“Our youth are dynamic and willing, but the problems are too big. We need help to get things going, and then I am sure we can create a wonderful future for all of us!”
Skhumbuzo lives in a rural village setting of Mgungundlovu district in Kaw Zulu Natal.
He embodies the kind, creative, adult coach caring to give youth born into challenging conditions a good life and future, with years of experience with theatre, youth projects, education and international exchange with Germany, active at schools across the region. He is the perfect eye witness to what’s really going on in a country that’s on teachers’ radar as a drastic model of racism, liberation and development.
South Africa ...
There is far more to learn about South African realities than what is commonly seen on flat screens and news articles
It must not be mistaken as “Kruger National Park, pretty beach surfing, whale and shark watching and wine”. Yes, that exists, but when it makes 0.1% of reality, we need to talk.
South Africa is a unique place with its recent history of colonial heritage, Apartheid division by skin pigment and class, with extreme subjugation, remarkable forgiveness, reconciliation, changes for a few blacks with new priviledges and riches, and yet no changes … a good example is that the union leader that held Mandela’s mic during his famous speech is a billionaire today – while the population lives in extreme poverty, daily power outages for rich and poor, crime and threat of assault, barbed wire and electric fences are omni-present at private homes, it is unimaginable for many teenage girls to walk 100 yards outdoors, corruption, family and gender violence, rape, 80% youth unemployment, lack of education (60 kids per class) and perspective, growing impact by climate change … and despite these conditions, there is altogether a remarkable positive human spirit. Also, crime is only a response to poverty, not an issue of racism.
It’s a multilayered and multiplex web of stories and worlds that take time to discover and understand with a learned guide.
It’s not what we seek to do in detail with Skhumbuzo. We just want you to know the mess and that people welcome youth leadership, because
“here truly no one waits for the government to fix things”
people laugh out loud! And agree – there’s really need for fresh genius, vision and momentum, and it needs to be at people-to-people level.
This spirit is beyond words a lesson for all of us to drop common stereotypes on racism … and to team up to do good great things and create a world of awesome.
Skhumbuzo is willing to try new things in order to
- see young hero*ines like in North America appear in South Africa
- create cooperation between poor and rich schools, across colors and city limits
- create international cooperation with win-win benefits
- activate economic opportunities for youth, locally and internationally, connected to tourism and more
What are we going to do with that?
Read up on the history of South Africa, the cruel violent Apartheid rule;
- study the school student protest of 16 June 1975 called the Soweto Uprising
- study the transition away from Apartheid
- study the suboptimal reality of today; consider that a union leader that held Mandela’s mic at a famous speech is today a billionaire while classes count 60 students, 80% of youth are unemployed, electricity is off for hours every day, barbed and electric wire are omnipresent on fences and walls
which is why at YL we say what we need today are not hero*ines with eloquent words but with tangible solutions.
Skhumbuzo is our eye-witness on South Africa from the source – living in basic conditions, his own son got shot dead over his phone – unfiltered and not academically detached.
Further, he’s is on fire to activate youth leadership across the region and develop his piece of land into a Community Centre (YL LearnSpace) with focus on youth empowerment, with a library to attract families and youth, an experimental permaculture plot, connected with schools across the region and more. The village is between the city of Pietermaritzburg and a spectacular National Park. What can we do to develop it together?
Finally, Skhumbuzo is involved in youth exchanges with Germany and we can build on this with our growing scope of youth, schools, topics and projects. Our video-meets and cooperation can lead to action, friendships, adventure, 1- and 2-way youth exchange and more.
Skhumbuzo’s dream is to activate youth leadership in his region, to open a community centre with permaculture, a library, to nurture youth-led tourism, to collaborate with regional schools, and with international schools, also with exchanges … (view Namaste Nepal’s story as an example for how one school can boost holistic rural development).
Check on the state of affairs and how you could ad a boost now.
It would be awesome if you formed a long-term project partnership. It can start with a FUNdraiser, a holiday trip…