions about it. We organised a blanket drive recently. The message went out and blankets, clothing, shoes and food all started pouring in. This showed us that as a united group we’re more powerful than as individuals. My vision is of a peaceful community, and country, where we all stand together in peace to help those in need. My advice to other change drivers is to be strong and never give up, you don’t know who you’re inspiring.

SADE LOCHENBERG: 073 665 5421 15








for the existence of the republic, sets out the rights and duties of its citizens, and defines the structure of the government. The current constitution was drawn up by the Parliament elected in 1994.

This is the official mobile application of the South African Government. This application is free to use, and provides easy access to Government information, news and key contact details.



SOUTH AFRICAN PARLIAMENT Do you want to know what the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa is doing for you? This app will help you understand and track how the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa is serving you. Features include: ~ ~View Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports ~ ~View National Assembly and National Council of Provinces House Programme ~ ~View Daily Parliamentary Papers: Order Paper; Minutes of Proceedings; Question Papers; Internal Question Papers ~ ~Track and view the status of Bills before Parliament ~ ~Know who the Members of Parliament are ~ ~Get the latest Parliamentary news and press releases ~ ~Gain an understanding of Parliament’s Strategic Plan ~ ~Learn about upcoming events, activities, debates and public participation initiatives of Parliament ~ ~Access social media links: Facebook, Twitter and You-Tube. THE COMPLETE SOUTH AFRICAN CONSTITUTION IN EASILY SEARCHABLE AND READABLE FORMAT The Constitution of South Africa is the supreme law of the country of South Africa. It provides the legal foundation

* TCT (Transport for Cape Town)

enhances the Cape Town transport experience for public and private commuters, providing access to: journey planning, timetables, traffic incidents and places of interest. Whether you wish to navigate the buses and trains, find the closest MyConnect Point or Tell TCT about something, it’s all available within the app.

* K53 SOUTH AFRICA is the most


popular FREE Learner’s licence app in South Africa, Thousands have tried it and thousands have passed. It offers Random Test questions, Book Test questions, Signs Only Test, Rules of the Road Only Test, Controls Only Test. or K53 SA is the second edition of the K53 Learners SA in which all the mistakes have been fixed and updated with the latest questions and answers. Pass your exam the first time with no hassle. A Review option has been added so users can see where they have made their mistakes. Get your learners’ and drivers’ licences the easy way.

* GRIDWATCH The most up-to-date

database of load shedding schedules in South Africa, brought to you by, lets you search and save loadshedding schedules from across South Africa using our extensive load shedding schedule database.

“APP APP HOORAY!” ACTIVATE GROUPS is our first mobile app. If the app isn’t already launched by the time you are reading this, it will be soon. - WATCH THIS SPACE -

A mobile app is a software application designed for use on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, rather than desktop or laptop computers. They are being used more and more to support social justice movements. 16

ACTIVATE! GROUPS is an instant messaging app for Activators, created to get you even closer to your fellow change drivers. ACTIVATE! GROUPS will provide a direct link to other Activators to let them know what you’re up to, send them invitations to your events, ask for assistance within the network and connect with other Activators who are working on similar projects and issues. The app will also act as a channel for important information from ACTIVATE!, which will include messages, announcements, travel details and events. After downloading the app, you will automatically be preloaded to groups aligned to your training year, nodal group, intake, area, city and interests on Connection Hives. The app is currently only available for Android phones. Watch your inbox and ACTIVATE!’s social media pages for news of the launch.

MEDIA MATTERS WORKSHOP: Understanding and working with the media

hether you’re a blatant attention-grabber or prefer to operate under the radar, the one space we all need to dip into eventually when running a project, organisation or business is the media industry. After all, once the start-up is complete, the next step is getting our initiatives in front of people – customers, fans, potential funders – in order for them to know about and utilise our services. The reality, however, is that this is much easier said than done.


With so much news and competition out there, information needs to be crafted very carefully to catch the eyes and ears of a journalist. This is why, last year, ACTIVATE! invited the network to attend a series of Media Workshops held in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. The workshops, entitled ‘COMMUNICATING OUR MESSAGES’, were facilitated by media trainer, Fiona Lloyd, a southern African journalist with more than 20 years’ experience specialising in training journalists in conflict and political transition situations. The content focused on – among other things – crafting your Golden Message, preparing for an interview, understanding what journalists need, writing to communicate and social media advocacy. “ACTIVATE! realised that articulation and communicating with the media is a huge challenge for young people who need to get the word out about projects and initiatives they’re involved in,” said ACTIVATE! Communications Manager, Nelisa Ngqulana. “We introduced the Media Workshops to start supporting this need in order to further support Activators in driving positive change across South Africa.” If you need to navigate the media space but are not sure where to start, here are a few useful tips to craft your message before sending it out: ~ ~ The world’s best communicators have one thing in common: the ability to make their audience identify with their message – and remember it. Give your message a human angle, or a human face, instead of complicated statistics. ~ ~ Repeat key words and key ideas. If

The Activator JULY 2015

you want your audience to remember important information, repeat it – often! Use simple, clear language to express key ideas. ~ ~ Ask questions. When you ask a question, your audience immediately connects with you. They start to relate what you are saying to their own experiences. Questions open minds, and encourage more interaction between you and the people you’re talking to. WHERE TO SHARE? Already have your Golden Message but journalists are not responding? Try the following citizen platforms to highlight your issue. ~ ~ Radio talk shows, especially phoneins, provide a great opportunity for you to publicise your work, talk about your organisation, and chat to people in your community (or the wider public) in a friendly, professional way. ~ ~ Op-eds are articles that appear opposite the editorial page of newspapers. They are written by local citizens, organisation leaders, experts, or others who are knowledgeable about an issue. While letters to the editor usually respond to something written in the paper, the topic of an op-ed is the writer’s choice; of course, more relevant and timely op-eds are more likely to be published. ~ ~ Digital advocacy is the use of digital technology to contact, inform, and mobilise a group of concerned people around an issue or cause. Some of the most-used digital advocacy tools include websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, email and texts. The Community Toolbox also has some great ideas about using social media for digital advocacy: advocacy/direct-action/ electronicadvocacy/main

The Media Workshops, though small – they host 12-14 Activators per session – have been hugely successful, with each participant emerging with a wealth of useful tools to help communicate, market and publicise their initiatives. Here are a few comments from Activators who attended previous sessions. “Fiona has a vast knowledge and international experience yet she trains in such a humble and loving way. The most valuable information was to reach people where they are when working in campaigns. Fiona explained that sometimes, even though our intentions are good when we work on campaigns, we get less participation than expected, and this is because we haven’t taken the time to find out where people are. Part of the workshop project planner teaches us how to have our Golden Messages reach people where they are so that our messages will be better received by the communities we are working on.” BONGI NDLOVUKAZI “An AHA moment for me was developing my Golden Message and learning how to say what you want to say in one sentence. I was also able to use the tools from the workshop – the handbook and CD – to create my interview [opportunity] by calling

into the [radio] show and raising our concerns about the department.” MONDLI MUNGWE “One of the most useful skills for me was the manner in which one speaks, the importance of voice training and warming up your vocal chords, what words to say, how to pronounce them and techniques that one can use when doing a radio or television interview. The training helped me become more confident and comfortable with who I am and how I can work on my speech and voice training. One of the projects I have hosted since required me to speak to a large audience and it is so amazing that I could speak clearly and fearlessly. [The training] is a great investment of knowledge that you will keep and need in the near future.” NATHACIA OLIVIER Workshops for 2015 kicked off in Johannesburg in May, and in Cape Town in June. Watch your inbox for dates for KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Eastern Cape later this year. *For more information about giving media interviews, writing op-eds, social media and creating podcasts, visit the Media and ICT Hive in the Connections Hives and download the ‘COMMUNICATING OUR MESSAGES’ Media Handbook compiled by Fiona Lloyd. cells/view/914

Activator Sonja Nthotho from Kimberley, Chairperson of “Youth Against Crime”, a community talk show about anti-crime issues, presents in English, Afrikaans, and sometimes in her own language, Khwe. 17


CHALLENGES OF CHANGE: Interviews with Activators

lmost by definition, Activators are resourceful, creative, passionate and self-starting. There exists within the group, and within you as individuals, a common dream of lighting the sparks of potential within our society.


The reality is that driving transformation in the context of South Africa is difficult at the best of times. This is, after all, a place where, amongst other things, xenophobia is on the rise, economic growth has slumped and the state of municipalities is compromised. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the scope of your responsibility as an Activator (or fretted about the personal life you’re trying to live when you’re not changing the world), you’re not alone. These battles are affecting, even fierce. We don’t want to let them drag you down. So, we asked some Activators what, for them, is the most difficult thing about trying to drive long-term change within themselves, their families and their communities. What are their challenges? Could they be an opportunity for growth? How do they stay upbeat when the chips are down? The responses give some practical tips and show that driving change isn’t an overnight thing. So if it’s some encouragement you’re after, read on! 18

“There is pressure – pressure we put on ourselves. I’ll tell myself: ‘Okay, I’m an Activator, I’m a drive changer, I’m a networker. This means I’m responsible for what happens in my township.’ It is hard sometimes to carry this load. There’s a huge gap between our generation and that of our parents. We may be criticised for going off on training for a week, when they feel that we’re wasting our time, and that we should spend that time looking for a job. This makes us feel unsupported. Our parents fought their own battles; today, we fight ours.”

FRANK PHOSHOKO Nkumpi, Limpopo

“As an Activator, you learn a lot of things. You get to connect with different people and gain a better perspective of what is happening in your area and elsewhere. The moment you go beyond the boundaries and communicate with other Activators you learn something. I tell myself that even if I fail I am not a loser. I still have some of my Strengthfinder results. I go back, I look at them, and I motivate myself. I also read motivational books. This encourages me, it keeps me going.” STEVEN MUNENGWANE Tembisa, Gauteng

“Living in a rural town with limited internet access puts me on the back foot a bit in the social media space. Sometimes we’re unable to post our work as we complete it. This has forced us to do more work in the city, meaning we’re more in touch with Activators there and we’re all able to share in the work we are doing. I think networking is very important, not only for people with the same vision or in the same area, but across the whole of South Africa, as far as one can reach. Because we need each other’s help, we need to have an exchange of ideas.”

“You cannot be an Activator and do nothing. We have been groomed to drive change… we need to get out there and do things! Take every chance you get. Whether you win or lose it’s not about winning but about learning. Like anyone else I have had challenges that have made me rise up and become resilient. As a result I have developed a positive attitude and confidence in myself.”

TLOTLISANG MOEKETSE Trompsburg, Free State


“Networking and open communication channels are very important. I am always talking to other Activators via cellphone and e-mail. Sometimes you feel stuck and need someone to give you a push – plus, to tell you where they think you’re going wrong. Which often happens if you hang on to information and don’t ask for help. Besides, when you speak to different people you are exposed to new

opportunities. We’re all connected, the chain is linked.” THEMBEKA MCHUNU Mthwalume, KwaZulu-Natal

“We do what we do out of passion, which can sometimes be met with suspicion. Being an Activator is about going to a community and saying, ‘Hey, I’m here to assist.’ The first thing that often gets asked is, ‘Will there be money?’ That’s the hardest part – having to tell people that there isn’t any money, or explaining that we didn’t come to take money from them.”

“ACTIVATE! taught me that you’ve got only two minutes to sell your idea. You should leave that person with them knowing who you are and your idea in a very short space of time. The hardest thing about being an Activator is the expectations that it creates from broader society, because people know about empowerment agencies and have expectations of them – sometimes they think you have an agenda you’re trying to push and this can become a stumbling block.”

“What really holds me back is my full-time job. As an Activator I want to do so much more, I’ve got the resources, I’ve got the network, I’ve got everything at the tip of my hands, but I don’t have the time. If there’s something I want to do I don’t wait for affirmation from this person or that person. I get up and I do it. I don’t sit and overthink things. I talk to myself: ‘Sade, you want to do this. You’re going to do it. It’s going to be a success.’ I also hang around with positive people. I don’t have time for negativity.” SADE LOCHENBERG Wentworth, KwaZulu-Natal

PRINCE CHARLES New Brighton, Eastern Cape

THANTASWA ZONDANI Uitenhage, Eastern Cape

“Standing alone in a society that is going in a certain direction, but wanting to go in another direction and inspiring others to do the same, is the hardest thing. As an Activator you know how to make a change. Start with yourself. Move away from your comfort zone. The one thing that motivates me is my Christian faith. It has instilled in me a calling to serve others. I would like to help bring back the root of Ubuntu – to serve without a stake in financial or material gains, but for the reason that we are all human beings. I think about this when I wake up in the morning, and that’s how that the morning’s tasks unfold.”

ATHI MGQIBELO Ntabankulu, KwaZulu-Natal

“One of the difficult things about being an Activator is that you have to act, otherwise you’re not an Activator! To not only generate ideas and formulate plans and proposals but to implement them, too, is where you can feel quite stretched. You need to motivate yourself. The future is in the hands of the youth. We need to start, right now, formulating a better future for ourselves by getting involved.” DUMELWA UMZONDO LEMBILE Comfimvaba, Eastern Cape

The Activator JULY 2015

“Networking is life. You cannot operate in silos. The strength of a business is relevant to its network… they say your network must be bigger than your net worth. I think there’s a lot of pressure that comes with trying to change the country as a young person. We ask ourselves, ‘Am I doing enough, is it really working, are people listening, what is the overall impact and what can I do better?’ As Activators these leadership questions keep coming back to us.” NTSIKELELO MZIBOMVU Braamfontein, Gauteng

“The hardest thing about being an Activator is that people within the city have more access to opportunities. The distance between city centres makes a huge difference to people being able to attend events and that’s something I’ve always felt bad about.” SABELO MNUKWA Johannesburg, Gauteng

“I don’t believe in working in silence. I believe the youth of South Africa need to be more vigilant about the stakeholders and peers around them who can aid them in bringing whatever change they want to see. Young people are very passionate. When they see an injustice they want to do something about it, but I think for them to determine change in their communities they need to figure out and ask, ‘Who can I work with in my community?’ Put differences aside, we will not always agree on everything, but at the end of the day we are all striving for a common good. The hardest thing for me is juggling responsibilities, and life in general. I’m a working woman and still trying to understand myself as one. I’m just out of school so being able to juggle that with my desire to be an Activator, an activist, with my personal life – it’s challenging.” LETHIWE NKOSI Rondebosch, Western Cape

Often, in the face of trials, Activators perseverance and faith in a long-term vision of working towards a common goal can create meaningful and lasting solutions.






1. Register at and upload your profile picture 2. Many sites use your profile picture from Gravatar, saving you having to upload a profile picture over and over again

Google Docs is a suite of web applications including a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software. What’s it good for? You no longer need to buy software. Google Docs is free. Also, you and your colleagues can work with Google Docs at the same time, which makes collaboration very easy. What should you look out for? The editing process works best if each member has a Google Account. ACTION STEPS 1. Register at 2. Create a presentation for your social project 3. Share your presentation through Google Docs

parked by events in the real world and stoked by online activism, revolution came to the Arab world in spring 2011. Would these revolutions have taken place without the support of web-based technology? Perhaps. But they’ve clearly demonstrated * HOT TIP! 1. Register at the power of the web as a catalyst for social 2. Post presentations about your social change. The ACTIVATE! Technology Passport is projects on Slideshare your ticket to digital citizenship. Learn how to use all the technologies in this passport and others, Google+ is a new social networking and you too can be a force for social change.


Explore the following websites and applications (and register at each if you have not already done so). ~ ~ WORDPRESS ~ ~ WIKIHOW ~ ~ GOOGLE+ ~ ~ GMAIL ~ ~ GOOGLE DOCS ~ ~ TWITTER ~ ~ LINKEDIN ~ ~ FACEBOOK ~ ~ YOUTUBE

LinkedIn is the most popular professional network on the Internet. What’s it good for? Use LinkedIn for professional networking, job applications, or to find colleagues to help you with your social projects. What should you look out for? Aim to be professional. Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes by getting someone you can trust to edit your content. Never lie about your qualifications. ACTION STEPS 1. Register at 2. Create your profile 3. Link to other Activators 4. Follow ACTIVATE! on Linkedin

Facebook is the most popular social network on the Internet. What’s it good for? Facebook lets you connect with friends and colleagues, share updates, photos and videos, create pages for projects, causes and events, etc. What should you look out for? Treat people on Facebook as you would like to be treated by others. Try not to misbehave. Everything you do on Facebook is available to the public. ACTION STEPS 1. Register at 2. Create a Facebook page for your first ACTIVATE! project. 3. Join the ‘ACTIVATE! Change Drivers’ Facebook group


site to rival Facebook. What’s it good for? Google+ can be used for social and professional networking, sharing photos and videos, Twitter-like notifications and more. What should you look out for? As with all social media, avoid simply “friending” everyone. Rather build relationships with people you know, or people who obviously share your values. Having 50,000 friends who are actually strangers who don’t care about you or your goals is pointless. ACTION STEPS 1. Register at 2. Create your profile 3. Create a “circle” for your Activator connections. 4. Join ACTIVATE! on Google Plus

Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that allows you to send a short text message of up to 140 characters. What’s it good for? Twitter lets you build up a list of followers that you can broadcast messages to as well as follow influential people and organisations to stay up to date with local and international news and issues. Twitter is an incredibly economical way of communicating with large groups of people who want to hear from you, because they are interested in your goals, your achievements and your advice. What should you look out for? Don’t bore people with trivial details like: “I’m at KFC.” ACTION STEPS 1. Register at 2. Find and follow people you are interested in. 3. Follow @ActivateZA on Twitter

Gmail is the most popular webmail service.
Webmail is a system for accessing mail from
a web browser, rather than from your own email application. What’s it good for? You need a reliable email address to register at social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Gmail lets you get your email at any internet café or any internet-connected computer anywhere (including smartphones). What should you look out for? Make sure you choose a password you’ll never forget. Passwords that include letters, numbers and punctuation are best. ACTION STEPS 1. Register at 2. Send an email to your local or regional government

YouTube is the most popular video hosting site on the Internet. What’s it good for? Use YouTube for learning. Search for any topic and you’ll find great informational videos. Share videos showing your own social projects. Keep them short and simple. Let people see your world and how you’re reshaping it. What should you look out for? Never upload a video that you would not be proud to show your parents or grandparents. ACTION STEPS 1. Register at 2. Create your profile 3. Create a YouTube “channel” for your social project/s 4. Create a video, edit it if necessary and post it to your channel 5. Subscribe to ActivateLeadershipZA on YouTube


HOT TIP! Free video editors: article2/0,2817,2329222,00.asp

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform on the web. What’s it good for? Blogs are websites on which bloggers record opinions and information on a regular basis. Blog posts can be as short as a paragraph, or even just a photo and a caption. Or they can be hundreds of words long. What should you look out for? To be successful a blog must be regular, for example, once a week or once a day. Once you commit to a schedule, keep to it or risk alienating your readers. ACTION STEPS 1. Register at 2. Choose a theme for your blog (what you’re going to write about) and decide on a schedule you know you can keep


A Wiki is a website that allows users to edit
its content and structure. Wikipedia is the
most popular wiki on the web. WikiHow offers
step-by-step guidance for online activities (like how to upload YouTube videos) and offline activities (like how to plan events). What are wikis good for? Wikis are great resources. Find reasonably good information about anything and everything quickly. What should you look out for? Since wikis can be edited by thousands of users, it’s possible
that some entries may, at some times, be inaccurate or biased. However, wikis are self-policing communities and errors are often picked up quickly and corrected. ACTION STEPS It’s not necessary to register at Wikipedia or WikiHow, but by registering you can contribute to these wikis. 1. Research a topic of interest relevant to your social project 2. Research the topic “netiquette”

“Your circumstances don’t always determine how far you will go, but they can help you decide where you no longer want to be. Stay motivated. The steps that bring you closer to your dream aren’t always easy.” NOMFUNDO JAMA Durban, KwaZulu-Natal



LinkedIn is the most popular professional network on the Internet. Check it out and find out what fellow Activators are doing in the work space – CONNECT!

“Look for opportunities. Don’t wait for them to come to you. Not doing something about your situation means it might never change. You need to do it for yourself.” THULISA MAYEKISO Masiphumelelo, Western Cape

IN THE NEWS The Activator JULY 2015


I am a class-conscious citizen. I’d say I’m a Marxist because I believe it’s our relation to the means of production that determines our position in life. I envision a non-sexist, classless society, free of inequality. I wish to be an effective tool for my people, that they may utilise me in deconstructing societal and institutionalised ills.


My passion area is politics and entrepreneurship. Politics because I believe it determines everything. Entrepreneurship in the sense that it’s my history – growing up my father owned a business. I also believe there are sectors of the economy which we, as previously disadvantaged people, should have the opportunity to break into. I believe entrepreneurship can answer many of society’s problems. I believe that the youth need to focus on unemployment, inequality and poverty. I also believe there’s another struggle which needs to be waged by society at large, that of consciousness. Consciousness shapes the individual. I’m a firm believer in political education and I encourage people to participate in classes offered by political and civil society institutions. The sharpening of the consciousness of general society will ultimately determine the revolution. ACTIVATE! has equipped us with strategies and tactics for coping with various challenges. You don’t always have to burn a tyre to bring attention to a problem – there are 101 ways of nonviolent demonstration. ACTIVATE! has taught me that the rules of engagement differ according to the circumstances; they’re not always the same. My message is a simple one: You must learn to learn. LUYOLO NQAKULA: 078 209 5917 / 081 731 8496 21


STATIONS can be any meeting place: a library, a coffee shop, a tree or someone’s garage.

EXCHANGES are a series of public dialogue sessions where experts and Activators explore critical issues.

Local stations are Hubs established by Activators in their communities and are supported with additional workshops, connectivity and resources that enable them to come together regularly to forward their causes and drive change.

They provide a platform to discuss what young people are doing to create change and what can be done to support them.

By signposting your station and holding regular meetings, you could obtain support for resources for your station which may include: ~ ~Book resources ~ ~Career planning kits ~ ~Connectivity (data or dongles) ~ ~Host Exhanges or events ~ ~Branded material ~ ~Online resources ~ ~Physical resources ~ ~ACTIVATE! training tools You can set up your own meeting places and add them to the online stations list, which will be a Geomap of all meeting places and times of meetings so that all (other) Activators can join in. WHY? To develop their ACTIVATE! identity, learn, share and connect to information. HOW? Organise a space where you can meet, engage, network and plan amongst yourselves and your local stakeholders.

The idea is that Activators interact, make contacts and exchange ideas with people from all sectors of society. These events are designed to widen networks of opportunities and create awareness. While a small number of key Exchanges are run by the organisation that supports the network of change drivers, Activators also organise their own Exchanges, drawing on the organisation for support as they need it. HOW DO YOU ORGANISE ONE? An Exchange can be hosted anywhere. In terms of funding an Exchange, ACTIVATE! will be able to fund the main nodal events with the smaller Exchanges being assisted with basic resources and connections to make this a thriving national network. From cityscapes to rural realms, the Exchange model can find a home. Activators are encouraged to run their own Exchanges. Here is some food for thought on how to arrange your own Exchange: STEP 1: Define your topic Work out what you want to discuss. It

might be a focus area, like environmental issues, poverty alleviation or literacy (those are just examples – there are many more), or it might be about youth, leadership or innovation. The most important thing is to define the dialogue so if someone asks you, “What will you be discussing today?” you will be able to answer them in one sentence.

STEP 2: Find a suitable venue Exchanges are designed to host no more than 100 guests so that deeper discussion can happen. Choose a venue that is big enough if you are indeed going to have 100 guests. Others will be small and intimate. That’s also okay, as long as the venue is suitable for the group size. If you are an Activator and would like to arrange an Exchange: please email communications@activateleadership. with a short proposal of no more than 300 words (at least three weeks before the event) and an electronic toolkit with a checklist will be sent to you itemising the following: 1. Venue (booking and confirmation, seating setup/plan, catering, timing for the day) 2. Speakers (invitations and briefing, confirmation) 3. Ideas for transport 4. Media (writing up a motivation to send to the media, how to navigate the media list on the Junction) 5. Electronic invitations 6. Guest list and RSVPs 7. How to liaise with ACTIVATE! about publicising the Exchange you are arranging



The iShift cogs are designed to help you develop 20 mindsets for entrepreneurship and leadership. Activators can request access to ishift by emailing and request to be added. Once you have received your password for login, you will be able to access the cogs and begin the exercises to improve your leadership and entrepreneurship skills. “Not only has iShift given me access to thought leader’s insights that aid my personal development, it is also a safe space for personal reflection and analysis of my leadership as an individual.” MHLANGANISI MADLONGOLWANA – Activator since 2012


8. The importance of structuring a programme 9. Name badges 10. Feedback forms 11. Report back 12. Ideas about finding budget 13. ‘Business cards’ for Activators

For more information about where to find stations in your province, or if you need some advice on starting your own station, please contact the following Connectors or Nodal Co-ordinators: WESTERN CAPE Lezerine Mashaba 079 329 4966 NORTHERN CAPE Lezerine Mashaba 079 329 4969 NORTH WEST Tebogo Suping 076 622 8564 GAUTENG Tebogo Suping 076 622 8564 LIMPOPO Koketso Marishane 082 544 3070 or Gabriel Matakanye 072 958 7279 KWAZULU-NATAL Kanyisa Booi 071 772 7060 or Nonkululeko Hlongwane 083 424 0480/ 031 462 1272 MPUMALANGA Anele Cele 082 599 1174 EASTERN CAPE Baxolise Dlali 082 978 8588 FREE STATE Kgotso Sothoane 060 459 7354


Hosting an event can be stressful, we know that. Which is why we think equipping Activators with a Guide to hosting an Exchange would shake off some of the pressure. When you’re forearmed, you prepare better. Use this guide to outline your process should you decide to host your own Exchange.


The topic is key. For example: what are the critical issues we face as a community?; what does leadership and identity mean to us and the rest of South Africa?; what are we doing about public accountability? Think about the change you are passionate about driving and translate that into a dialogue. Discuss the topic with fellow Activators, colleagues, thought leaders and friends. Once you have decided and refined the the topic you want to tackle, consider these points: 1. DECIDE WHO YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE ON THE PANEL (if you will be having one): A panel of people who are experts and thought leaders in your chosen subject bring a clear understanding to the discussion. They also add some value into who comes into your event. Don’t forget to brief your panel beforehand so they come prepared and feel part of the conversation. They will also need to know the details of the event, the day, the venue, the time so they can make sure they don’t miss out on the juicy dialogue! 2. LET PEOPLE KNOW: You’ll need to publicise your event so that people know about it. If you don’t have a venue yet, don’t stress. A poster with the date and topic is sufficient to pique interest. You can post this on social media and email it off to guests and stakeholders to get people to Save The Date.

The theme for an Exchange in May 2014 was public accountability. Five Exchanges where held in 5 different cities on the same day. For more information on Exchanges please visit: exchange and read tips opposite on how to host your own Exchange.

3. INVITATION: By now, the venue should be confirmed as invites will need to be sent and a marketing plan needs to be rolled out. Your invite should have the name of your event, the date and time and venue. If you’re sending your invites via email, make sure the mailbox is one that’s attended to as some people RSVP using the email address (or simply create an event email address). 4. MARKETING: Most people use social media to market their event as it is the easiest way of doing so (well, depending on how aggressive you are with your marketing) and it is free. 5. REMINDER: Send a reminder to all a day or two before your event to reinforce it into their memory. This you can do by sending emails or by SMS.

Some of the questions asked in Exchanges focused on the theme of Reflecting on Identity and Leadership in August 2014, were “Do South Africans need a common identity?”; “How can I identify with my neighbour?”; and “How do we separate identity and history?” The Activator JULY 2015

EVENT SUPPORT REQUEST FORM (requests to be sent at least 8 weeks prior to event date) Activator Name & Surname Contact number Node Email SUPPORT NEEDED (Please mark with x what’s needed) ACTIVATE! Banners ACTIVATE! Branding ACTIVATE! Events Checklist Media List Access to potential sponsors ACTIVATE! Business cards Please send your request to


LET’S TALK... HEAD OFFICE 087 820 4873 CHRIS MEINTJES CEO LANDY WRIGHT Programme Director CARMEN MORRIS Finance & Governance RENEE HECTOR-KANNEMEYER Training Programme Manager - 1st year INJAIRU KULUNDU Training & Quality Manager LAUREN DANIELS Training Programme Co-ordinator ALTHEA FARMER Operations Manager PAUL VICARS Systems Manager SIMPIWE BOLI H.R. Administrator CARMEN LOW-SHANG Logistics Co-ordinator LINDA MBUTHINI Logistic Administrator ALEX O’DONOGHUE Network Support Manager ADAM ANDANI M & E Officer MHLANGANISI MADLONGOLWANA Training Co-ordinator: SWITCH CARRIE LEAVER Co-ordinator Support: SWITCH TARRYN ABRAHAMS Events Co-ordinator NELISA NGQULANA Communications Manager LENINA RASOOL-LOUW Communications Assistant LULAMA MALI Social Media Officer ANDISWA MADINDA Administrative Co-ordinator ERIKA JOUBERT Community Development Course Co-ord PETER DAVIS Intern: from US





I have always been inspired by stories. I spent all my time reading and writing from a young age. That’s what has kept me wondering and curious. What inspires me, too, is meeting young people doing great things. They’re my heroes. The ACTIVATE! network has a lot of them!

GAUTENG Johannesburg

ACTIVATE! has enabled me to do more simply from the exposure to different sorts of people in different fields. At university most of the friends I made were philosophy or psychology students. At ACTIVATE!, I ran into people in the development space, or the green sector, and from different provinces. Before that I’d never really got a chance to interact at that level with people of different backgrounds.

KZN NODAL OFFICE 087 820 4875 MDUDUZI MANCI Nodal Leader, KZN DARIAN SMITH Team Leader KOKO ZAKA Trainer DENESE REDDY Trainer NQABA MPOFU Trainer KANYISA BOOI Campaigns Co-ordinator: Going Beyond NONTOBEKO MBATHA (NAZO) Nodal Co-ordinator, KZN

I aspire to be a good citizen and an African thought leader. I take small steps toward that vision every day. Sometimes I think we’re missing the kind of leaders with incorruptible ideals that people can look up to. An area of priority for me is social dialogue. Often there’s a sense that black people are speaking to themselves when we speak of reconciliation. How do we start talking about the things we’re not talking about – such as race and inequality – and bring different groups to the table to discuss them?

CALL CENTRE 021 180 4440 UNATHI JACOBS Call Centre Support LELETHU GODONGWANA Call Centre Support JADE ABRAHAMS Call Centre Support CONNAR LOUW Call Centre Support

Remember that wherever you are, whatever situation you’re in, you are not alone and you have a role to play. Often we seek what we don’t have, but often we already have all we need. You have hands, a voice, your thoughts. It’s about expressing them. SABELO MNUKWA: 082 638 9808 24