YouthActionNet Expands to South Africa With Launch of MSA LEAD

The inaugural class of MSA LEAD fellows.

Through the launch of MSA LEAD, a new YouthActionNet program in South Africa, an exceptional group of 10 young people is being honored and supported in their work leading change in their communities. They join an ever-growing network of other young people around the world who are part of the YouthActionNet network, which now includes 23 youth leadership institutes, 15 of which are hosted on Laureate International Universities campuses.

MSA LEAD – Leading Entrepreneurs for African Development – is the result of a global partnership between Monash South Africa, the International Youth Foundation and Laureate. Their first class of fellows are carrying out incredibly diverse work across the entire country and truly embody the program’s mission to give young people “the opportunity to develop much-needed skills, access additional resources and learn from and collaborate with one another to drive meaningful, dynamic, and measurable change.”

Meet the full class of fellows below.

Innocentia Mthembu is the founder of Show Time Film Club, based in Johannesburg. Show Time Film Club is an exciting videography program that is aimed at young learners and strives to play an important part in positively affecting the next generation by using the medium of art through film. Innocentia’s turning point came when she saw the need for extracurricular activities in disadvantaged communities.  Show Time Film Club’s core purpose is to provide relevant, skills-based film education within a caring, fun environment.

Josephine Koketso Mbewe is co-founder of the Youth Leadership Investment Network (PTY) Ltd., a venture focused on youth mentorship, empowerment and soft skills development. Youth Leadership Investment Network (PTY) Ltd. is a social entrepreneurial company and holds themed conferences, empowerment camps and workshops addressing day-to-day challenges that young learners in South Africa face.

Lebo Mashigo is the founder of NuBreed Music Institute, an organization that provides lessons to young people between the ages of 12-21 in KwaNdebele, an area of South Africa. The program is aimed at young people from the area and works to instill 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.

Lwandi Victory Sokhanyile is the co-founder of the L5 Global Movement based in Zandspruit, Johannesburg. L5 Global Movement works to empower youth in the informal settlement by providing basic needs for vulnerable youth and also supporting them through values programs. L5 Global movement runs programs in the community to prevent drug abuse and also assists youth in finding employment.

Sharon Rapetswa is the founder of New Dawn Foundation which operates in Dendron, Limpopo. The foundation seeks to promote literacy and learning in the province, including hosting spelling bees and a read-a-thon. The organization aims is to enable primary school children to read proficiently by 7th grade.

Sophie Kanza is the co-founder of the Sophie A Kanza Foundation, which she started with her sister Louise. Sophie is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and her family immigrated to South Africa when she was three-years-old. After going through a hard time and having to rely on the goodness of others to live, Sophie and her sister started the foundation as a way of paying good deeds forward. They aim 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 organizations in need and sponsors. They also assist in recruiting volunteers for different projects.

Thabang Mabuza is the founder of the Lion’s Den Programme, which provides support to youth entrepreneurship work to enable organizations to engage with initiatives and contribute to social transformation. The programme operates across five provinces and has impacted 600 youth entrepreneurs who are now part of the Enterprise Development Programmes in partnership with Kellogg, the US Embassy, Transnet, Protea Hotel, Gauteng Enterprise Propeller and Rand Refinery, among others. The project creates a platform for 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. Lion’s Den Initiative runs an annual Career Fair Expo in Ekurhuleni that has impacted over 21,000 people.

Winnie Makhwanya is the founder of Keagile Wellness Development Centre (KWDC), an organization that focuses 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 to provide psychological and preventative interventions that focus on support and promote the enhancement of well-being in community contexts. This includes individuals, families, groups and communities. Her primary function is to prevent, promote, and intervene on the well-being of individuals.

Sithembile Ndlovu is a co-founder of Sithuthukile Pre-School and Eliny’ithuba Non-Profit Organisation and aims to educate, advocate, empower, and improve the lives of children and youth in underprivileged circumstances through techniques based in social science.

Palisa Tefu is the founder of The Survival Kit (Skit), a practical product aimed at empowering scholars. The product itself is comprised of a goal board, a monthly planner, a diary, study guides and affirmations. The logic behind its contents is to help scholars manage their time and for them to actually set goals that will be visible to them on a daily basis, which will steer them in the direction of further empowerment.