, ,

#KnowTheirNames: 4 young South African leaders who are heading off to the Commonwealth Youth Forum happening in London (16 April to 18 April)


In April 2018, the UK will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) where leaders from 53 member countries are expected to gather in London and Windsor. They will come together to reaffirm the commonwealth values, address the shared global challenges we face and agree on how to work to create a better future for all our citizens, particularly young people. As part of this meeting, there’s the Commonwealth Youth Forum which is also taking place during the same period. The forum will see young people discussing the most vital issues and opportunities facing young people today. Approximately 500 youth leaders from the Commonwealth countries have been chosen and these four South Africans made the cut. Learn they names and read on how they are helping change the narrative for young people in South Africa.


Know her name: Farai Mubaiwa, 23 years old

1. Who are you?

I am Farai Mubaiwa from South Africa. I’m excited to attend the CHOGM youth summit as an Africa Matters, South African and One Young World Ambassador.

2. What’s your initiative?

I am the Founder of the Africa Matters Initiative. We are a youth-led organisation that is committed to empowering young Africans through skills building and mentorship to change the narrative by leading their communities. We have won two international awards for our work – Queens Young Leader Award and the One Young World Leading South Africa Award.

Website: www.africamattersinitiative.com

Instagram: @africamatters2015

Twitter: @africamatters15

Facebook: Africa Matters

3. What are your current aspirations for Africa Matters?

Africa Matters is currently in a period of growth. We are upscaling to four more African countries – Zimbabwe, Namibia, Rwanda and Kenya – to ensure that we reach even more African youth in different parts of Africa. To upscale, we launched an Ambassadors Program which is a one-year leadership program that serves to equip young Africans with skills, tools, and mentorship through online training to run four impact projects in their communities. We will be announcing the Ambassadors on the 6th April, and we have selected 9 incredible applicants from a total of 540. Our hopes for 2018 are to run a successful Ambassadors program where the selected Ambassadors collectively impact 6000 African youth with new skills in different fields.

4. What are your hopes going into the Commonwealth?

Going into the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Youth Summit, we hope to achieve two important things. First, to critically engage and shape policy that affects the commonwealth countries from a youth perspective. The voices of youth are often neglected, and considering the large percentage of youth in the Commonwealth this needs to change. Second, to network with incredible young people from around the world, and particularly Africa and the diaspora, to share visions of a powerful Africa lead by youth and to seek organisational synergies.


Know his name: Khanya Mkoto, 26 years old

1. Who are you?

My name is Khanya Mkoto. I grew up in a single parent household in a township called Kwamagxaki in Port Elizabeth. I currently work as an Analyst Model Developer, direct this initiative (The Young Catalyst) and I am also a part-time MSc Mathematical Statistics student at Wits University. I am very passionate about young people and the power we have to achieve our dreams. To date, I have represented South Africa at the second international mathematics olympiad which took place in India (2006) and the One Young World Summit which took place in Colombia (2017).

2. What’s your initiative?

My initiative is called The Young Catalyst. The Young Catalyst places it’s focus on three pillars: Education, Entrepreneurship and Employment with its extension pillar being young leadership. As an organisation we intend to mobilize young South Africans to join us in making a tangible difference in these areas. Visit: www.theyoungcatalyst.co.za to see more.

Instagram: @theyoungcatalyst

Facebook: The Young Catalyst

Twitter: @young_catalyst

3. What are your current aspirations for The Young Catalyst?

I pray that this organisation truly serves young people in a tangible manner. I declare Isaiah 61 over The Young Catalyst.  “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoner…”. We have two events coming up which I am excited to share with everyone. One of them will be in support of the YES initiative launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa this year.

4. What are your hopes going into the Commonwealth?

My hopes going into the Commonwealth is to pay attention and learn. I want to grow from my interactions with other young leaders and see what I can bring back to South Africa to share with my peers. #ThumaMina


Know his name: Tefo Manase Mokhine, 25 years old

1. Who are you?

I am a brother to five and a mentor to many young people, I hail from Zebediela in Limpopo province. Being an entrepreneur is something I was born to do, and I identify as a leader through my way of living. Currently, I am a fourth year Mining Engineering student at Wits University, and recently, I completed the Entrepreneurial Generator Programme at Wits Business School. As a leader, I went as far as being the Chairperson of ABSIP Wits and was then recognised as the National ABSIP Student Leader of the Year 2016. I have represented South Africa for the One Young World Summit in Colombia. P&P Mentors is my passion baby, I am the founder and managing director of the initiative. I also run a start-up company called ClayMade Enterprise(CME) that is building a franchise of convenience stores in the townships

2. What’s your initiative?

We believe in the power of having someone more experienced and knowledgeable guiding the other to leverage on the experience and social capital of the more senior person, hence we founded P&P Mentors, which runs mentoring programmes. Our daily strive is to educate South Africans about the importance of mentorship and to encourage these relationships. For more information visit our website: www.pnpmentors.co.za .

Facebook: P&P Mentors

3. What are your current aspirations for P&P Mentors?

We are looking to adopt more mentees with support of volunteer mentors especially for students from townships and rural areas. We are also inviting people to blog with P&P Mentors. Our main topics are leadership, personal development, and entrepreneurship. See current articles here: http://blog.pnpmentors.co.za .

4. What are your hopes going into the Commonwealth?

In anticipation to attend the Commonwealth Youth Forum in London, I am looking forward to intense and robust engagements that would empower me intellectually, in addition to that I am eager to meet with other great young people from around the world with prospects of collaborating and sharing key resources.


Know her name: Didintle Letlape, 28 years old

1. Who are you?

My name is Didintle Letlape, I hail from the platinum city of Rustenberg. I am a passionate and driven young lady whose passion lies in the financial and economic development of Africa. I also have an intense love for education for children.  I’ve been a strategic analyst for ABSIP UJ campus, vice president of education for Toastmasters and currently, I am a One Young World Ambassador.

2. What’s your initiative?

I am the founder of Bokamoso Ba Rona, an organization that is set to disrupt the education system and help further develop children beyond the classroom with entrepreneurial and technological skills. My organisation further empowers and educates parents with the hopes of providing employment through work readiness programs.

3. What are your current aspirations for Bokamoso Ba Rona?

My hopes for my initiative is that the African child despite their background can have equal opportunities and a great education that will bring forth better opportunities. The materials required to ensure that this initiative is a success include old books that can be donated to the children, human resource skills that can provide the parents with work readiness and in the bigger scheme of things, funds that will enable us to have a center where training will take place.

4. What are your hopes going into the Commonwealth?

My hopes going into the Commonwealth are to harness my leadership and entrepreneurial skills, to create long lasting relationships throughout the commonwealth and to do more work post the commonwealth summit.


All the best young leaders. We look forward to watching you grow and become all that you are destined to be. Fly the South African high 🇿🇦. You make us proud #Catalysts.