Founder of Umahlekisa Comedy Club, Ntando Van Moyo is an award winning Comedian whose comic abilities always manage to leave the audience roaring with laughter.
The Umahlekisa Comedy Club was founded on a mission to create comedy spaces or platforms and to establish a comedy industry in the country. Apart from the shows, the comedy club has programmes that include training students in using humour in writing and public speaking, offering young comedians platforms to develop and showcase their talents. As a part of their success stories, one of the comedians groomed by the club, Mandlenkosi Mathe aka Mandla Da Comedian, was nominated for his first 2018 National Arts Merits Awards (NAMA) in the Outstanding Comedian category and he won the award, while another product of the club has been on the Mzansi Magic channel and they also groomed their first female comedian in an effort to champion for the representation of all genders the comedy industry.
In his role as the founder of the Mahlekisa Comedy Club, Ntando has been instrumental in the mobilization of the youths in a bid to get them to register to vote in the upcoming elections and his comic abilities have been acknowledged by the society to such an extent that he has initiated community programmes such as burials. Inspired by the desire to bring smiles to people’s faces, Ntando continuously strives to initiate peace, offer therapy and build relations and tolerance on various subjects as his jokes are meant to promote social tolerances in the country regardless of the differences. He affirms that in his profession, research, audience profiling and the knowledge of the environment, play a fundamental role in keeping the audience entertained.
Ntando perceives comedy as a political and social advocacy tool and he believes that, “Humour is a soft approach to tackling serious issues and if used well, it can build peace and understanding.”
Michael Mdladla Ndiweni (35), is a socio-economic activist, who is passionate about human rights. He is a leadership trainer, animator, facilitator, blogger who has extensive experience in development work and has served in various organisations, local and outside of Zimbabwe. Michael is currently the Executive Director for Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA). He is a trained in the use of Methodologies of Adult and Popular Education ( animation and facilitation).
As the Executive Director for BVTA, Michael highlighted on some of the challenges being faced by informal workers. He proffered that, informal workers are affected by the lack of policies that recognise the informal economy, absence of policies that ensure provision of social security, for instance, pension schemes or medical aid schemes designed for the sector and the criminalization of the sector. He added that, the informal workers also face various forms of harassment from different entities.
Due to the aforementioned challenges, the BVTA has played a key role in the promotion and empowerment of the rights and wellbeing of informal traders. In that capacity, BVTA has completed an informal sector research and advocacy project which was commissioned with the help of NUST under the institute of Development studies and Faculty of Built environment. The major aims of the research is to provide through leadership and understand institutional complex of the informal sector, understanding dynamics and probing city planning design.
BVTA aims to socially and economically empower the informal vendors. They provide leadership and advocacy training for their members. They trained 1500 informal workers, from the 29 Bulawayo Metropolitan wards, on social and economic rights, and they have also set up structures/ platforms for the informal workers to share their experiences and support each other. As the BVTA, they have represented informal workers whose rights have been infringed upon in courts and they even won some of the cases.
Brighton Bafana Ncube is a young creative writer and he currently serves as the Media Officer for the Youth for Innovation Trust, an organisation that advocates for development through social innovation. He is driven by the sheer passion of telling his story and chasing other stories that will motivate and impact positively on the lives of the fellow youths. He is also an activist, journalist, a qualified voice-over artist and a social media manager.
Brighton has served as a Social Media Manager for various Artists and Organisations in Bulawayo. His credentials include, formerly reporting for the My Bulawayo Online newspaper, blogging and managing the Public Relations post for Bibliotech Libraries, serving as a Traffic correspondent for the Skyz Metro Fm radio station’s breakfast and drive-time shows and he also worked for the ZIFM radio station as the Bulawayo Traffic correspondent.
An avid dreamer, Brighton is always in search for opportunities and this has seen him volunteering for various organisations as he believes that volunteerism is an amazing opportunity that opens doors for those with an insatiable hunger to succeed and make a difference within their communities. He recently joined the Bulawayo times, a community initiative focussing on Bulawayo, run by Urban Culture and he is a presenter for the show Anything Musical, a show under the #Asakhe Online platform. On the importance of volunteerism, he noted that, “Voluntary work has opened many doors for me and it is an imperative aspect for giving one experience, in moulding and shaping one’s career path.”
Sindiso Dube (26) years popular known as Mr Fokus draws up inspiration from his father whom at a tender age would ask him about any relevant news pertaining sports and this later on developed the love he has for journalism. He is an entertainment journalist at Alpha media holdings under the flags of the standard newspaper as well as Newsday. He is a holder of a degree in media and society studies from the Midlands state university in Gweru.
Sindiso also runs a multi award winning online media house known as Fokus Magazine, which has grown to bigger heights scooping the ZimHipHop award as well as being nominated for the NAMAs best journalist as well as the Bulawayo Arts awards. Fokus magazine was established in April 2016
He also has love for acting which started back in his days at Midlands state university under their theatre club. He sees himself as a failed rapper and footballer as he has lost many rap battles , his dream of going back into football is still alive as he once featured in the northen region second division B.
Writing for a private media in Zimbabwe has its major problems in particular towards elections, but the young energetic Sindiso is driven to continue excelling and scooping awards with his cutting edge entertainment stories. He feels Fokus magazine is unique and different from the rest of the publications as he is his own boss and he has no competition and the publication is always filled with the best news one can ask for.
Donna N Ncube
Donna N is a radio show host, populary known for her sizzling voice, her role that left many green with envy in the movie Lost Letter that premiered in Bulawayo. She is the brand ambassador for Ster-kinekor Bulawayo, she is a singer an inspiratory on the local radio station Skyzmetro 100.3fm. She describes herself as a creative that branches into music, film and that can be viewed as storytelling.
She fell in love with journalism at a tender age, she developed the skill and art of storytelling and she loved the idea of being a hero at a tender age. She is the brains behind the songs such as Wamuhle, walking away as well as Dance with me. Her music can be best described as Afro fusion. She is a radio presenter and a producer her major role is coming up with content for various programmes on Skyzmetro 100.3 fm.
She premiered in a local movie The Lost Letter where she played the role of Sara who was in a way a reflection of what modern day relationships go through, she jumped into the next relationship with unresolved ex issues. She is keen in future in working with other young people under mentorship programmes. Donna N has been a speaker at various motivational /business events in Bulawayo and her love and passion for Arts continues to inspire many.
She draws much inspiration from her family consisting of her mother, brother, aunt, sister, sister in law and nephews. Above all Donna N loves her dog Dag. She believes that her role in radio and film has given her the platform to stand for the voiceless and the pedestal to expose somethings people are afraid of addressing or talk about.
Her major role in radio has changed lives of many in her show that airs between 0500-0600 am The Inspirator, which seeks to uplift souls and inspire them with gospel music to kick off their day. She is also part of the musical tellers that took Intwasa by storm and left many asking for more. She is one of the renowned women in the country when it comes to theatre and women in theatre and television (WITT) is currently on the move to grow talent and in each year introduce something catchy, fresh and unique to the Bulawayo people.
Jollyjane Jocelyn Halimana
Student activist JollyJane also known as Iron lady is a Feminist, a Debater, a Mentor and a Mother who has worked with and is still working with various Non-governmental Organisations on issues pertaining to the rights of female students in tertiary institutions.
Janet is an activist at heart whose call for advocating for the rights of female students started around 2011 in South Africa, where she was one of the founders of a Union called the Zimbabwe Foreign Students Alliance, an initiative meant to address the challenges that were being faced by female students. Upon moving back to Zimbabwe, she became part of the Female Students Network (FSN), a move which enabled her to undergo leadership training programmes and through undertaking such trainings she now offers trainings to female students in the college they attend and she also conducts rights awareness programmes. From this exposure, she has managed to take some ladies under her wing for mentorship.
Currently, she works for Developmental Agenda for Youths (DAY), a Non-profit Organization which seeks to encourage youths to work together regardless of their gender, ethnicity, race, inability, religion or political affiliation, to achieve a common goal. The Organisation empowers the marginalized youths through workshops, leadership training programmes and they also educate the youths on their fundamental right to vote. They believe that youths should be active actors who are at the forefront of community development. This can only be achieved through their participation in various community programmes, youths having leadership roles in spaces that include the churches, School Development association Committees, in Parliament or any other decision making assemblies.
As an Organization they have steered away from conventional ways of empowering the youths, rather they have adopted advanced ways of empowering the youths. They have been to Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces where they have introduced events that enhance and empower the youths. For instance, they are assisting young ladies obtain drivers licences while supporting young men who are in the design and catering industry.
As a part of a debate team that consists of three young men and her, they formed the Bulawayo Debate Premier League, an avenue meant to engage the youths and enlighten them about their surroundings and events taking place. She believes that although debate is undermined, it is also an activity that sharpens and grooms the minds of the youths.
In addition, she aspires to work with Organisations like the United Nations and the African Union on issues concerning the youths and the plight of women. Apart from being an activist and other work commitments, Janet is a music major who loves playing the piano.
Motivated by the desire and a sense of purpose of helping others Thando Gwinji, also known as Qhawekazi, is a 28 year old young woman who a Human Rights Activist, Gender Consultant, Teacher and a Peace and Development Practitioner. She is the Managing Director of Youth for Innovation Trust, and the National Coordinator of Activista Zimbabwe. She also identifies as a digital mogul and a Socialist Pan African Feminist.
As the Managing Director of YIT, an Organization that advocates for development through social innovation, Thando has spearheaded the inception of various major projects. These consist of; Girls Innovatively Maximising Abilities (an initiative designed to empower young women in male dominated fields of work), The Geek approach to Sustainable Development (Using existing and new technologies to enable youth implementation of SDGs) , and the Reviving Ubuntu project (to promote social entrepreneurship) among other projects.
She believes that human security is key to happiness in any situation and she is dedicated to initiating change towards the building of happy and progressive communities. Her passion for activism was cemented when she became a student leader at University. She was an active member of the Female Students Network, and to date she is one of their best alumni. In this vein, she formed a number of female organizations and also led numerous women empowerment projects. From this, she is now involved in the advocating of their participation in male dominated fields of work, for instance, in mining and technology sectors. In addition she also mentors and teaches individuals who approach her regardless of her schedule.
She values the principle of teamwork and she acknowledged the dedication of the Youth for Innovation Trust Management Team to making the Organization’s vision a reality. Thando cultivates the level of her intellectual acumen through meditation, praying, reading and deriving inspiration from the Bible and Motivational literature as well as writing. She also has a blog Qhawekazi’s Diary, available at thandogwinji.blogspot.com.
Hillary Arthur Moyo
Hillary Moyo is a 27 year old entrepreneur born in Bulawayo and grew up in the dusty streets of Pumula. He has a social community development at heart. He is a social work graduate and he strongly believes in innovative ideas and innovative solutions. He is currently the Chief Executive officer of Angel Health Care as well as the managing director for Falakhe Funeral services. He fellowships with the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Hillary leads Angel health care which is the 1st youth led Zimbabwe association of the community based health workers that includes home based care givers, nurse aids, peer educators and counsellors. This organisation was founded in November 2016. This organisation is located in Pumula , Bulawayo. He bought shares at Falakhe funeral services after Angel health care generated profit.
His vision is to redefine spaces where young people can come up with innovative ideas. He dreams of a day where he can empower the community and those around him. As the managing director for falakhe funeral service he is currently working on models that will seek to invest in young people. His major stumbling block in his career has been the support from the family, critism on the kind of work he does and all the stereotypes that come with it, he has also faced financial challenges to be where he is today.
He has had an opportunity to work with Zimbabwe United nations as the resident youth representative in the international youth council. From his engagements with other young people he highlights learning how other young people have made it in life and never allowed their background shape and define their journey.
I love my Zimbabwe and I will speak for my people!!!
Among a family of five, a true sense of a strong African girl, feminist, politician and a writer was born. Vimbaishe Masvaburi is a 35 year old Zimbabwean woman born at the dawn of an independent Zimbabwe. Having grown up in South World in Bulawayo, she went to schools such as Greenfield Primary School. Vimbaishe experienced the great era of a prosperous Zimbabwe where there was a stable economy and hardly any lack during the times. She studied nursing at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College.
As she was studying nursing she also took part in Health Studies. Her experience has mostly been in mental health and drug abuse. She worked as a nurse in England and South Africa but mainly run businesses and ended up incorporating those to a network for women called Intombi Young Women in Business (IYWIB), inspired by her journey to becoming a woman where she conquered a lot of difficulties such as being a rape victim at the age of 6. She also came up with the idea of IYWIB after she realized that every woman’s dream is to be an entrepreneur and this was the best way to empower them. Vimbai has forefronted different campaigns that amplify the voice of a girl child , the group of people in the society who lack empowerment. Recently, the organization held awards that aimed at celebrating young women in business and corporate circles who have struggled to get where they are. ‘We don’t have specific criteria for a woman who has done well. We cooperate everyone, said Masvaburi.
Prior to her involvement in politics, Vimbaishe has done a lot for her country. She is among the strongest women who are able to speak out for their rights, justice and needs. Despite the fact that she was outside the country she was not satisfied with the foreign environment for this reason she always came back home to vote. However it was not enough for her, for this reason she permanently came back to her lovely country. Presently, she is campaigning for a Councilor post in 2018 elections for Bulawayo South which includes South world, Bellevue, Belmont, BG, West Somerton, Montrose Donnington, Tshabalala ext and Sizinda.
A Dynamic Entrepreneur, Mother, Feminist, Amanda Lotriet is a social activist who is currently involved in several Community projects initiating community development in the Bubi District.
Amanda, is predominately an active agent for social change who is one of the champions of the GirlsRus initiative, a non-profit Organisation, and an initiative that is at its inception in the Bubi District. Targeted at girls aged from nine to nineteen years, The Organisation’s mission is to improve the Menstrual health conditions for underprivileged girls in rural communities, to provide Sexual Reproductive Health services as well as offering career guidance and financial aid to those in need.
She serves as a V.M.M.C community mobiliser for the PSI where she extensively works with the community of the Bubi District in the HIV intervention strategy programmes as present within the community are high alarming rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV, reason being that the area is a mining community. To add on, commercial sex workers are very mobile in the community and this has incited in them, the need to engage in talks with Organisations like ZIMSWA as a way of discussing strategies on how they can set up a support system for the commercial sex workers residing in the area.
As a feminist and a Mother, Amanda, explained that she advocates for the total emancipation of the girl child. She related that, to her, this meant the breaking up of barriers and setting up of spaces where the girl child is able to push and reach their full potential at the same time owning up to their voices. She emphasized on the need to initiate and encourage dialogues, sufficient steps in the opening up of young people’s mind-sets. Through working with partnering Organisations like Bekezela Home Based Care, they have been able to engage youth initiatives like Young People’s Network, peer education at schools and video screening of life stories pertaining to the challenges faced by the youths. An instance, is that of the combined programme by Bekezela titled ‘Setting up Safe Spaces for youth in Bubi District’, a transformative platform that is educative, with its emphasis being on teenage pregnancies. The involvement of both girls and boys in such platforms, is enlightening as they get to expose myriad myths and attitudes concerning the subject area.
” I think of myself as afrocentric , my heart is in Africa. “
“The answer to our problems lies in ourselves. We will find answers.”
Born in the City of Bulawayo, Nalenhle Thandweyinkosi Moyo has ventured into the leadership field with the passion to nurture people, mentality and attitudewise and the zeal and commitiment to make a difference in the community. Nalenhle is a feminist, a young leader, an inspirator, a blogger. Her passion does not limit her to want to transform only her city but to change Africa as a whole, “I think of myself as an afrocentric, my heart is in Africa and I have a dream and hope to contribute to the betterment of this continent.”
Presently, Nalenhle is working towards her first degree studying Leadership Core at the African Leadership University. As an advovate for a youth voice in governancy, especially female voices, she has collaborated with organisations such as Women Institute for leadership (WILD) and YALI and International republican institute. She is a feminist who puts all her effort to ensure that women are treated with justice and bridging the generational gap by creating platforms where all women get together regardless of age or tribe to discuss issues affecting them. Nalenhle also has a passion to work with children. She trusts that answers to our current problems lies in them. She sees the importancy to catch them young, raise them right and expose them to things that make them grow in all aspects of life.
Nalenhle talks of the significance of the government to recognise the need to put more resources into ensuring that the children of our country grow up the best they can. As a youth leader asked to identify the missing point in youth finding solutions to their current situation in Zimbabwe, she postulated that there is the need for the youths to stand up and do the little difference from all angles. She pointed out that the problem with the youth is they sit back, keep on pointing fingers waiting for the miracle to happen. “ What am getting at is that we need to stop waiting for someone to hand us the tools , use what you have to get what you don’t have. “ she expressed.
She speaks of her well learnt mistake which has turned to be a lesson that can work for many youths. She stresses that youth miss opportunities not because they are not there but because they don’t prepare for them. And it applies to everyday life, there’s no such thing as being too prepared. Nalenhle continues to work with keenness in making a difference in Africa.
24 year old Sipho Khumalo is an enthusiastic, ambitious young lady who is an activist and a paralegal at the Sexual Rights Centre (SRC) whose duties mainly constitute the provision of legal support to commercial sex workers and the members of the LGBTI community. She has provided her support in cases that have been taken to the Court of Law, has offered Legal Representation in the Court of Law as well as proffering meals to those who would have been arrested.
A human rights defender at heart, Sipho is a highly dedicated individual who is at the forefront of lobbying and rallying for the equal rights for all the minorities within our country and at ending stigma and discrimination.
The main aim of the Sexual Rights Centre is to build a Zimbabwe that respects, protects and promotes the rights of all Zimbabweans. Most of their work is concentrated in urban settings and they have started taking their work to peri -urban rural areas. At the Centre, they specialise with the processing of national documents that include birth certificates and identity cards to the commercial sex workers and the LGBTI community. They also conduct trainings around safety and security meant to aid those who face stigma and discrimination within the communities they reside in. As part of advocating for safety, they do not only distribute condoms for free to commercial sex workers, they also distribute condoms to students in tertiary institutions as a means of partaking in the 90.90.90 target of curbing the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections.
To add on, the Organisation plays an integral part in debunking notions that state that the society should remain a conservative- heteronormative environment. They attest to this, through lobbying and advocating for the plight of all sexualities, mainly by creating spaces for dialogues, for easy dissemination of each other’s experiences and the creation and implementation of a welcoming environment that is geared at advocating for and improving access to healthcare and the tackling of stigma and discrimination within the community.
Asked on how extensive the organisation’s work is concerning young sex workers, it was stated that as an Organisation they do not work with people under the age of 18 but they do conduct symposiums and dialogues with child serving Organisations in a bid to motivate them to tackle these pertinent issues. The reason being, some of these organisations are not capacitated to address the issues of commercial sexual exploitation of minors.
Sipho, urged all the youths to take their time to seek, understand and acquire knowledge pertaining to the different kinds of sexualities and harness the diversity within our communities.
Nqobani Tshabangu is a young activist currently working at Transparency International Zimbabwe as the advocacy officer for Matabeleland region. He studied BA Hons in Economic History , MA in African History , he also completed BSc Hons in Monitoring and Evaluation. One of the core values of Transparency International Zimbabwe is to promote transparency and integrity and Nqobani has been working on these values for the past 6 years.
He has been involved with the civil society organisations (CSOs) for 7 years. In 2012 – 2013 he was a research policy officer at NYDT. He has worked with several organisations around the country in particular CYDT which is based in Gwanda. As Transparency international Zimbabwe they have a publication called Hayibo Sikhangele targeting at the community and young people being the key drivers in identifying cases of corruption.
Transparency international Zimbabwe has Matebeleland ambassadors of integrity who play the role of advocating for a safe environment, corruption free and a society where people can live together in harmony. These are mainly youths from schools, be it university, colleges. After leaving school they are graduated to be the ambassadors of intergrity.
In his time at Transparency International Zimbabwe he has worked on several case dealing with road block issues, pension schemes, double allocation of stands in the rural and urban areas. His future plans are to be a successful farmer.
At the present moment he is working on the development of a mobile App that will be used to fight against corruption in the communities.
“Nothing defeats one who has skills and the courage to use them” Njabulo Moyo
Born in Mzilikazi, a high density suburb in Bulawayo faced with many negatives and different challenges, Njabulo Moyo (26) believed that he had the obligation to bring about change in his society. Njabulo is an author of Five Personal Development books, a publisher, motivational speaker, poet and a mentor of several winning authors. He is academically credited for revolutionising Self publishing in Zimbabwe. He is a young leader who has managed to mingle with different leaders in different nations. Academically, Njabulo has studied with UNISA, NUST, CDS, Swedish Advocacy, Africa University, and George Mason. Njabulo has 8 years professional experience in community Development work, having worked with NYDT, Chicago Votes, and United Africa organisation. He is also working with Amagugu International Heritage Centre as a Projects Officer and he is also part of ZTA Sanganai/Hlanganani Expo steering committee. As a diverse person Njabulo has expanded into tourism and Global markets trade.
Inspired by the struggle for emancipation and raised with the passion and the zeal to not let the next generation face the same problems that he faced, Njabulo made it a compulsion to stand up and contribute to the development of Matabeleland as a whole. As someone who is a networker, believing in uniting for impact. He stresses out that most of his work has not been solo. He is one of the leaders who have not limited himself but has managed to mingle with different nations at different levels. This is evidenced by his joint venture with UK (Lion Heart Publishers) in publishing his first poetry collection. However, in trying to lend a hand in the society he postulates that he is facing challenges as society limits individuals and individuals limit the society as well.
As a young leader, Njabulo has achieved a lot. Njabulo’s profile has got him media attention in UK, USA, Denmark and Africa as a whole. He has trained people who are currently elected councillors in Bulawayo and many that have gone as far as USA.
Raised by her grandmother, Mantate Mlotshwa (21) is a quintessential, eloquent young woman who is one of the founders of the Be Yourself initiative that is behind the Engutsheni Sanitary wear Drive, a Mentor at the Transparency International Zimbabwe Organisation, an alumni of the Generation Democracy Youth Leaders Academy and a Mentee at the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE); an initiative offering training to young women on multimedia movements.
As part of her role as a Mentor, Mantate’s duties consist of initiating and joining programmes that are designed to capacitate the engagement of young people in leadership processes and community development. Currently, she is working on registering a programme titled Youth Engage, a programme started in the year 2016. It encompasses all the programmes she handles under different Non-Governmental Organisations which are within and outside the Country. To add on, the programme originated from the need to create a platform where passionate, talented young people can be equipped with skills and information they can use in improving and shaping their communities.
Compelled by the motivation to be a role model in the female leadership structures in Africa, Mantate envisages herself being the President of Zimbabwe in the year 2043. She believes that, “Our lives should speak and shape the change we want to see”. Her work can be found on www.theradicalmantate.blogspot.com and she has also contributed to the platforms that include ilizwi263.com and 263chat.com.
Introduced to the craft by his parents at an tender age of nine, Chrispen Matsika (31) commonly known as Mabasto is a Bulawayo based Arts designer, Sculptor, and Craftsmen specializing in the creation of enthralling pieces of African aesthetics.
His works, include the creation of beads and neck pieces, lamp shades, accessorized key holders, ear rings and rings, as well as metal and stone sculptures. He has participated in various exhibitions that include: the Coordinating Committee for Development and Promotion of African Handcrafts Conference (CODEPA), the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), the Ministry of Youths Exhibitions, the Sanganai/ Hlanganani Expo, the Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo and the Gwanda Agricultural show, platforms that gave him an opportunity to display and showcase his marvelous skills.
Since he is a highly creative, enthusiastic young Artist endowed with a diverse range of skills, Mabasto offers training to children interested in his type of art. Being born into a family of artists has hugely impacted on his level of commitment to his work.
The most challenging aspect he has encountered is the fact that although his craft is linked to the development of the country and other industries, a number of locals have not fully grasped the beauty of his art, therefore resulting in lower numbers of its reception by the locals. They deem his craft as expensive and art directed only to the tourists while forgetting that the local artists do acknowledge the twofold role of pursuing art. It is an avenue that allows one to explore his passion and also a platform for securing a living. Furthermore, he is against beings who want to take advantage of the artists, use them without paying them and he wishes for such characters to be held accountable by the law.
Mabasto is one of Bulawayo’s unsung heroes, one of the people doing amazing fabulous work but the society doesn’t realize them because they meet them daily on the streets. His artwork is located at corner Fife Street and Leopold Takawira at Bulawayo’s City Hall craft market.
Born in Nyanga, in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe in a family of 5, Happymore Chibvura grew up with a belief that we all have the story to tell. Happymore is a bouncy leader, an author, Personal Coach, Human Rights Activist and a Psychologist in training. Happymore is a volunteer with Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT), a non-governmental organization that is involved in community development ,focuses on helping orphans and vulnerable children , women rights, youth programmes and behavior change to create healthy communities. He graduated with a diploma in Human Resources Management and is currently studying Psychology at Midlands State University.
With a passion of studying, understanding and influencing human behavior and being motivated by the view that someone out there might be battling with the same situation and experiences he went through ,Happymore authored two books, The Winner Diary and Mastering the Art of Personal Effectiveness. Happymore also works as a personal Development Coach where he helps the community to understand how one can live a fulfilling life and realize their fullest potential. As a diverse person, Happymore also for fights for both gender and age equality where he recognizes that the youth and mostly women are the most marginalized groups in every country yet both are the key population that deserves a chance to lead and influence change. As someone who believes in women and inspired by his mother’s living story, he believes that women can make a huge positive change in our societies, I was inspired by my mother , a widow who has currently managed to raise 5 children on her own sending them to school so that that they will have a better future.
However, Happymore faces challenges in pursuing his goals, writing a book is not easy, it is a daunting task. It requires a lot of resources, time, energy, money. As a personal trainer I face difficulties as my main target are young people and reaching out to the youth is very difficult.”Despite all these difficulties that are a hindrance in his way, he continues to have future plans.Happymore is in the process of registering an organisation which seeks to nurture talent and ideas called Startups Incubator.
I believe that we all have a story to tell , a story to inspire someone!!!
As a young person who has worked with women for a long time in different institutions, she believes that the zeal, energy, innovative mind set and natural optimism that young women have can be used to building lasting peace.
At the age of 28, Patience Thauzeni has defied all odds and proven to be a myth the old adage that the place of a woman is in the kitchen. Being born in Harare, with the determination and instinct to uplift the lives of many disadvantaged people in society, Patience studied a degree in International relations at Midlands State University. She is the Programmes Officer at Zimbabwe Young Women’s Network for Peace Building (ZYWNP), an organisation that believes that it has a mandate to promote young women’s meaningful contribution to peace building and curbing violence. Apart from ZYWNP she also volunteers with Sally women and girls on Conflict transformation.
As someone who believes in women she postulates that conflict transformation is important in young women’s lives, “Young women are the most affected by violence. They are seen as victims and incapable of defending themselves. They are also known as perpetrators of violence. However young women still remain key players in conflict transformation as victims, survivors and perpetrators of violence”
Asked on her plans to empower young women in peace initiatives towards 2018, she stressed out that she is planning to help women to be involved in peace building and peacemaking. She also sees the need to let women understand that they are not a homogenous and oppressed group therefore if they remain detached, uninterested and wait until an opportunity comes that demands policies that deal with the problems that are affecting their futures, it will be too late. However in pursuing all these efforts she is facing financial constraints which are a barrier to further studying.
Patience is planning to pursue a Masters degree in International Relations at a recognised International University. She is also looking forward to join UN volunteers, become a motivational speaker and also to start her own business.
Alister Bantu Pfunye
Our struggle is not of names but to change society and diabolic systems!!!
Alistar Pfunye is a 26 year old young energetic political science student, who has worked with youths for a long time in different organizations. He is the sitting President for the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), the national students movement that represents collegiates from all tertiary institutions. His zeal to play a critical role in defending academic freedom in his life time inspired him to take up this post. Alistar also is part of Actvista ZW as the public relations officer. Activista ZW is a movement of young people come together to work in solidarity through mobilization and campaigning at national and international level.
In his works he has spearheaded different projects that aim at pushing various youth agendas. ZINASU has managed to re-engage with the regional student’s movement Southern African Students Union (SASU) and the continental board, All African Students Union (AASU). “In doing so this means Zimbabwean students struggle can now be addressed regionally and continentally” He postulated. “The union’s major challenges are resources which can be used to implement most of their programs and operations. To address that, we have tried to engage our partners to contribute to some of the programs”
As a young leader he is fighting towards being a driver of change nationally, regionally and continentally in refining and redefining African political beliefs. He also seeks to be a key player in stopping elicit financial dealings in the public sector.
A writer, a mentor, a Pastor, a Lecturer, entrepreneur and founder of the Zakhelicious Detergents: Dr Ntombizakhe Moyo is a lady immensely driven by the desire to initiate positive changes in the community. She holds a PhD in Public Administration: Peace Building.
Zakhe Moyo has been in the field of lecturing for the past six years, a field that has allowed her to fulfil her childhood dream of being a teacher and a platform that lets her convey her passion for empowering different individuals through providing them with a wide gamut amount of knowledge. To this end, she serves as a mentor, advisor for church youths and teenagers, and she is the brains behind the Brethren in Christ Church City Bible, referred to as the Christian Open Bible School.
Lecturing and Research are not Zakhe’s only focus, she works for the Grace to heal organization, an organization that works tirelessly on issues equipping traditional community leaders that include the chiefs, village heads, community women and youths with non-violent handling skills. Also, she is a part of the Alternative to Violence Project Zimbabwe, an international recognised programme pinned on encouraging, emphasizing, and aiding individuals to regain their self-worth and harness the aspects of the doctrine of Ubuntu and it fosters the aspect of trauma processing.
Dr Zakhe Moyo believes that individuals must identify who they are, what motivates them and the things they want to achieve in life and then pursue those goals after the discovery.
You(th) empowering You(th)!!
Thabo A. Dube is a social scientist and a debater who is unrelenting when it comes to youth advocacy. He believes that young people should not settle to be leaders for tomorrow whilst there is today. Thabo is the Executive director and co founder of Youth-led Innovative Engagement with Leadership Development Trust (YIELD), an organisation that aims to innovatively engage young people in leadership and development hence one critical element for achieving this is enhancing Youth education. Over the years YIELD has evolved and acquired various expertise which include but not limited to Youth Financial Literacy, convening and supporting Tertiary Level debate and Public speaking , Sustainable Development Goal only to mention a few. Previously, Thabo worked as a livelihoods and resilience field officer for World Vision International. He also worked with Musi Trust Zimbabwe as a programmes coordinator. He obtained his Honours Degree in Development studies at Lupane state University and currently his pursuing a Master’s degree at the National University of Science and Technology.
Passionate about public policy and the role of young people in leadership and development, Thabo says,” Elections are a mechanism to hold the government accountable and influence policy because youth engagement should not be at the polling only but engaging manifestos and policy ideas that candidates prefer. Elections provide an opportunity to young people to run for public office to serve the society. ” However he also postulates that there is mistrust of the system from young people and that mistrust is legitimate.
In future Thabo sees himself in another diverse level, “ Am thinking that in 2020 YIELD should be beyond start-up , should have completed my PHD, started a family and significantly made inroads towards shaping public if not Zimbabwe, regionally.”
Social activist, Author, Entrepreneur, Development practitioner, Transformational Speaker, a former junior president of Zimbabwe and a work in progress, Nhlanhla Moyo (23) is currently serving as the Deputy National facilitator of the Young People’s Network on Social and Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDS (YPN). YPN is a network of young people between the ages of 18-24 which is convened by the National AIDS Council and its mandate is aimed at establishing a mechanism for open dialogue between youth serving organisations. Recently, he launched a transformational book titled Now Is Where You Activate Your Greatness, a book that seeks to challenge the conventional way of thinking associated with the achievement of personal success.
At some point, he faced multiple challenges that include growing up from the dusty streets of Gwanda herding cattle and goats, to being counted out in many schools, Nhlanhla’s journey is improbably a marvellous one as today he is passionately involved in development work with the Dot Youth Organisation and other organisations. He works as a Community trainer, a post that engages him in training and equipping adolescent girls and young women on life skills and job preparations.
He believes that active participation from the youths is a tool that can be adopted in unlocking the system that hinders the growth of the youths, as youths possess the power and ability to change their situations. His immense determination and passion makes him believe that public speaking, support from the youths and action can be used as a panacea to all the challenges bedevilling the lives of the youths especially in the political sector.
‘We can be more than what has been given to us. The sky is not the limit, it is just a transparent floor to those who choose to go climb up to the next floor of life and discover that that there is no roof and only the mind is the limit’, is his motto that gets him through the day. In addition, he regularly writes for the blog The Activist Motivator.
Nkosilathi Moyo is a 30 year old human rights defender, democracy activist, writer, poet and protest artist based in Kwekwe. A young man endowed with verve and in terms of the political sphere he seeks to advocate for change. Nkosilathi also aims to encourage youth in engaging and participating in politics as he is the director of Zimbabwe Organisation for Youth in Politics (ZOYP), an organisation that is currently working on a campaign known as ‘Not too young to contest’, which not only encourages youths to register and vote in their numbers despite their political affiliation, but to take part in politics.
ZOYP is a community based organisation in Kwekwe targeting young people who aspire to be in politics. Their programming includes capacity building, peace building, leadership development, gender democracy, elections and conflict transformation. ZOYP also tells its stories through a quarterly news letter which covers success stories and challenges being faced by young people economically, politically and socially. As head of the organisation he faces a big challenge of introducing politics to the youth, he says “ the moment you mention politics state apparatus ‘eye brows’ are raised as politics is seen to be prohibited in the country, however we keep on operating this rough so that the muted voices of the youth are amplified.”
Questioned about what he has done to hold the incumbent regime accountable, Nkosilathi postulated that they have done a lot of programmes, but our regime is not accountable and answerable to the society. “The sitting regime always run away from young people especially the voiced youth, the government try by all means to interrupt everything. It is hard to push for change without pointing fingers, because In Zimbabwe the moment you mention anything to do with the violation of human rights, democracy, electoral fraud, they are political parties who would feel that you are referring to them specially the culprits! I say things as they are, who is offended because he /she did it is not my business what I need is to strengthen the immediate voice of the oppressed.”
As someone who is involved with the youth, Nkosilathi sees a big problem that is affecting the youths which is child prostitution. He believes children should empowered through education so that they can be able to stand on their own feet instead of opting for ways such as prostitution to raise money and the economic situation in the country at present is also a driving factor to the child prostitution.
Born in Bulawayo, 27 year old Meluleki Dube is a Philanthropist, Development Practitioner, Activista, poet who has a passion to take charge of the future of our societies as a youth and creating a better Zimbabwe. He is a young leader with facilitation, mobilization, networking, and organizing, reporting and writing skills. Meluleki is part of the first 100 to partake in Activista, a youth led movement in over 25 countries, were the youth unite in solidarity to promote youth participation and engagement.
Meluleki has worked with different organizations such as National Youth development Trust (NYDT), an organization that pushes forward youth participation in local governance. Social Health Rehabilitation programme (SHARP), Local Rights Programme (LPD) and Action Aid Bangladesh. SHARP is a programme under Action Aid Bangladesh that aims at empowering the youths, farmer’s federations, disabled, and women with skills to actually develop their communities. Because of indulging with these organizations Meluleki has managed to be involved worldwide getting the opportunity to meet other young leaders in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Zambia.
As a young person who is engrossed in politics, Meluleki postulated that the missing link in Zimbabwe is probably the dialogue platforms where people can actually get to understand fully the possible outcomes and implications of the election results, also in mobilizing youth s to partake in these election preparations in all aspects bearing in the mind aftermath. He says “Our politics is in shambles and really needs us as youths to actively to bring about that positive change we want to see in Zimbabwe.”
Asked about his future plans, Meluleki stressed out that his planning to be a consultant for youth organizations basing on his work experience as a development practitioner and he also wants to be a mentor for in and out of school youths in achieving their lifetime goals. His also planning to pursue a Master’s Degree at least in development studies and furthermore be influential in developing communities by partaking in future elections as a candidate; possibly as a member of parliament.
MILES M MOYO
Miles Moyo is a 26 year old vibrant young activist and poet who is passionate about Human rights, rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* persons (LGBT) and Women’s rights. She is a Programmes Officer at Voices of the Voiceless, an organisation that is geared on the advancement and promotion of the rights of LBT persons, amplifying their voices and representing them in different spaces that have an impact concerning their lives and well-being.
Her work typically involves the documentation for evidence based advocacy, focusing on issues of violence, sexual reproductive health and rights, access to justice, safety and security and safe spaces for LBT persons. Her line of work creates safer spaces for the LBT community who face homophobia, stigma and discrimination in different aspects of their lives.
Asked on how she felt about working in such a heated and thematic area, she said that it is a thrilling experience and at the same time challenging as the stance on homosexuality in the country has not yet changed. She feels that more can be done in the improvement, raising of advocacy and awareness, and the protection of the LBT rights in Zimbabwe.
The thing that puts her off is the issue of corrective rape. “I believe corrective rape should not be termed corrective rape because it implies that there is something to be corrected. Rape is rape. There is no justification for it.”
Working in sexual reproductive health dealing with the adolescents or young people, Nokuthula is a marketing and communications officer under ZNFPC which is a parastatal under the Ministry of health. Her job entails programming for the youths in HIV and AIDS through edutainment , workshops and sports. Nokuthula says she is born a teacher at heart, however, working with young people has changed her to a global citizen.
Her job is dynamic and includes counseling including pre and post test counseling , career guidance and conducting condom demonstrations . Personally she has met many young people and helped them gain confidence in gaining confidence to access vital services , however, she feel more still needs to be done to reduce rigidity. The young people themselves are not free to say out their issues, the service providers also judge them and they basically have limited support even in the community
“I am passionate about the young women , who are most vulnerable I long to see more women leaders rise and become opinion leaders to reverse the high teenage pregnancy rate , HIV prevalence and maternal deaths , powerful women who have broke new ground , like my mother , sister , my friends and even Thando Gwinji they inspire me each day to do what I do.”
A youth activist championing Girls Empowerment!
“I believe you can be whoever you want to be if you change the way you think!” Sibusiso Bhebhe
27 year old Sibusiso Bhebhe is a co-founder and Executive Director of Dot Youth Zimbabwe; a youth led organization that focuses mainly on programming for young people especially girls. Dot Youth Zimbabwe runs life skills trainings, HIV prevention awareness, economic strengthening, adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights trainings for young people especially girls. Sibusiso has spearheaded several campaigns for girls including Ipad campaign a project that is mobilizing sanitary pads for adolescent girls and the Girls Coalition project. “I started the Ipad campaign affect witnessing a lady my mother’s age being insulted by a tout with reference to menstruation in a public commuter bus and I told myself I have to do something to end such abuse!” He also works with the Bulawayo Junior Council and currently holds the position of Junior Alderman.
Sibusiso takes on these tasks with so much zeal and dedication believing that he has the means, the gift and therefore a responsibility to make the community better. “I live to prove that young people can make a difference if they are given the space and necessary support. I always strive to engage in quality conversations and I believe if I can change the way one thinks then I have transformed them”.
In his work he has mentored other young people enabling some of them to get scholarships to further their education, with his team he has advocated for the tabling of the Motion on Child Marriages in Parliament, supported 280 girls including former sex workers to go back to school, join vocational Training Institutes, 215 girls to be placed for internships and one of his mentees will be launching a book soon. His vision is to create a group of proactive young people who are able to challenge the “normal” and create the world they want.
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future” Franklin D. Roosevelt
THEMBELIHLE TERRYLYN ZULU
Thembi Zulu is a 27 years old young leader who also identifies as a blogger, a publicist, and a copywriter. She is the co-founder of Girl Granduer Zimbabwe (GGZ)which is a social club for women and girls to bridge the gap that exists between women in different generations and its impact gauged by the personal growth of its members.
A better world for women somehow, a GGZ art school for abused girls and an advertising and media company are some of Thembie’s dreams.
“I was born a leader, life just fortified me to be a leader. I didn’t choose it, it chose me. Don’t know how to be anything else. My ability to be a proactive problem solver makes me a leader and the ability to think independently.” Says Thembie
Thembie values prioritization of tasks in order to balance her busy lifestyle, she develops a schedule and sticks to it and manages her time wisely.
He is not doing ONE but MANY actions to change the world – Everson Phiri is a youth activist, radio personnel, music promoter and development worker with Youth Ahead a youth led organization working to end HIV/AIDS prevalence among young people.
Everson Phiri loves community development and is determined to work towards empowerment of youth in his community. Youth development is his priority and in whatever he does he always has the next young person in mind. As a youth leader he has mentored young people and worked with them to transform lives for the better. He has led community based campaigns to improve sanitation, create cancer awareness and has supported the growth of Sizinda Music. From Everson we learn pro activeness and commitment to community development which he dedicates all his time to.
Everson is dedicated to providing a platform for amplifying youth voices and you can catch him on his Youth Show on Radio Dialogue every Saturday Morning!
The struggle Continues!