By: Bongiwe Nkambule
GIRLIGNITE Africa Academy is a youthful brand that uses education for social impact and positive social change. The Academy strives to solve Africa’s challenges by bringing together dynamic and driven African teen girls from across the country to an intensive weekend-away. From Friday the 22nd to Sunday the 24th of September 2017, Girlignite Africa hosted their 3rd Annual Summit at the Sediba Kwele Adventure Lodge, and this year, IkamvaYouth female learners from the Gauteng and North-West Region were invited to be part of this event. The Ikamvanite learners from the Ivory Park, Ikageng and Mamelodi branches attended the Summit and played a part in finding ideas that would sustainably create socio-economic change in their communities, and in turn, help shape Africa’s future.
The 3 day Summit featured interactive workshops, engaging speakers, networking opportunities, outdoor activities and a final round of the Girlignite Africa challenge, whereby groups of girls are given 10 minutes each to pitch their business ideas. GirlIgnite conducts entrepreneurship modules for girls to teach them about the basics of conducting a business and help them to develop a business concept, a business model and a business plan. GirlIgnite also raises funds so that the participants can see their business models come to life. The aim of the annual Summit is to skill the participants and equip them with the necessary tools they will need in life, whether they are employed in corporate, running a business unit or become entrepreneurs.
Our learners were exposed to the topics of entrepreneurship, globalization, team building, project management, leadership and working within a culturally diverse environment.
The Guest speakers: Mr Gabriel Chapara, founder and MD of Mantis Africa P/L Zimbabwe, educated the girls on financial literacy and Miss Naledi Mashego, founder of BlackCherry Media gave a talk on the importance of digital marketing (Social Media) in the advertising of a business.
On Saturday, 2 September 2017, 45 Ikamvanites from the Ivory Park and Ebony Park branches had the pleasure of being taken through Andy Warhol’s “Unscreened” exhibition, held at the Wits Arts Museum. We are grateful for this opportunity which was made possible by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), who sponsored the spectacular exhibition in collaboration with Wits.
While admiring the array of original pieces of artwork, the learners were privileged to have been given a private tour of the exhibition. They had a chance to interrogate the meticulous screenprint style of each painting. The paintings, which featured recognisable icons such as, Marilyn Monroe, Muhammed Ali, Mickey Mouse, Superman, and an animated self-portrait of the artist (Andy Warhol), seemed different from the styles of artwork in the gallery. The vibrant pop of colour and intentional use of angles was a style regarded to have transgressed the normal boundaries of what art was in the 1960s, yet was made popular by Warhol.
The tour included reflective exercises which challenged the learners to think about the intentions Warhol may have had in producing the screenprints. The exercises made the learners think about the history behind each painting and the significance of the political and social influences of the time.
The learners also had the chance to create their own art by drawing popular brands that they enjoy using on a daily basis and presenting back to the group about why they chose those items. This showed the influence of media and pop-culture on people, how we behave in our time, and how the role of media and pop-culture had on Warhol.
The exhibition was concluded by learners hanging personal messages reflecting on the exhibition on beams which previous visitors of the exhibition had an opportunity to put up. Many of the learners considered the exhibition fun, eye opening and a chance to get in touch with how they can breakdown norms in their own lives, whether it is through art or other ways in which they can express themselves and showcase who they are. We hope that one day we will have an opportunity to hear, see and learn of our Ikamvanites on platforms as big as the one we were invited to witness.
Ramadhani Urimubandi, a grade 11 from the Ivory Park branch, spoke highly of the tour and explained that, “although some of us are not interested in the arts, such as drawing and painting, it was educational and we got to learn the basics of the painting style and Andy Warhol. Besides the exhibition, I had the interest of seeing more of the whole building and see how the staff work in the entire WITS building, maybe next time we can view the campus.”
The excursion increased the learners’ curiosity about the spaces in which they will possibly study and work in one day. IkamvaYouth looks forward to exploring opportunities, such as University campus tours and one-on-one mentoring sessions with professionals etc with Bank Of America. We believe that this will awaken the career interests of learners and encourage learners to embark on educational pathways to eventually realise their dreams.
Upcoming events at the branch in September:
25 September 2017 – Heritage Day Celebration Workshop with WITS Psychology Postgraduate Students and grade 11 Learners
We believe these events are a culmination of the vision to lead learners to identify their significance in the spaces they live in, i.e. school, home etc, and take ownership and responsibility for the opportunities that will lead them to a dignified life.
The branch is planning on building capacity within the branch by training tutors on how to enable learners from grades 9 to 12 to begin thinking about possible careers and begin their individual processes. This training will introduce them to practical online tools and resources that will equip them and support them.
We also aim to have a stronger Mentorship and Job Shadowing presence in the branch for the grade 11s and 12s, and we believe with timeous planning and involvement of external partners we can introduce learners to mentors that will support them more regularly in taking ownership of their lives post-matric.
By Bongiwe Nkambule
This year, the Ivory Park branch hosted yet another successful winter school programme that commenced on the 3rd of July until the 14th of July. The programme started off with an opening ceremony attended by tutors, learners, branch staff as well as other IkamvaYouth staff from the Gauteng team. Over 45 Tutors and approximately 165 learners were then grouped using a colour system with the purpose of sharing tasks and ensuring that there is order.
Our programme included a minimum of 40 hours of tutoring, afternoon fun activities and educational workshops, talent show preparations, winter school tournament/sports day as well as academic games such as trivia and general knowledge.
We managed to get through our winter school programme accordingly and in line with the schedule. What worked really well was the condition of the venue, registration of tutors and learners before the commencement of sessions, name tags, colour coding, as well as the tutor team tasks schedule.
Learners and Tutors during the Opening Ceremony
Before the start of tutoring sessions, registration and ice-breakers were the culture of the Ivory Park branch whereby tutors and learners would get name tags and proceed to the assembly for an ice breaker. Tutoring sessions began at 09:30 am each day with fundamental subjects such as Mathematics and English being the main focus and then followed by all the other general subjects (Accounting, Geography, History, etc.).
Tutoring sessions taking place inside and outside the classrooms
During the first week, Lovelife and The Unleashed Woman hosted workshops for our tutors and learners. These workshops took place in the afternoon on Thursday the 6th of July in which Unleashed Woman conducted a tutor session with our tutors while the Lovelife ground breakers had our learners participate in fun activities. During the second week, SADAG explored ways for young people to escape the negative binds of drug abuse with our grade 9s. Our Grade 11 learners also attended a three-day Capitec Financial Training conducted by the Diepsloot fellows Zikhona and Thabo. Sonke Gender Justice hosted a workshop for our male learners and tutors on the 11th of July to empower them, as the branch focus during the first half of this year had been mainly on female empowerment.
Learners with one of the LoveLife groundbreakers
At the end of the first week, learners and tutors participated in the winter school tournament/sports day. Indigenous games like hopscotch, uMgusha,donkey and skipping rope were played.
On the last day of winter school, the tutors and learners showcased their talents from the choir, dancing and singing, modelling, poetry and rap as well drama. Tutors were handed certificates as a token of appreciation from the Ivory Park branch for availing themselves during the winter school and committing to the programme.
Ivory Park achieved a 100% pass rate!
The matric cohort of 2016 had the “highest enrollment of learners in the history of the basic education system of South Africa” as announced by Minister Angie Motshekga in her speech on Wednesday evening. Gauteng remains in the top three nationwide, with matrics having achieved a soaring pass rate of 87%. Ikamvanites in the Province did particularly well, achieving an impressive 94% pass rate!
IkamvaYouth currently has 3 branches in Gauteng; the class of 2016 comprised 87 matrics in Ivory Park, Ebony Park and Mamelodi. We are very proud of each branch’s great results:
Aaron Raphadu is one of the learners from Ivory Park who received his matric results this week. “I joined (IkamvaYouth) in 2014 as I wanted to improve my academic results, especially mathematics as I struggled with it before”. Aaron matriculates with a Bachelor pass and scooped four distinctions with incredibly high marks: 99% in Business Studies, 97% in Economics, 91% in Accounting and 91% in Life Orientation. Aaron comes from a family of five and would like to go to Wits to study towards becoming a Chartered Accountant. “Never doubt your dreams. Always keep in mind that you can achieve whatever you want” is the message Aaron would like to pass on to the next group of Matrics.
The Mamelodi branch achieved a 94% pass rate this year
Our Community Collaboration Programme (CCP) also yielded some impressive results in Gauteng. My Career Corner learners managed to come out tops with a 100% pass rate. Boipelo Modibane from My Career Corner puts their success down to their “Willingness to learn – we didn’t have to try hard to retain or motivate them as this is what they wanted. They chose to come to tutoring sessions and even organised additional time. I honestly expected them to do this well as they have worked extremely hard.” IkamvaYouth launched CCP in 2014, with an aim to connect with, train, and support other after-school organisations who share the same goal of enabling young South Africans to pass matric, access post-school opportunities, and secure gainful employment. We are thrilled to see our partners achieving such excellence, and hope that this is just the beginning of many more organisations and communities working together to ensure bright futures for learners across the Province
IkamvaYouth’s tutoring programme is available to learners from grades 9 -12, three times a week and for two weeks during the winter holidays. The tutoring programme is made possible thanks to the hearts and smarts of the amazing volunteer tutors; most of whom are university students and many of whom are ex-learners from the programme. The organisation operates in Gauteng thanks to very supportive partners, including Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, SA Airlink, Deloitte, Nedbank, The Education Agency, COMENSA in addition to the schools which provides access to branch venues free of charge, and the feeder schools and other tertiary institutions in the region.
IkamvaYouth is a non-profit organisation, enabling disadvantaged youth to pull themselves and each other out of poverty through education. The organisation provides free after-school tutoring, career guidance, mentoring, computer literacy training and extra-curricular engagement to learners in grades 8-12. The organisation is currently operating in 16 townships in 5 provinces across South Africa. To find out more, go to www.ikamvayouth.org or call Hetile on 062 105 1707
As the great Malcolm X once said “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today”. Ikamvanites from greater Midrand region, Ebony and Ivory Park, took a golden step in ensuring that the eventuality will inevitably become reality. IkamvaYouth Midrand branches graced the shores of The University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus for an informative career guidance expo which was aimed at exposing learners to different courses and career fields to follow.
Ikamvanites in grade 11 and 12 wanted to know and understand what their journey still entails and how to go about reaching their ultimate goals and it was also an opportunity for them to recharge their batteries. What better way to start the proceedings than with an introductory presentation about the culture of the university and challenges that are associated with being a student in the University! One of the main challenges the youth of South Africa are facing is lack of funding. The presentation accentuated on the fact that funding may not be a barrier for high school students if they have good marks. The University advises learners to study hard and follow their passion and they will prevail. Ikamvanites and other peers from different schools and regions had the opportunity to get more information on merit bursaries and sources of funding available to them.
A number of departments exhibited on the day including the Faculty of Humanities, Law, Management, Engineering and Economic and Financial Sciences which gave Ikamvanites a whole lot of information for their benefit. Personal breakthrough observations were made, with a majority of the Ikamvanites becoming certain of their career paths. Tsakani Sambo one of the Ikamvanites said “ The career expo was exactly what I needed, It exposed me to a whole new world and careers I never thought existed, IT business management is what hit deep in my heart”. Experience is the best teacher, consequently in our efforts to continue changing the lives of Ikamvanites it is essential that we expose them to the jungle so as when they go to hunt, it is not a foreign land to them. Aluta continua victoria acerta.
On the 17th of February 2016, a computer lab container arrived at the Ivory Park branch at Kaalfontein Secondary School. It will be great to see the sort of successes this achievement will allow us to bring about.
It was early in the morning and Ditiro (the Gauteng District Coordinator) was there monitoring the delivery of the container, a resource that will contribute greatly to the success of the branch. It has given us ,the staff, hope and we are eager to deliver one of IkamvaYouth’s key programmes – computer literacy. This will open up new learning experiences and opportunities for the learners and the branch staff.
The principal of the school said, “It has now given me a place of hope when I see this new implementation”. We strongly believe we are on a path to meeting all our objectives and the teachers and other school staff have borne witness to that.
We are even more dedicated to fulfilling our mission this year and wish all the IY staff and stakeholders a year of prosperity.