For some young people, walking into a room of esteemed politicians, entrepreneurs and industry leaders can be quite daunting. To facilitate an environment that by-passes that, Thabang Mabuza ensured to host the Gauteng Activate! Change Drivers exchange at Zoo Lake- an informal environment in which all were casual and equal.
Aptly themed ‘Debunk, Collaborate and Co-Create’, the exchange provided a platform which allowed Activators and all present to not only meet each other- but also discover new possibilities with no limits set. There were no speakers, no VIPs and special guests, it was merely a gathering at which people could get together and not have to worry about time limitations and etiquette.
Artist Kamogelo Masemola joined in on the day’s festivities- not only artistically capturing the exchange in its entirety- but also providing a space for creativity to be unleashed. Throughout the event, he was joined by someone present- which left behind tangible, co-created imagery.
Tsebang Moeti of VIP Lifestyle promotions, who was quite excited to be there, was very open to discussion. According to him, “young people in the country often choose to play small, wasting considerable talent and ideas”. “Look at them”, he said, “right here amongst us could be ideas that can change the world forever- those ideas need to be heard and more importantly, they need to be brought to life”. He went on to share with great passion how important it is for young people not only dream big, but to action those dreams no matter the odds.
Some of the Activators present acknowledged that there are too few opportunities for mass gatherings- so the exchange allowed them to interact beyond their nodes and to get to meet those they sometimes interact with online in ‘real-life’.
Robust discussions and debates took place, so too did the exchange of ideas. Others chose to play soccer, whilst some were dedicated to the braai stand- but irrespective of what one was doing, engagement was constantly taking place.
Activator Mpho Msiza on the other hand, used the day as an opportunity to share his project, ‘Going Green: Cleaning and Waste Management’ with some of those present. Based in Kwathema , Going Green, is made up of 16 members focusing on recycling. The obviously passionate Activator highlighted employment creation as a notable contribution of taking care of the environment and explained in great detail how their model operates. One of the main challenges they face however is their lack of a bailer machine. This means that they compress waste themselves, which is time-consuming and has a negative effect on their impact.
Overall, it was a day enjoyed by all – a day that inspired and also provided a refreshingly different way of connecting.