Class of 2017
Aisha Hamdulay is a recent graduate of the University of Cape Town (UCT), holding a Bachelor of Social Science degree in Environmental and Geographical Science, and International Relations. Aisha is an astute creative who -during her days at UCT- served on the executive committee of the Muslim Students Association (MSA); first as an Event Manager and later as the Vice Chairperson. In these roles, she was well groomed to serve with the MSA of the Cape, where she received exposure through organizing and hosting a leadership workshop with the regional body. Adding to her leadership experience, is her appetite for mentoring leaders. She was selected as a mentor for the UCT Department of Student Affairs Leadership Program. On the creative side, Aisha belonged to the group called “Igers UCT”, a photography collective. She was an executive member of the UCT PhotoSoc, and is now a professional part time photographer with her own company- Falling Star Photographic Services. Aisha lives for the realization of social justice, human rights, and equality, especially in fields relating to development and the environment. She is a problem solver who envisions the change in South Africa emanating from innovation, empowerment, and sustainable development. She hopes that through the ASRI Future Leaders Program, she will be equipped with knowledge and skills to be an efficient agent of change beyond the South African borders, using both art and the unimaginable.
Co-founder of Tembisa Muslim Youth (TMY)- Ismail Kumanda serves an advisory and coordinator role of specific projects conducted by the organization. He also serves in the coordinating structure of the Gauteng Muslim Shura Council Youth (GMSCY) in Ekurhuleni. Ismail holds a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies from the International Peace College of South Africa. In 2013, he attended an intensive course in Arabic hosted by the Kuwait Islamic Center in Kuwait. Ismail is a graduand of a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree (Arabic) from the University of the Western Cape. Currently, he is running a small enterprise in the hope of venturing into the world of business.
BUSISIWE CATHRINE SEABE
Activist, Entrepreneur, WitsFeesMustFall student leader and graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand- Busisiwe Seabe is an advocate for social justice. Some of the organisations she has been involved with include the Department of Basic Education, the United Nations International Children’s Fund as well as the Department of Arts and Culture on the Girls and Boys education movement (Gem/Bem) as the National Chairperson. She is an ambassador for the Always Keeping Girls in School Campaign by Proctor & Gamble, an ambassador for the Wildlife Foundation and Generation Earth. Busisiwe is the Deputy Chairperson of the South African Youth Parliament; and the official African Youth Representative for COP17. She is the former Secretary General of the Southern African Universities Debating Council. Busisiwe is intrigued by the role of media in the pursuit of justice which is why she writes for the Black Republic Publication under the Fourth International Organisation and is a former VowFM News and Current Affairs Reporter.
Fatima Mukaddam obtained a Masters in Political Studies with distinction from the University of the Witwatersrand. She began reading for her Masters at Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po, Paris). Her research report delves into some of her interests, which include gender based violence, feminism and women studies. These topics were narrowed in her Masters discussion on the perceptions of domestic violence amongst select Muslims in Johannesburg. Throughout her time at Wits University, Fatima formed an integral part of the student community and served as an elected leader on numerous structures including the Muslim Students Association (MSA) as Vice Chairperson. She was also a member of the Students Representative Council (SRC). Fatima is a vibrant, critical thinker who challenges injustice with an open mind and a relentless dedication to her community. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, she hopes to explore additional avenues of tackling societal injustices by forming lasting partnerships with the rest of the fellows.
Iman Damons is a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Sciences graduand, who is eagerly awaiting her graduation ceremony which will take place in the first quarter of 2017 at the University of the Witwatersrand. During her days at her alma mater, Iman was involved in various sporting activities and held membership status with organizations such as the Muslim Student Association and PSC. Iman has an interest in the well-being of the general public and the significance thereof in achieving equity within South Africa- her aim is to funnel that interest in an involvement with the education of marginalised citizens. She hopes that her involvement in the ASRI future leaders programme will encourage her to explore divergent opportunities in connection to systems of knowledge, practical tools and experience geared toward responsible and active citizenry.
KARABO JUNIOR SEKGALE
Karabo Junior Sekgale is a recipient of a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies degree from the University of Limpopo. In 2016, he became a brand ambassador of Raphael M tailored suits- a bespoke designer brand that has dressed some of South Africa’s most prolific gentlemen. In the same year, Karabo was nominated for the South African Men Of The Year Awards in the youth developer category presented by the Gauteng Department of Social Development. He worked at Bolobathaba Multimedia at Ga-Kgapane as a camera operator, producer, assistant director and researcher. His fervor for social development and youth empowerment, spurred him to co-create an online magazine titled Young Africans On The Move (YAOTM), as well as a School Uniform Campaign. For Karabo, these initiatives have become vessels of transforming the quality and standard of life for the community of Ga-modjadji, Bolobedu in Limpopo. He successfully mentored Matric pupils in this community who have gone above average in passing their Grade 12 year, to producing stellar university entrance results. Karabo is an advocate of change who believes that every individual has the potential to contribute to the advancement of the South African rainbow nation. He believes that through the ASRI Future Leaders Program, he will reach a higher expression of himself, by harnessing his potential to becoming a leader that the people of Bolobedu and South Africa can be proud of.
KHADIJA MPHO SELEKE
Langaville born Khadija Mpho Seleke is one of the youngest participants on cohort two of the ASRI Future Leaders Program. At the age of ten, the tragic loss of her father became a defining moment in her spiritual growth journey as she was confronted with acknowledging God’s will over her and her family’s life. In 2008, she halted her education to pursue an Alima course for six years at a Darul Ulum. Before qualifying as an Alima, she faced various challenges across many facets of her life but she attributes her success to perseverance, patience, faith and an inner strength. She has since been teaching Islam for six years, the first two years of which she was still a student. Recently, she has been involved in a pre-school and community day care centre as a grade RR and grade R teacher among some other community volunteer work. Khadija believes that knowledge has no limitations, which is why after she completed her Alima course, she decided to continue with secular education by pursuing Religious Studies with the University of Johannesburg. She is currently enrolled in a six- month RPL programme that will enable her to venture into an Honours class in Islamic Studies at the University of Johannesburg. Khadija is a patient individual that enjoys interacting and socializing with other people for the benefit of creating networks that could aid in transforming South African communities that are plagued with drug- abuse and teenage pregnancy. She envisions herself as a custodian for youth empowerment and is dedicating her time at the ASRI Future Leaders Program to develop her capacity for enacting change.
Qualified Youth Development Practitioner- Kholofelo Baloyi is a Criminal Justice student at the University of South Africa with an extensive 7 year background in community development. Kholofelo is a luminary, adaptable and highly motivated individual whose understanding of developmental and social issues is has rendered her precocious.
She is the Founder of BCM (Boy Child you Matter); a project that empowers teenage boys and enables them to become better men through dialogue and exposure to opportunities and positive role models. Kholofelo’s long-term goal is to launch digital libraries in order to introduce new technologies to underprivileged communities across South Africa and she believes that being part of the ASRI Future Leaders Program is a step in the right direction towards achieving this goal.
KOPI MARARA SEKOAILA
Kopi Marara Sekoaila is an advocate for education, gender equality, justice and the empowerment of women and girl children who come from disadvantaged rural backgrounds. The UCT and Wits graduate has worked for the HIV/AIDS Inclusivity and Change Unit as an AIDS Change Educator and as a Student Life Representative for Obz Square at the University of Cape Town. During her postgraduate studies at Wits, she volunteered for the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (Wits Branch).
She currently tutors part time at Reddy to Learn Tutors and co-runs a girls grooming academy called Bereka Lekgarebe (work girl child) for girls aged 12-21 who come from disadvantaged backgrounds in Botlokwa, Limpopo. She is an aspiring Policy Analyst and Foreign Service Officer who envisions herself playing an active role in the local and international political economy. Her fellowship at ASRI is closely aligned with her strong desire to work in the local and international political economy. She envisions herself putting her civil service experience, skills and research interests into good use in the next 10-20 years through working in the field of policy analysis in the public and private sectors in South Africa and at an international level through working for international humanitarian organisations which have a specific focus on the economic and social affairs of developing countries. During her fellowship at ASRI, she yearns to thoroughly engage with socio-economic issues that continue to plague South Africa and challenge herself to sharpen her leadership, research, writing and communication skills so that she is better able to become a more engaged and active change agent that commits herself towards ensuring, together with other leaders and civil servants, the betterment of her community and country at large.
LATIFAH NOOR KHAMISI
With ten years’ worth of experience, particularly in the NGO sector, Latifah Noor Khamis has dedicated her life to the plight of marginalised and disenfranchised communities such as women and children with refugee status. Latifah was born in Kenya and moved to South Africa in 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Humanities from the University of Johannesburg. Amongst the various organisations in which she has served is the Children Legal Action Network, where she was a community paralegal officer; the Islamic Relief as a field officer; the Crescent Haven as a child worker, the Funj Youth Development Network as a field coordinator; and the Norwegian Peoples Aid as a field monitor. Latifah is a recipient of the International Christian Organisation Media Award for her positive involvement in assisting with the refugee crisis in South Sudan. In addition to that, she has gained recognition from various stakeholders for her volunteer work with Burundi Muslim refugees in Johannesburg. Currently, Latifah is pursuing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Advanced Social Research with the Sociology department at her alma mater. In the course of her work, she has garnered exposure to various African country policies relating to international relations which have further piqued her interests in social justice. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, Latifah will contribute her hard working, team- player self, in order to make the most out of an opportunity that she believes is a golden one in the journey towards social justice within Africa.
Lerato Mashianoke is a 21 year-old aspiring Diplomat who was born and raised in Limpopo. In 2013, she matriculated from Hoërskool Merensky and enrolled at the University of Pretoria for a Bachelor of Administration in International Relations degree – which will be conferred upon her in April 2017. At her alma mater, Lerato was involved in mentorship, leadership and community outreach activities. Amongst the leadership capacities that have nurtured her growth mindset is the role of Chairperson, in which she led the BAdmin@Tuks Society. In this role, she learned the crux of maintaining a healthy academic/social life balance because in the same year, she was also the Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) Faculty House Commercii’s Community Outreach Director. Her leadership capabilities put her in good stead as she was later appointed by the EMS Faculty Dean, Professor Elsabé Loots, as the Student Representative for the University of Pretoria 2025 Teaching and Learning Task Team. Where talent meets hard-work, it is undeniably a statement about Lerato’s passion for Public Administration, International Relations and genuine service. This deep- seated desire to serve is what motivated her to start a Non-Profit Organisation called the Franky-Merry Foundation which seeks to serve rural and developing communities within the Limpopo and Gauteng regions. Through the ASRI Future Leaders Program, Lerato hopes to personify the words of her favourite quote by Leonardo da Vinci who once exclaimed that “people of great accomplishment, rarely sat back and let things happen to them, they went out and happened to things”. She looks forward to using ASRI as a platform to interrogate her interests in social justice and land restitution.
Nabeelah Khan is an analytical thinker-cum-creative and budding activist. She recently graduated from the University of Johannesburg with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Management and Governance. As part of the degree she majored in Politics, which navigated her a few steps closer towards her life’s purpose- which is immersed in humanitarian causes. Nabeelah has always admired organizations such as the Gift of the Givers, The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation as well as Greenpeace to name a few that she believes are on a quest to solve big societal problems. Throughout her teenage years, she participated in multiple community projects with the South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF) that alleviated youth related socio- economic ills. Nabeelah is a zealous changemaker who lives for the demolition of social divides such as the lack of access to education opportunities for women and youth. In 2016, she was actively involved with the Hippo Water Roller Project which addressed the socio-economic challenges faced by women and children in underdeveloped areas within Lenasia. Having engaged in Development Studies as part of her degree, she believes that the pivotal role played by women within societies should never be sidelined. If anything, it ought to be lauded and rewarded with life-enhancing opportunities. Nabeelah is a born-free that values equality, justice and security. She maintains that the ASRI Future Leaders Program will augment her skills and knowledge in preparation for more advocacy work in light of social redress.
With over 10 years’ experience in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, Nkosikhona Mpunngose is considered as a champion of meaningful youth participation and inclusion. His community involvement lends itself to networking and alliance building; advocacy; training in peer to peer approaches; peace building as well as conflict resolution. Nkosikhona is a community Imam with a number of Higher Certificates in HIV counselling, Leadership, Management, IT Technical Support, Advocacy and Ethics of Education for Children. Some of the leadership capacities in which he serves include the Kwa-Zulu Natal Civil Society Organisation Coalition, where he is an Executive Youth Representative for youth organisations in the province. He’s also serving at the District level of the eThekwini AIDS Council. These roles have prepared Nkosikhona for Youth Inter-Active (YIA) – an organisation at which he is the Founder and the Executive Director. In 2015, he was selected as the Southern African Development Community Interfaith Youth Council Representative where he received a nomination to represent the African Youth in Geneva at the International Interfaith Youth Conference that took place in 2015 November. In the same year, he served in the Democracy Development Program (DDP) as a Youth Ambassador’s Mentor. Currently, he invests his efforts at Activate Leadership- a national organisation at which he is the Local Activate Station Head for the INK (Inanda, KwaMashu and Ntuzuma) region in eThekwini. Nkosikhona is also a member of the United States Consulate’s Youth- GeneratioNext Durban Branch where he serves as a Project Manager for the I CAN Leadership Project. He was elected as a steering committee member for the 21st International Aids Conference Durban Youth Force that was hosted July 2016. Through his commitment on HIV advocacy, Nkosikhona was voted to lead the Museum for HIV Memory and Learning, which was officially launched on the 12th of July 2016 as “South African Voices”. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, Nkosikhona hopes to advance his leadership capabilities and gain exposure in other socio-economic contexts where he can apply his skills in resource mobilization, project management, event management and social media communication.
Nthato Ntsoko is a University of Johannesburg graduate in Public Management and Governance. Nthato recently graduated with a BA Honours degree specializing in International Relations from the same institution. During his undergraduate studies, he was afforded the opportunity to intern globally at Istanbul, Turkey. It is in this role that Nthato discovered his passion resides in helping others; thus he volunteered and worked closely with ward committee leaders baring a focus on service-delivery within his community. Nthato has been active in providing his services to various NGOs such as Skool Kid Foundation and Salaamedia. He is currently part of the council which heads the Patisma Forum, designed to foster social cohesion by addressing the needs of disadvantaged communities. These experiences have fortified his personal mission which is to improve the socio-economic conditions of South Africans. Nthato coming from a disadvantaged background believes that young social activists who are engaging with civil society and government across the spectrum- are going to drive the much sought after change. Nthato lives for the realization of social justice, human rights, and equality, especially in fields relating to development. He is a problem solver who envisions the change in South Africa emanating from innovation, empowerment, and sustainable development.
The ruthless exposure to a lack of developmental opportunities inspired Ntombovuyo Linda to start the Youth In Action (YIA) forum in her hometown- Port Elizabeth, back in 2009. Some of the activities offered by YIA included community dialogues, volunteering, tutoring as well as the mentoring of young community members. The experience that Ntombovuyo garnered in her formative years soon became a stepping stone upon which she progressed as a student leader when she enrolled at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. While pursuing a Bachelor of Administration and Political Science, she served as the Vice President of AIESEC; the Branch Deputy Chairperson of South African Student Congress; the Leadership Officer for the Golden Key International Honour Society; as well as the SRC Society Officer. She later joined the Inkulu Free Heid Eastern Cape organization as a Policy, Research and Engagement Leader. Before pursuing a Masters in Cultural Management, Research and Policy at the University of the Witwaterstrand, she completed a Bachelor of Honours degree in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg. Ntombovuyo has presented papers at multiple conferences such as the International Women’s Rights, Women, Media and the Girl-Child, UNASA held in 2014. Ntombovuyo views her community engagement as a key to unlocking the door to African intelligence in a hope to resuscitate African glory and narrate progress for both the continent and diaspora. She hopes to achieve her ambitions of change by embodying a heightened patriotism, civic engagement; enhanced social consciousness, academic discipline as well as transformative leadership.
After turning her back on a professional career in canoeing, Rochelle Thorne redirected her efforts to community-based projects, such as HIV/AIDS outreach programs. She joined ASRI when she was admitted in High School as a Gold Peer Educator. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences and Social Services, majoring in Psychology and Criminology. She intends on pursuing her postgraduate studies up to and perhaps beyond a Masters level. Recently, she diversified her skill set by upgrading her qualifications in visual design and copywriting while entering fine art competitions with solution-oriented approaches to social injustices. As participation in the Sanlam Portrait Competition, Rochelle submitted a portrait entitled “Coal Dust”, of one plaintiff from the public-interest group against Sasol for making miners sick with Pneumoconiosis. Rochelle previously worked with Family Life Centre (FAMSA) and other community engagement programs in order to gain insight into the real struggles that befall her community. Still not satisfied with her current knowledge on Ethics, she is studying advanced African Philosophy. She recognises herself as a white person, born with certain unjustified privileges, in a world of poverty, injustice and inequality, which is caught in a self-perpetuating cycle of corruption and greed. Her ambition is to use those privileges, some innovations and collective grit to bring about a better society while rejecting mainstream neo-liberal agendas and the false human classifications that we impose on ourselves, where the worst-off member of our society is always the main denominator in every political and economic decision. She hopes that her continued association with the ASRI will assist her in focusing that ambition by providing a better perspective on how she can go about approaching that self-imposed moral duty and desire for ethical atonement.
Recent graduate and holder of a Bachelor of Social Science degree from the University of Cape Town- Safeeya Mahomed, enjoys empowering and connecting people. She is a TEDx speaker-coach and volunteer who was recognized as one of one of Africa’s top 100 Brightest Young Minds (BYM) in 2016. She attended the flagship BYM summit that identifies, connects and mobilizes socially responsible young people. In the same year, Safeeya served on the board of the Psychological Society of South Africa’s Student Division as the Vice Chairperson of the Western Cape branch. Safeeya uses her vast volunteering experience to assist in the search for feasible, sustainable and people-centered solutions in response to the socio-economic challenges that face South Africa. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, she hopes to do what she loves the most- which is to network with like and not-so-like-minded individuals that will be part of the dynamic cohort of future African leaders.
Shaakira completed a Master of Science in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development at
University College Dublin, Ireland. She considers herself privileged to join the ASRI Future Leaders Program as she believes that the platform will equip her with the necessary skills to better apply her capabilities in the development field. She aspires to explore social justice by tapping into the powers of collective action as well as public participation within rural communities. She maintains that her academic background; which is not only focused on sustainable livelihoods and capacity building, but also a strong social and governance aspect, has positioned her in good stead to make a tangible difference to South African citizens.
Sibusiso Ndlovu is no stranger to community development. He has more than three years of experience in social development; two of which he spent as a physical fitness instructor, training more than fifty unemployed senior citizens in the area of Pennyville. Currently, Sibusiso is the Chairperson of PCYD a role in which he plans, organizes, and controls team operations which are not limited to Boot Camp training and a Soup Kitchen program. Before he founded PCYD in 2014, Sibusiso gained five years’ of work experience from a number of diverse organisations including EDCON and JOSHCO. In these organisations, Sibusiso was responsible for sourcing, doing clerical work, data capturing and administration. Sibusiso matriculated from Orlando West High School and ventured to the University of Johannesburg to for a Certificate in Sport Administration- which he was unable to complete due to unfavorable financial conditions. He later went to the University of South Africa to study for a Certificate in Economics and Management Science.
Sizwe Mabilisa is a decisive and action oriented community leader. He holds a Bachelor of Science double-major degree in Geography and Geology, as well as an Honours degree in Geography and Environmental Management; specialising in Water Sciences, Local and Regional Economic Development, and Environmental Policy Development. He is currently studying towards a Master of Science in Geography and Environmental Sciences at Wits University. Sizwe developed his action orientation towards sustainable problem solving during his tenure at Faculty of Best Advisory where he served as a volunteer and later as a part of the executive committee. He is also one of the co-founders of ‘Leaders of Today International’, a non-profit organisation which combats socio-economically disenfranchised youth groups through mentorship and development programs. Through his passion and active involvement in the afore-mentioned organisations, he gives career and motivational talks- centred on study tips and techniques, mentorship and counselling- all in an effort to groom effective and confident young leaders. Sizwe has proven to himself and his peers that it is possible to excel in academic and non-academic fraternities, which are why he remains resolute in the achievement of a truly free, non-racial and equal South African society. He is prepared to continue investing in work that will ultimately uplift and empower youth groups from underprivileged backgrounds. He envisions operating a green energy company that will commit to finding innovative ways to solve the global energy crisis in tandem with tackling youth unemployment. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, he hopes to connect with a diverse cohort of leaders, scholars, entrepreneurs and change agents who are as passionate about South Africa as he is.
Fuelled with fervor for poverty alleviation across Africa, Thabani Moyo is intent on becoming a future community leader. He is a double major degree holder from Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Management and International Relations. He holds a Diploma in Project Management from Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ) and is in the process of completing a Post Graduate qualification in Project Management from the Project Management Institute. During his campus days at Monash he participated in various student body activities including mentoring, advocacy and peer counseling. After graduation, he was elected as team leader in an international project with Saving Africa’s Youth (SAY) in conjunction with Young Africans Abroad (YAA) where he was afforded the opportunity to complete an internship in China. It is in this environment where he established a network of future leaders from various African countries and nurtured his desire to challenge inequality within different social contexts. Recently he was offered the position of Junior Project Manager at a Southern Africa based organization (High Plan Enterprise) which was founded to educate and equip African youth with entrepreneurship and alternative technical skills as means of poverty alleviation. At the High Plan Enterprise, he received accolades which include the Best Project Manager award and an Excellence Award for innovation. Thabani is the co-founder of Indigenised Youth Syndicates, a foundation with operations in both South Africa and Zimbabwe, advocating for African youth economic advancement in the private sector. He has gained a considerable amount of skills through his experiences in Civil Society and Private sector and he is confident that the ASRI Future Leaders Program will hone those skills by exposing him to young leaders from whom he can learn.
THEMBA ‘UMAR’ MAKHUBU
Themba ‘Umar’ Makhubu is an International Relations student at the University of South Africa who believes that on the journey to success, it is always better to embrace the mentality of life-long learning as opposed to that of an expert. He holds a Diploma in Public Relations and Communications from the University of Johannesburg. Themba completed a one year internship at Brand South Africa in civil society stakeholder relations after which he volunteered at the South African Police Service Youth Desk as Public Relations practitioner and Events Coordinator in the Daveyton region for ten months. Themba has discovered his elixir and passion in the study of communication. He believes that the communication as a medium of information dissemination- (when used with positive intent) can as deconstruct the deprecating perceptions about Africa. Themba has identified his youth development niche in education and literacy- which he ultimately wishes to use to combat illiteracy in the African continent. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, Themba wishes to delve into topics that will broaden his understanding of social constructs that contribute to justice.
With a Bachelor of Arts in Public Management and Governance as well as an Honours in Development Studies, Thulebona Mhlanga has enrolled for a Master in Politics with the University of Johannesburg. Thulebona recently completed an internship at the National Treasury as an Economist at the BRICS Desk. Outside her fervor for International Relations, she operates Funda Nathi and Ziveve- a writing consultancy geared towards empowering young women in Meadowlands- Soweto with a focus on personal development. Thulebona also serves as a mentor and young women’s representative in her community. She is a member of the University of Johannesburg Convocation of Transformation, Culture and Climate Task Team. She aspires to be an influential contributor to South African policy with a narrow focus in the education of women and children. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, she intends to cultivate her leadership skills and engage in the co-creation of pragmatic solutions to the challenge of serving the interests of South African citizens from a social justice front on both local and international platforms.
Tumelo Lesoka is a community activist hailing from rural Ga-Raphahlelo, a village in Limpopo. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and Bachelor of Arts Honours in Criminology & Criminal Justice; both earned at the University of Limpopo. He is currently enrolled at the University of South Africa, completing his Postgraduate Certificate in Education. He is an avid community and youth development volunteer with interests in poverty alleviation, crime prevention, education, and social security of South African citizens. At the University of Limpopo, Tumelo served as a student mentor at the Centre for Academic Excellence; while simultaneously managing his Secretary General duties for the University of Limpopo Criminology Society (ULCS). He also served as a Member of the Disciplinary Committee and later as the Chairperson of the Concerned Youth Forum (CYF) in Ga-Mamaila village (Limpopo). Tumelo was a member of the Sekgosese SAPS Youth Crime Prevention Desk – serving as the Chairperson of Ga-Raphahlelo sector. At the University, Tumelo was awarded the certificate of service for his mentorship role in the School of Social Sciences. In honour of his dedication and exemplary leadership skills, he earned a leadership certificate for his role as Secretary of ULCS in 2012 and 2013 respectively. After completing his studies he was employed at Pick `n Pay Clothing Store where his last position was that of Acting Assistant Store Manager. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, Tumelo hopes to deepen his knowledge and application of the social justice tenets in order to augment the impact of community engagement and activism in his hometown.
Unathi Twala is the Founder and Chief Editorial Director of Ntinga Africa Media Pty (Ltd), a media company focusing on rural development communication, and strategic brand placement for African development. The company is founded on the objectives of ‘Agenda 2063’ and the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs), with the vision to empower (with information and opportunities) that will propel the African youth to build the future that they envision. Unathi holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in International Relations and Media Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. The 29-year-old is passionate about communicating to the African youth in a language that they understand, and awakening the continent to progressive policies and opportunities. Growing up in rural Transkei in the Eastern Cape, Unathi always dreamed of making an impactful contribution in the print and broadcast media fraternity in tandem with encouraging rural development. Little did she know that her dreams would morph into a contribution to several leading South African publications, as well as the role of editing two youth publications including Campus Times, under the Mail & Guardian. By consistently striving for an inclusive Pan-African agenda, Unathi became one of South Africa’s first online reporters that worked as a journalist and social media strategist for Channel O (including Channel O Africa) and Vuzu. She later worked as a media liaison for the University of Johannesburg, and recently took an entrepreneurial leap by establishing Ntinga Africa Media Pty (Ltd). In essence, Unathi aims to use business in redefining how communication is produced and consumed in the creation of an African future. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, Unathi hopes to increase her knowledge on policy formulation as well as gain an insight into the execution thereof whilst forging long-lasting relationships with the fellows.
Vuyo Mokoena is the eldest of six children born to a struggle activist woman and man from the West-Rand township of Bekkersdal. Throughout his formative schooling years, Vuyo served on various leadership committees. After matriculating amidst a family financial trough in 2000, Vuyo resorted to doing building and construction work. In 2002, he became a Muslim and in 2003 he enrolled for an Islamic course at Newcastle- Durban, which qualified him as an Aalim eight years later. In the thick of his studies- 2006, he married his first wife with whom he has four children. Upon completion of his Islamic studies, he was appointed Chairperson/ Amier of the Bekkersdal Muslim Association and in 2013 he became an Imaam in the same community. A year after that, he married his second wife- with whom he has two children. At the present, Vuyo is the Chairperson of G.M.S.C Ulamah counsel and has fostered good working relationships with Awqaf and H.O.U organisations which seek to develop underprivileged Muslim communities while tackling the injustices of the day. He is also a member of G.W.C.R.A a civil society group. Vuyo is a political activist though he is not affiliated with any political party. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, he hopes to increase his network of fellow leaders and immerse himself in the teachings that the program has on offer.
Waseem Holland has a background in the donor funded NGO environment. He has worked with numerous individuals and organisations in programmes conducting extensive research on issues relating to elections and governance, as well as programmes that strive to develop the technical capacity of political parties and elected officials in Southern Africa, with the broad aim of strengthening democratic institutions like parliament through positive engagement and cooperation between different interest groups. His current interests are in understanding the post- industrial labour environment, exploring how groups and individuals navigate this new environment by restructuring old organisations and forming new movements to represent them and their interests are where he would like to locate his efforts currently. Waseem holds an Honours degree in International Relations and a Masters degree in Political Studies, both obtained from the University of the Witwatersrand. Waseem believes that the ASRI Fellowship will place him in a unique environment from which he can learn from other talented young people. His objective at ASRI is to enhance his personal development by harvesting the tools and skills needed to become an agent for positive change in order to make a meaningful contribution to society.
Zaahedah Vally hails from from Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. In 2008 she completed a short course in Marketing Management with the University of South Africa (UNISA). It is here that she pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations- which she obtained in 2012. Currently, Zaahedah works as a self-employed school tutor, offering both primary and high school tuition and homework supervision in a variety of subjects. She attributes excellence and the setting of high quality standards, as factors that have contributed to the tutees’ consistently outstanding performance. Zaahedah also takes part in freelance projects for a global speech and search technology company- Appen Butler Hill, in this role; she transcribes, translates, and performs web-search evaluation tasks. In these projects, she has learned to manage time and deadlines effectively, without any supervision. With the ASRI Future Leaders Program, Zaahedah hopes to establish a knowledge base in both local and international politics- a heart’s cry to which she was destined since her UNISA days. With hard work and determination, Zaahedah hopes to commit to the ideals of the program so that she can apply the teachings toward a socially just South African society.
What gets Zwelakhe Mpofu- an active volunteer from Boipatong, Johannesburg- out of bed every morning, is his passion for community development. He dreams of grooming future leaders from less privileged communities which has spurred his advocacy in family stability and ensuring the interest of children & youth are protected. Zwelakhe was nominated for a Youth in Business Award in the charitable sector for the Sedibeng region under the Motsepe Foundation Development Forum Committee. Zwelakhe holds a Paralegal Qualification from Boston Business College, a child care qualification from North-west University, a Leadership qualification from Health and Social Development, a certificate in Small Business Compliance from the South African Revenue Services and a certificate in Sporting and Event Management. He is currently pursuing his National Diploma in Law (Paralegal Studies) at the University of Johannesburg. Being involved in various roles has enabled Zwelakhe to broaden the horizons of his leadership capability. At the North-West University, Zwelakhe was selected as the best academically performing student in a Child Care course- in which he was the only male in a class of 302 students. He has also volunteered at Legal Aid SA (Vereeniging) assisting public with legal advice. Zwelakhe loves community work and with his vast experience and understanding of the NGO sector, he started the Learn-to–Lead Foundation which helps to empower the Boipatong community at large. Some of the activities offered at Learn-to-Lead include after school support classes in life skills, academic excellence as well as volunteering. At the ASRI Future Leaders Program, Zwelakhe hopes to network with fellow change- makers and increase his scope on the management of Learn-to-Lead.
SBUSISO BONGANI MACHEQUE