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From Local Impact to Global Recognition: Activate! Boosts Marishane Youth Hub

On the 13 of September 2022, the Activate! Marishane Youth Hub was graced by the presence of Activate! South African Executive team accompanied by the DGMT senior management.

The visit to Ga-Marishane was part of the Activate! Executive team doing a nationwide roadshow to inspect how the Activate! Youth Hubs are functioning in real-time. This enabled them to get a real feel of how heads of hubs are working on the ground in their respective communities.

Arriving in Ga-Marishane, the Activate! Executive team was warmly welcomed by MarishaneExecutives in Marishane Structures, namely: The Moroangoato Traditional Council- Senior Traditional Councillor Mr. Morwamokotle Eden Masemola welcomed the guest on behalf of the Traditional Council, the Senior Tribal Spokesperson Mr. Masenye Harry Masemola accompanied & supported the tribal council, the Executive Secretary for the Marishane Council of Churches Rev. Komane M Bapela opened the meeting by a prayer as per traditional protocol for every community gathering in Marishane Communities.

The Makhuduthamaga Municipality Local Ward Councillor Mr. MP Lethuba, local commercial transport association Mr. M Bapela and the Community Policing Forum Chairperson Mr. J Mahlase offered words of support, commending on the initiative.

Marishane Youth Hub Setting the pace, National Hubs Manager Mr. Rammolotsi Sothoane explained how they’re always getting reports about what’s happening in the Marishane Communities and they’ve decided to visit Marishane for a live celebration for the positive stories that have been happening within theMarishane Activate! Youth Hub.

“I have been working with Koketso Marishane since 2015 within the Activate! Change Drivers Network. He was the responsible person for the whole of Limpopo Province whilst I was responsible for the Free-State Province. I can thus attest to his passion and commitment to youth and community development because Koketso puts his all in his work”, started the National Hubs Manager Mr. Sothoane before introducing his senior team members.

“There are approximately 3400 pro-active young people within the Activate! Change Drivers Network called ‘Activators and Koketso is one of them. Since inception, Koketso has been visible in his strides to make youth voices heard, not only in this community of Marishane, the country but across the world. We have tangible reports of him making global impact. We are therefore, in Ga-Marishane today to tell all of you that, in Koketso, the community has an asset.

For the record, nobody knew anything about the Marishane communities nor its’ people. Marishane did not exist on any of our maps before the arrival or existence of Koketso, but Koketso has made sure that this happens. Koketso has made a name for himself in a network of more than 3400 pro-active young people all full of potential to make South Africa great. Most young people like yourselves in this room, are full of potential, but your voices are not loud enough to be heard by decision-makers because you’re not active and thus not visible. We’re therefore in Ga-Marishane today, to hand over resources to him on behalf of the hub, to help him amplify the work he does for the people in this community, and with the assistance of the DGMT here today, we trust they’ll know we mean business” said Activate! CEO Ms. Siphelele Chirwa.

“We come from Cape Town and that’s where our offices are based. I’ve accompanied the Activate! Executive team on this national roadshow to get a sense of how Activators are working because our mandate is to help reduceunemployment, poverty and inequality by providing resources where necessary and possible”, concluded the DG Murray Trust Director, Lunga Schoeman.

Although the visit was not about community engagement with the masses given the short time they had traveling throughout the province, activist Koketso as the Facilitator for the session made provision for participants to reflect on their experiences from the meeting and this is what they had to say:

“I’m truly humbled and inspired by the actions Activate! Is making for people especially in rural communities. I never thought I’d one day see Activate! CEO in Marishane nor someone from Cape Town coming specifically to Marishane. We’re indeed led by capable people who are passionate about people and community development and we’re drawing inspiration from these encounters,”, Boikie Mogowe– Marishane-based Activator.

“I wasn’t aware that activators are these many in the community, but be that as it may, I am happy that young people are making use of opportunities presented to them. I’m also impressed by the calibre of people we have in the space. It shows that indeed, we have a great ambassador for the community in Mr. Koketso Marishane. For our part, we’ll ensure that more young people join the Activate! Change Drivers Network”, said Ward Committee Member Mr. Elias Monama.

“Although I don’t fully understand what this Activate! Change Drivers is all about, and I blame that on my lack of education, but be that as it may be, we commend our visitors from Cape Town for visiting our community and sharing with us what they have to offer. We hope the relationship they’re building with us here, will not end today”, said the Mmetla Shapo La Tlala Local Transport Association Chairperson, Mr. Bapela

“We’re appreciative of the visit and the resources given to the community through KoketsoMarishane. We also commend you Activate! Executives for travelling all the way from Western Cape Province where you left your sensitive work of high responsibility to be with us here today in rural Limpopo Province, Ga-Marishane. We thus appeal to you nonetheless, to check how you can also help us as the Community Policing Forum in Ga-Marishane because under our very difficult circumstances where crime is extremely high, we’re volunteering under the South African Police Service to protect ourselves in the community”, said the CPF Chairperson, Mr. James Mahlase.

“We’re honoured and privileged to be in your company in our community of Marishane. I’d however like to state explicitly that the person you’ve come for, doesn’t necessarily belong to this Marishane community. Koketso Marishane belongs to the world. He is always seen in places far away from here speaking in tongues with international people that very few people from this village can fully understand. We don’t fully know nor understand what he’s doing in the community because one day he’s here and the other he’s somewhere else with international people, but for all it’s worth, we’re enormously grateful that his actions have sufficiently inspired the global community to have interest in our local community to invest with us. Koketso Marishane or Kanyane as we fondly call him by his traditional name, has proven not only to us within the local municipality, but to the world at large, that the Marishane communities have talent worthy to be recognized, acknowledged, and celebrated, said the Makhuduthamaga Local Municipality Ward 26 Councillor, Mr. Maukama Paul Lethuba.

Before ending the session, Koketso confirmed that there are thousands of enlightened young people in the community, most of them talking to the sun because they lack the means to develop and empower themselves, the sun that never listens. Activate! Change Drivers is an apolitical network of young people and we’re hopeful that people, young and old, will continue visiting the youth hub for their development. “We’re immensely grateful for the resources given to Koketso Marishane on behalf of the Marishane Youth Hub for the community. I’d also like to re-iterate that what’s happening here doesn’t surprise us, because Koketso technically reports everything he does in and outside of the community, even when he’s working abroad in Africa, Asia or USA, he reports everything to us in our tribal office. He’s the son of this Marishane soil. Before you graciously leave our shores, we pray for peace, light and love as you return to your offices in Cape Town. May your great work follow you. We’d thus like to appeal to you both: Activate! Change Drivers CEO and the DGMT Director, that we’re witnessing a new wave of revolution whenever we’re travelling outside our community of Ga-Marishane. This new wave of transformation encompasses ICT innovation and innovation has undeniably become key to any development trajectory. Rural and urban communities are becoming the same and Ga-Marishane should not be left out. We are people too. We’re thus appealing to you to tell the powers that be, that people in this community of Marishane need Wi-Fi”, concluded the Marishane Royal Spokesperson Mr. Masenye Harry Masemola.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 22nd August 2023.

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