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Fellows

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Innocentia Mthembu

28 year old Innocentia Mthembu is the founder of Show Time Film Club, based in Johannesburg.  Show Time Film Club is an exciting videography programme aimed at school learners that strives to positively affect the next generation through the medium of filmmaking.

Innocentia’s turning point came when she saw the need for extra-curricular activities in disadvantaged communities where the youth needed empowerment.  Show Time Film Club’s core aim is to provide relevant, future-focused skills within a caring, fun environment based on film education. The programme’s motto is "Discover your potential".

Innocentia studied video production at Boston Media House, with the dream of one day producing children’s programmes that uplift and spark a move to action. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others using her developed set of skills and her talents.

Innocentia is also the founder of Blue Lenz Pictures, where she has had the honour of doing post-production work for TV shows like ‘Sunday Chillaz’ and ‘Life with Thami’, which won a SAFTA award. She was also selected in 2014 as one of Cosmopolitan Magazine’s ‘Awesome Women’.
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Josephine Koketso Mbewe

Josephine Koketso Mbewe is 22 years old and is the co-founder of Youth Leadership Investment Network (Pty) Ltd.  Born in Hammanskraal, Josephine was raised by her mother and grandmother. Her life was greatly influenced by her mentors from her school environment.

Youth Leadership Investment Network (Pty) Ltd is driven by Josephine’s desire to serve the youth positively. They are a social entrepreneurial organisation that hosts themed conferences, empowerment camps and workshops addressing the day-to-day challenges that young learners face. The venture is focused on youth mentorship, empowerment and soft skills development.

Josephine has always been a leader; in her school career she was involved in debating, writing and public speaking. At age 15 she won the 2009 ‘Post Office National letter-writing competition’, which resulted in a school hall being built and named after her - the Koketso Mbewe Centre. Josephine served as president of the SRC in her matric year, as well as obtaining five distinctions and receiving a full bursary. She is currently studying a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Pretoria. Josephine is also a 2016 ‘MINDS Fellow’ and volunteers with two NGOs (WomEng and Pledge a Pad).
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Lebo Mashigo

26 year old Lebo Mashigo was born and raised in Kwandebele of Mpumalanga. She is the founder of NuBreed Music Institute. NuBreed is an organisation that provides lessons to young people between the ages of 12-21 in KwaNdebele. The programme is aimed at young people from the area and aims to instil and develop music and art skills. Nubreed’s goal is to train young people who will become professional musicians that can contribute to the industry as producers, composers, and music directors.

Lebo describes NuBreed as “The best employer in the world” - it has been the cornerstone of her dream, and she spends a lot of time and energy supporting the organisation. Lebo is an ambitious go-getter who believes in the power of team work. She has also participated in campaigns to develop young girls through business and the Arts. She has a ‘never-say-die’ attitude and does not give up on a dream until it is achieved.

Lebo received recognition for her work as part of the ‘200 Mail and Guardian Young South Africans’ in 2016, has been profiled in Township Girl Magazine, and was recently nominated for the ‘Women: Real Architects of Society Awards’.
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Lwandi Victory Sokhanyile

Lwandi Victory Sokhanyile is 20 years old and is the co-founder of the L5 Global Movement based in Zandspruit, Johannesburg. The L5 Global Movement works in empowering the youth in this informal settlement by providing basic needs for vulnerable youth and also supporting them through values programmes. They also run programmes in the community to prevent drug abuse and assist youth in finding employment.

L5 Global Movement is a Christian organisation that is inspired to love all people, especially the unloved. They provide food and clothing for those in need and conduct drug abuse programmes to empower the community. Their main aims are to restore important values within families and communities and create jobs for the youth.

Lwandi’s youth programme aims to inspire young people to create future goals and to make the most of themselves. Lwandi is passionate about motivational activities and her studies. She is currently a second year International Studies and Economics student at Monash South Africa.

She loves to socialise, learn as much as she can from everyone she meets and believes that there is greatness in every person. She believes in bringing out the best in all people she encounters.
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Sharon Rapetswa

Sharon Rapetswa is a 28 year old from the Limpopo Province. She is the founder of New Dawn Foundation, which operates in Dendron, Limpopo. New Dawn Foundation seeks to promote literacy and learning in the Limpopo Province with programmes including a Spelling Bee and a Read-a-Thon. The aim of the organisation is to assist and enable primary school children to read by the 7th grade.

Sharon is a leader and a self-starter. She is also a businesswoman, an education enthusiast and a change maker; she is passionate about education, youth development and entrepreneurship. Sharon’s ultimate goal is to one day hold a prominent civic leadership role in South Africa. She is a 2011/2012 alumni of the Community College Initiative Exchange Programme.

Throughout her civic leadership career, Sharon has achieved awards such as the ‘University of Johannesburg Black Management Forum Phenomenal Women Appreciation Award 2013’, ‘Women in Leadership 2009’ at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and is also a recipient of Michelle Obama's ‘Young African women leaders fund’ 2012.
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Sophie Kanza

Sophie Kanza is a 24 year old student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, now residing in South Africa since her family immigrated when she was 3 years old. She is the co-founder of the Sophie A Kanza Foundation, which she started with her sister Louise.

After suffering hardships and having to rely on the goodwill of others, Sophie and Louise started the Foundation as a way of paying good deeds forward. The Sophie Kanza Foundation aims to unite people from different backgrounds for a common goal:  working together using pan-Africanism to spread love and tolerance. The Foundation acts as the ‘middle-man’ between organisations in need and sponsors. They also recruit volunteers for different projects.

South Africa has become the only home Sophie has known, although she is still very much in touch with her roots and home languages. Sophie is a change-maker, leader, student and believer. She lives for helping young girls, youth volunteerism, sanitary issues, anti-xenophobia campaigns and letting children be just that, children!
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Thabang Mabuza

Thabang Mabuza is the 28 year old founder of the Lion’s Den, based in Ekurhuleni. The Lions’ Den provides support to young entrepreneurs, enabling them to engage in initiatives and contribute to social transformation.

The project provides a conducive platform for young active citizens between the ages of 18-35, who are leading social impact projects within communities, to pitch their ideas and receive feedback from experts and seasoned entrepreneurs. The Lion’s Den runs an annual Career Fair Expo in Ekurhuleni that has impacted over 21, 567 people.

Thabang is also the founder of Power 40, Ulwazi and Lion’s Den Global where he mentors over 80 social entrepreneurs. He is passionate about creating spaces for young people to collaborate and co-create. He is the chairperson of the ‘Nelson Mandela Children Fund’ youth club, a 2013 ‘Brightest Young Mind’, an ambassador for a network of ‘Active Change Drivers’, and an external consultant for the World Economic Forum on Africa and Switzerland. He was a ‘Standard Bank Rising Star Awards Entrepreneur’ finalist for 2015 and was also the ‘One Day CEO’ at SAA Technical.
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Winne Makhwanya

Winnie Makhwanya is 26 years old. She is the Founder of the Keagile Wellness Development Centre (KWDC) North of Tshwane; a non-profit organisation (NPO) run by four Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) registered counsellors.

KWDC predominantly focus on the psychological well-being and empowerment of individuals and communities, as well as social and youth development.  Winnie makes psychological services accessible to the diverse South African population and provides psychological and preventative interventions that focus on supporting and promoting the enhancement of well-being in community contexts for individuals, families, groups and communities. Her primary function is to prevent, promote, and intervene on any threats on the well-being of individuals.  As a pioneering NPO, they are solely dedicated to the empowerment of youth, particularly those who are vulnerable and come from historically disadvantaged communities

Influenced by her own experiences, Winnie has a strong passion for youth development, social development and empowering others, and she aims to play an influential role in South Africa. Winnnie completed her honours degree in BA Psychology at the Midrand Graduate Institute and is a Psychology Practitioner registered with the HPCSA.
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Sithembile Ndlovu

Sithembile Ndlovu is the 27 year old co-founder of Sithuthukile Pre-School and Eliny’thuba Non-Profit in KwaNdengezi in Kwa-Zulu Natal.  Sithembile aims to educate, advocate, empower, and improve the lives of children and youth in underprivileged circumstances through her passion for social science.

Sithembile lives in Durban and is a Child and Youth Care professional. She obtained a National Diploma in Child and Youth Development in 2015 and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Technology in Child and Youth Development at the Durban University of Technology.

Sithembile has a Civic Leadership Certificate and volunteers at Pinetown Girls High School to provide counselling and activity programming for the learners. She participated as a volunteer in the 21st International AIDS conference in 2016. In addition, she is an Ambassador for ‘Progressive Youth Africa’, a member of the SADC youth network and is also involved in the Ethekwini Youth Sector. Sithembile is also an alumni for the 2016 YALI leadership programme.
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Palesa Tefu

Palisa Tefu is 24 years old. She is the founder of The Survival Kit (Skit), a project based in Kwa-Zulu Nataland aimed at empowering school learners.

Palisa felt inspired by learners who wanted to know how she succeeded in her matric year and realised that her knowledge would be helpful to others. Palisa now gives motivational talks at schools and helps learners form study groups as well as teaching them how to make the most out of educational television programmes.

The Survival Kit itself is a practical product that comprises of a goal board, a monthly planner, a diary, study guides and affirmations. The logic behind its contents is to help learners manage their time and to set goals that will be visible to them on a daily basis to help steer them towards working harder and more efficiently. These affirmations assist with tapping into their subconscious minds, changing their thoughts and eventually their attitudes towards school. It is also aimed at trying to increase their confidence, which will assist with improving their marks.

Born in Benoni and now working in Richards Bay as a pharmacist, Palesa is a firm believer in Christ. She is an optimistic, bubbly and outgoing person who believes that life should be lived to its fullest and that all dreams should be made reality. She also believes in investing in the future and does this by gathering information through her hobby of reading.
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