The Digital Home of the Tshwane Shapers

Category: 2018 out and about (Page 1 of 2)

Nkateko’s Poetry Talents Shine!

From the 14th to the 21st of October 2018, Nkateko Masinga performed at Poetry Africa, an annual poetry festival which takes place in Durban, KwaZulu Natal. The festival’s evening programmes took place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre and at the BAT Centre. During the day, there were visitations to various primary and secondary schools, community centres, university campuses (UKZN Howard College Campus) and prisons in the Durban Area to share poems and facilitate creative writing workshops.   

From the 31st of October to the 4th of November, Nkateko performed at the Lagos International Poetry Festival in Lagos, Nigeria. This was her second time in Nigeria, as she took part in the Ake Arts and Book Festival in November 2017. The Lagos International Poetry Festival, or LIPFest as it is known, was made up of evening performances at Freedom Park, an old prison ground converted to a memorial and leisure park, as well as workshops, discussions, school visits in different parts of Lagos during the day.

Why poetry? It is an important form of social commentary (which is why most countries have a poet laureate) and is the way in which Nkateko engages with the world around her. She expresses herself best through the written and spoken word and attending festivals around the world allows her to tell stories to diverse audiences and also learn from the stories told by others. 

Rebecca & The Danish work with ‘Save the Children South Africa’ and ‘Eir Soccer’

This year, the Danish Embassy in South Africa was one of the sponsors of the Global Goals Girls Football Tournament. Hosted on the 13 October 2018, our shaper Rebecca worked to organize the event which brought together girls from all over the country and continent to compete in a football tournament.

It’s aim was to promote overall gender equality, poverty alleviation and the Global Goals (aka Sustainable Development Goals). Held in Alexandra, the tournament was vibrant, despite stormy weather conditions. Girls from underprivileged areas all over the country got to engage with education about the importance of the SDGs and how they can be empowered to contribute to the SDGs even at a local level. Well done Rebecca!

Rebecca works with Global Citizen on Women & Youth Empowerment

Our shaper, Rebecca Ramsamy, has been very busy of late! As the political officer of the Danish Embassy, her team recently organized a seminar with Global Citizen on Women and Youth Empowerment at the Danish Ambassador’s Residence. The seminar brought together high-level panelists to engage with the audience, such as:

  • Dr Makaziwe Mandela of the ‘House of Mandela’
  • Lindiwe Mazibuko (Former Parliamentarian and Co-Founder of Apolitical Academy)
  • Ambassador Sheila Sisulu of the Albertina Sisulu Foundation
  • Dr Brylyn Chitsunge (Pan African Ambassador for Food Security) 
  • Patience Mungwari Mpani from the Centre for Human Rights
  • Ms Brenda Madumise-Pajibo of the #TotalShutDown Movement
  • Dr. Ramneek Ahluwalia (Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at HEAIDS (Higher Education & Training HIV Health Wellness & Development Centre)
  • Ms Anne Githuku-Shongwe, Representative for UN Women’s South Africa Multi-Country Office (SAMCO)
  • Joined by Youth Advocates, Candice Chirwa and Noxolo Ntaka

The discussions were open, frank and inspiring. Although appalling statistics and stories were shared on gender inequality, gender pay-gaps, youth vulnerability in education and gender-based violence – the speakers and panelists also engaged in discussions on ways of networking and working together to combat these societal challenges. The event linked to the discussions of the #SheisEqual hashtag. The event was also star-studded, with performers included Lady Zamar and local singer, Lady Deva. 

Apolitical Academy selects Rivonia!

Rivonia has recently been selected as part of Apolitical Academy’s inaugural Public Service Fellowship in Southern Africa. The process included 300 applications from around the region, an assessment day of the final 50 and a final selection of 25 Fellows for the 2018/2019 programme. “Our programmes focus on personal leadership and public purpose, ethics and values, and are underpinned by a high-level mentorship program and commitment to diversity.” – Apolitical Academy The fellowship is structured through 7 in-residence weekends over the next 9 months. Here’s to working on more positive impact in South Africa!


Midnight Musings in the Middle East: Why We Should Embrace Travel

Sethu Tshabalala recently visited Dubai for business. She shares some of her insights below – 

“It’s 1 A.M. and I am walking the champagne-lit streets of the Dubai International Financial Centre. There is a bustling kind of quiet. People are still walking here and there. A waiter’s shift has just ended at a restaurant. Friends are ending the night with a group selfie that may be captioned “Dinner in the sky in Dubai”.

I landed in city three hours prior to this. As I left the plane, something in the ambience reassured me that I would love the city, as a style-crazed-heel-loving young woman in finance.

Everything about Dubai I experienced was grandiose: from the crystal lighting at the larger than life duty free counters, to the majestic flower-filled hotel reception I would call home for a short while.

And because adventure is far more thrilling to me than getting a full night’s rest, I sped through a shower, ordered something simple for dinner and left the hotel for a midnight stroll.

In this moment 1AM moment I have an out of body experience: the buildings tower over me almost as if to say, “Welcome to the future: elegant, clean and safe.” My heart abounds with joy as I experience one of the most iconic financial districts in my life. Somewhere a part of promises: “I’m coming back.”


Suffice to say, getting up the next morning was no easy feat. But that midnight stroll is a memory that will play itself over in my mind for the rest of my life.

I was in Dubai for business. In fact, I have been to four countries in the last few months since I began a new role. Every country is either a new set of lessons or a re-enforcement of some important ones. To summarise:

  • No matter what race, language and nationality others are: we all are the same. We have dreams. We have fears. We want to work. We want to know that we matter to people around us. We want to have a permanent place we can call home.
  • Wifi, taxis and currency run your daily life: without them you can lose everything. Literally
  • Materiality is not king: when you’re in a foreign country, you are only that: a foreigner, with a limited budget, who is heavily reliant on others for survival
  • He who does not learn the local language will struggle to win the hearts of the people

There is a perception in my community that travel is expensive or impossible. Although (thanks to social media and some multinational organisations), that is slowly changing. My aspiration for us as a generation of young people is that we would embrace the concept of leaving South Africa to try new places: professionally or for leisure.

A lack of diversity in any space is great breeding ground for prejudice and social conflict. With each country I’ve experienced I have been able to share a clearer idea of what South Africa is about and I am able to address areas where I lack perspective about other foreign nationals.

So please, when life grants you the chance: travel! Not only for the sake of an out of body experience on a midnight stroll in a safe city, but for the sake of enlarging your global perspective and creating one more socially conscious and sympathetic global citizen.”

Gauteng Shapers hit up Tshwanefontein!

On the 26th of August 2018, the Tshwane Hub hosted the first inter-hub social of the year. We invited both the Soweto and Johannesburg Hubs to an afternoon out at Tshwanefontein – a cross cultural fusion of music, fashion and art that takes place on the last Sunday of every month at the African Beer Emporium in Tshwane’s CBD. If anyone was under the impression that things are quiet on a Sunday in Tshwane, a visit to Tshwanefontein will very quickly correct that misconception! We spent a wonderful afternoon in a casual yet lively environment – with the dancing continuing late into the night. At Tshwanefontein, there is no time for Sunday Blues!

The inter-hub social allowed us an opportunity to personally interact with members of the other Gauteng hubs, sharing updates on our projects and learning about other initiatives, business ventures and passions shapers are personally involved in away from their respective hubs. This social gave everyone a chance to get to know one another and network but, most importantly, it also promoted synergy and cooperation amongst the Gauteng hubs. We hope that this will help to pave the way for joint projects and initiatives in the future.


Tshwane Hub meets WEF Founder with a message for President Ramaphosa

Professor Klaus Schwab recently visited South Africa to establish a partnership between the World Economic Forum business leaders and South Africa, in an attempt to help President Cyril Ramaphosa to raise $100 billion in investment to grow the economy. Professor Schwab said that he was filling a promise made to former President Nelson Mandela in 1990’s to do everything he could to help South Africa reach its potential. In line with that his visit also included advocating for the planned establishment of a Fourth Industrial Revolution Centre in South Africa which will be looking eight different technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and precision medicine to establish the necessary regulations, ethical views and impact on humanity from an African perspective.

Such an honour to hear this man speak!

Professor Schwab has advocated for more youth to ‘have a seat at the table’ of large decision making bodies. In line with that vision, the Tshwane Hub along with Global Shapers from as far as Ghana including Young Global Leaders, met with Professor Schwab at the Hyatt Hotel in Rosebank on the 27th June 2018 to share their views on the youth message that should be shared with President Cyril Ramaphosa. A variety of messages were put forward ranging from an increase in risk capital to support start-ups in South Africa to giving access to youth to help drive decision making policies. It is our hope that the messages shared were well received and that we can further engage with national, provincial and local governments to help shape Tshwane for the better.


Hub members with the Prof!

Tshwane Hub goes to Shape Africa 2018!

Shape Africa 2018 was held in Johannesburg from May 10-12 2018, featuring some of the continent’s top keynote speakers from various companies, institutions and governments.  The conference report can be found here:

Conference Report

Some of the hub’s shapers went along, dressed in their finest threads! It was a fantastic event enjoyed by all and congrats must go to the organisers – the Joburg Global Shaper Hub. Great job guys & girls!


Onida goes to the Thabo Mbeki Book Launch – Youth Day 2018

June 16, Youth Day, commemorates the 1976 uprising and deaths of a multitude of Soweto school learners. This year I had the honour of attending the highly anticipated joint book launch and birthday celebration of former president, Mr. Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, hosted by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.

The event boasted a dynamic audience from high school learners to esteemed dignitaries – all placed under one roof for robust debate and thought provoking conversation. To mark the 42nd anniversary of the 1976 uprising, The Thabo Mbeki Foundation (TMF) launched two books.  The first is Volume 7 of the South African Road to Democracy entitled “Soweto Uprisings: New Perspectives, Commemorations and Memorialisation.” This book sparked the debate on the patterns of student uprisings from 1976 to the 2015 Fees Must Fall movement.


The second book launched entitled “Building Blocks Towards an African Century: Essays in Honour of Thabo Mbeki.” It encompasses a compendium of essays written by an illustrious group of African academics in honor of Mr Mbeki ’s intellectual contribution to the African continent. The guests were given a chance to partake in the discussion through an open platform where a number of issues where raised such as the limited writings of the work done by Mr Mbeki post 2008 and general accessibility of the academic literature in underprivileged schools and communities.

The climax of the event was the response by the former president himself, as he took the podium and reiterated the need for young people to position themselves to exercise leadership within society and left us pondering on how to become real effective leaders.  All accolades go to the Thabo Mbeki foundation on the invitation and hosting a successful event.







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