Diepsloot’s First Ever Winter School

Diepsloot’s First Ever Winter School

From 2-6 July 2018, the IkamvaYouth Diepsloot branch hosted its first winter school programme. The week was successfully led by branch coordinator Sakhile Dubazana along with a group of tutors and other branch staff members who all showed great enthusiasm throughout the entire week-long programme.

The winter school programme kicked off with tutor training on Saturday 30th June. This was an opportunity for the tutors to engage with each other through a series of activities that focused on how they can make this week the most effective for the learners.

From Monday 2nd of July, we welcomed learners from different High schools around Diepsloot, who despite the winter cold were very eager and excited to be part of the programme to learn and prosper.

Each day, the learners started their day with a social activity while having tea and that was followed by quick icebreakers that are very fundamental into building social connections. The icebreakers were also an opportunity for the learners to bonds with the tutors.

During the course of the winter school programme, the tutors were hands-on in all the subjects that they were assisting with. All the learners from grades 10-12 were engaged in the work that they were doing and their curiosity was really evidence of their willingness to learn and engage with the content. The mathematics learners also took part in a math Olympiad.

The winter school programme also included a career expo day. We invited different experts in different fields to come and address the learners in a session that was very informative and valuable to all learners, particularly the matriculants preparing for their post-matric life next year.  

On the last day, we had a thought-provoking debate session which was facilitated by the English tutors. Learners were really engaged in the various discussions that emerged as they debated about issues that affect the youth on a daily basis. Finally, we closed off the week with a talent show and the learners showcased the potential that they have outside the classroom environment.

The following week was focused on the matriculants, helping them complete their online University applications. As part of the process, the learners participated in the regional Gauteng Matric Applications day at the University of Johannesburg. This day involved a career guidance and mentoring session, led by one of the lectures on how can students effectively prepare themselves for University and what to expect when they have finally made it there. Thereafter, the learners were given access to a computer lab and were assisted with tertiary applications. The day ended with a campus tour.  

Massive gratitude to the Mamelodi team; Neo, Tokelo, and Obakeng (tutor); Lerato from Ivory Park and Masego (Ebony Park tutor), whom after their own week-long winter school came to support our branch. Siyabulela! We experienced real teamwork, collaboration, and peer-to-peer support.


  • Xolani Nkosi Diepsloot branch intern


“Winter school for me was a delightful and an insightful experience. I am saying that because I was very impressed with the commitment and dedication to hard work that the students portrayed throughout the entire week. It was evidence of their eagerness to achieve more and be better people in their communities. For my own self-enrichment I was thankful enough that I also learnt a lot from the students as well. More in particular, the debate session we hosted where the students were speakers made me realise a lot about certain topics that concern us as the youth of today. Overall, winter school was a great success and each and every day you could see growth within the environment both in numbers and the mindset of the students.”  

  1. 2. Karabelo Mosupeng (grade 10 Diepsloot Combined)

“Winter school was great for me because i spent my holidays studying and having fun with people who wanted to learn and do better with their lives. We had a lot of tutors coming in and helping us with our term1 and term2 work, we also touched on term 3 things. We also did things like group work outside, where I had to work with people I had not talked to before, we played 30 seconds against the tutors, I was also one of the speakers during a debate. We were told about different careers that we didn’t know like biochemistry and the importance of having entrepreneurial skills. What I loved the most was the talent show, it was my first time singing in front of people. I had a lot of fun during the winter school and learnt a lot. I cannot wait for our second winter school.”

Graduation Season 2016

Graduation Season 2016

For those of you who are on Facebook, you would have noticed what an  exciting past few months it’s been for IkamvaYouth, as we celebrated Ikamvanites who graduated from various institutions across the country. Among those who were graduating this year, was Sikelelwa Mashiyi, from the Masiphumelele branch (matric 2011). We caught up with her for a Q&A, to tell us about this fantastic achievement, what she’s up to now, as well as about her exciting trip to the United States of America! 

IY: In 5 words or less, tell us who is Sikelelwa?

SM: Happy, awesome. Enthusiastic, go-getter, loving

IY: Can you briefly tell us about your IkamvaYouth journey? 

SM: I was one of the few learners that were part of Ikamva youth in Masiphumelele when it started in 2009. I have to say that I am blessed to have been part of that program it helped me grow academically and personally. Academically; with all those afternoon classes we had, and also the winter school called Careers Indaba; where we got the opportunity to meet people in the business sector telling us how what we need to get obtain in order to get to University and the skills we need to learn in order to get to the work place. Personally, I was able to talk infront of people, so I got a lot of confidence from Ikamva. Also making long and lasting friends from the people that we interacted with within Ikamva in Masi and other branches. I also always enjoyed when we went to perform in Makhaza, I remember always dancing with a friend of mine called Zintle Mtakati and everyone used to cheer for us. We were called the twins….ahhhhh those days were greats

IY: What have you learnt from your university experience, that you’d like to share with other Ikamvanites?

SM: What I have learnt Is that you do not need to be rich to get to University, there are many ways in hich the school can support you financially and academically. Working hard pays off, we all know that school is not the best sometimes but we need to stay consistent and work hard the school will notice you. English does not determine your intelligence; you do not have to be the best English speaker for you to excel in University. Just do what you do best and God will do the rest. Ask, consult if you do not know, do not die in silence. 

IY: What advice would you like to share with other Ikamvanites who are still in matric/pursuing their tertiary studies?

SM: Never give up on your dreams, do not let anything stand in your way. I received at Diploma during my grade 12 in 2011. I had to take a gap year and work as a debt collector, but I told myself that my life belongs in the University so I rewrote some subject and got my B and today I am proud to say that I am one of the best honours Anthropologists in my class. I went to the states last year, and I was selected as a best fellow, competing with schools from the states, such as More House and Spelman College. I received a Humphrey Award for being the best consistent student in the Sociology/Anthropology department from first year till third year. I have been in the dean’s list and I was one of the few black students that got a Cum Laude for my degree.

IY: Now that you’ve graduated, is there anything that you’re glad you did, or wish you had done?

SM: I am glad I never gave up and just stayed at the debt collector because of money. I am glad I pushed myself to where I am today. I wished I would have still been dancing but because of circumstance I have not danced which is a passion of mine.

IY: You graduated caume laude! For those who may not know, what does this mean? And what advice do you have for other Ikamvanites hoping to achieve similar academic success?

SM: I graduated Cum Laude yes. Well this means that I got an A average overall for my final year. To get an A average you have to get 75% and above and if you want to be a Sum Cum laude which was a wish of mine but I always got an A average for my first semester and never second semester I could not achieve this; you have to get an A average from first year until your final year; meaning 75+ from first year until final year. So you need to an A average for the whole year and not just the semester.

IY: You’re now pursuing post-grad studies, and jetting off to the United States! tell us about this exciting development!

SM: 2014- I volunteered to work for the HIV/ AIDS unit and worked as a peer educator within my school and I also mentored 10 students at Steenberg High school. We were teaching the University student about safe sex and I was teaching my high school students about gender roles. I did this for the whole year and still excelled in my academics. Got invited to the Deans ceremony for the second time, second year first semester. Clearly first semester loved me because second semester I would always need a 1% to get to the deans. I was invited to my Steenberg’s Matric valedictory and I was asked to make a speech. I did not prepare anything because I was only told that night, but because of my experience I knew how to motivate them. 2015- I volunteered to be a Mentor for first year students so that I would be able to assist them to adapt to University life, socially and academically. This time I am doing my final year as an undergrad. Anyways to my surprise I did not know passing to much would get me to apply for a scholarship called Mellon Mays Undergraduate scholarship. There were 155 students all together to apply for this scholarship and they only choose 5 every year, I couldn’t believe that I got selected. At this point I was not sure what I would major in during my honours year. I was doing a triple major in Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology. For the purpose of the scholarship I chose to do Anthropology. Now I have this prestigious scholarship and the same year June It took us to the states to represent our school. The 5 of us went to Atlanta at Emory University. We stayed there for a month for a school boot camp. We had an opportunity to go to New York as well. We had to present our rsearch proposals at the last week of the month and after that myself and another student from the states got selected as Fellows for the year. I am still not sure what that means but I was happy.

Congrats Siki, we’re so proud of all you’ve achieved. All the best with the postgrad studies! 

Open Day/Prize Giving Makhaza 2016……A Day To Remember!

Open Day/Prize Giving Makhaza 2016……A Day To Remember!

One of the most exciting things about a new year, is the chance to make or introduce measurable changes into one’s life. One of the ways of doing that, is reflecting on the previous year’s achievements and be inspired to achieve at a higher level.


IkamvaYouth Makhaza held Open Day/Prize Giving on the morning of the 30th January 2016, from 09:30 at Impendulo Primary School. The Branch Coordinator, Busiswa Dayimani and a few volunteers welcomed 60 new learners together with their parentsy, ranging from grade 8 to grade 10. A sense of pride was beaming on all the parents’ faces because their children chose the path of education and are going beyond their school hours to show how committed they are. A few of the learners were anxious and not sure what to expect but…many were excited and ready to delve into the agenda for the day. Busiswa Dayimani explained in depth to the attendees, the 5 IkamvaYouth Values, branch protocols and closed off by saying, “We are one big happy family in Makhaza, not even once, should you be made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed in this space, this branch belongs to you and you should take ownership of it .”


Open Day was succeeded by Prize Giving, where the 2015 IkamvaYouth Learners, Volunteers, Partners and Stakeholders were awarded certificates together with prizes for Gold Attendance, Platinum Attendance, Outstanding Academic Achievement, Most Improved, Excellence In English, Participation and Appreciation. Anastasia Koch PhD, from EWHOZA, who hosts film & media workshops centered on TB awareness, handed out certificates to the 2015 participants of whom she mentioned, how pleased she was to have worked with. The Hall was filled with jubilant vibrations of laughter, applause, screams…..it was a celebration! One of the highlights of the day was the key note address given by one of IkamvaYouth’s Superheroes, Phuthang Makhupane, he joined IY in 2011 as a tutor, he is currently a software developer at an international company and he is set on affording disadvantaged learners the opportunities he never had as he highlighted that, there is nothing better than being guided by someone who knows exactly what you’re going through. The event came to an end with Thembakazi Phuza, a matric learner, leading the attendees in song!


What a way to introduce the new learners into the branch and inspire the existing learners to strive for excellence!




IkamvaYouth Branch Coordinators – What they want in 2016

IkamvaYouth Branch Coordinators – What they want in 2016

There’s a growing trend of not making New Year’s resolutions lately because New Year’s resolutions don’t seem to work. One of the reasons why they don’t work is that they are based on things we think we SHOULD be doing but might not feel particularly motivated to do (like going to the gym 5 times a week then feeling terrible because you only managed to go once the entire month!). People are opting more for defining goals they can actively pursue and attain; goals that excite them. By creating a roadmap of how you are going to achieve your goal, with a clear idea why you want to achieve it, your efforts become more directed and you feel motivated to achieve even more.

Our branch coordinators are the front-line of the organisation, along with the branch assistants they work as the eyes and ears as well as spokespeople, counsellors, advocates…it’s safe to say they are multi-faceted beacons of hope and it’s amazing that they can continue to grow and enrich their lives considering how much they do every day.

We asked some of the  branch coordinators a few questions  about what their ONE BIG GOAL is for the year and this is what they said:


Cheryl Nzama – Ikageng, North-West

1. What is your big goal?

My big goal for this year is making sure that I do really well in my Accounting Sciences studies through Unisa, it won’t be easy but well worth it. My other goal is making sure that North West becomes a well-functioning region and we prepare the learners for their future as much as we can. (I know I just broke the rules there with having two goals but you know…)

2. Why is this important to you?

Why it’s important to me is that the work we do needs to extend beyond the borders of IkamvaYouth and that our learners start to understand the importance of believing in who they are and aiming for the best in whatever they do as well as extending that lesson to the next person (I believe that that’s how we begin to change the world). It will take a lot but technically we need to plan to the last tee and so much of the work is heart work and the rests follows but in the midst of all of that, is trying to find the right balance.

3. How are you going to work towards achieving it?

By continuing to love the work we do and by planning, executing and reflecting.

4. What do you want to see happen at your branch this year?

Oh a lot of things needs to happen at our branch; learners excelling, tutors playing a key role in that and seeing for themselves (the tutors)  what extending a helping hand can mean and do for the small part we call our world. And just having a branch that functions at the best possible level with unmatched energy and to have a branch that just has LIFE…how that emerges will be determined by the work and effort we put into that.

5. Tell us one thing nobody knows about the branch (juicy!)

We have a two bedroom office, the bigger portion by the entrance is dedicated to the books and files, I don’t know whose genius idea that was and our actual working space office is Tiny! (Mamelodi  kind of spoiled me with its huge space and being the introvert that I am sometimes, we  literally are in each other’s faces here at the office… however small things I’ve learnt to embrace).

Busiswa Dayimani –  Makhaza, Western Cape

1. What is your big goal?

To master my planning skills, balancing my time in my studies, work and social life.

2. Why is this important to you?

This is important to me to be able to enjoy to create a healthy balance in my life to be able to enjoy every aspect of my life.  Focus on fun things that relax my soul, like reading, traveling and meeting new people. I would also like to do things that take me out of my comfort zone, I don’t really have this figured out as yet but I am open to the “universe” suggesting such things hahaha!

3. How are you going to work towards achieving it?

In the previous year I took it upon myself to create study timetable for this year. Also, I have gotten into a habit of putting all events on the calendar which then allows me to be better in planning. I think mental preparation is vital, if the mind is prepared it is easy for actions to follow. Really looking forward to an exciting year, personally and professionally.

4.What do you want to see happen at your branch this year?

The goal for the branch is to ensure that we have tutors of a high calibre as to achieve quality results for our learners, translating to a higher matric pass rate.  Also, we would like to look into investing into our volunteers, such that when a time comes to leave the branch, they would have attained an important skill for their future endeavors.

Nompumezo Makinana – Joza, Eastern Cape

1. What is your big goal?

My biggest goal for this year is getting a driver’s license.

2. Why is this important to you?

This is very important to me because it is something I started working towards over five years ago, but other responsibilities took priority. I need to drive so I can be independent and driving makes life a lot easier.

3. How are you going to work towards achieving it?

In December I went and got my third learner’s license. Later this month I will continue with my driving lessons and hopefully by the end of March I will be a legal driver. Then later in life I can buy myself a neon pink Amarok double cab (dream car).

4.What do you want to see happen at your branch this year?

I am fairly new at IY so I am still learning. However, Joza is my home and I want to see young people from my community thrive. I will contribute as much as I can to see that growth happen.

Here’s to another great year! Good Luck!

IkamvaYouth has a shot at the Jackpot!

IkamvaYouth has a shot at the Jackpot!



IkamvaYouth has been selected to participate in All Star Slot’s #WinTheJackpot Charity Campaign. Our participation could see us winning a share of the $5750 jackpot!

All you have to do is vote for us by visiting https://www.allstarslots.com/competitions/win-the-jackpot and casting your vote between the 8th of February to the 8th of March 2016.

The winners will be announced on the All Star Slot’s website between the 15th and the 19th of March 2016.

All Star Slot’s describe themselves as a “socially conscious company and have a charity fund pool which we build up throughout the year through staff fund raising events as well as from contributions from our generous owner. In 2015 we raised $5,750 for the fund and want to use it to counter the bad reputation which casinos and gambling have by awarding it to a charitable cause.”

Get voting!


The 1st Black Girl Code by Thought Works

The 1st Black Girl Code by Thought Works

The 2015 First Black Girl Code at Wits sponsored by Thought Works

On the 7th of March the Ivory Park Branch was invited to the first Black Girls Code sponsored by one of our partners Thought Works at Wits.

The workshop started with the motivation from the guest of honor by the name of  Khulekani, was born and breed in Ivory Park. She is a web designer at Absa and she studied Computer Sciences at the University of Cape Town.

After breakfast the girls were introduced to the world of computer applications. They were paired for the first challenge, figure skating with instructors called Elsa and Anna. The application was divided into stages, from the 1st stage to the 20th stage and at the completion of the last stage the participant was awarded a virtual certification of completion.

13:00 lunch was served; the girls indulged in and enjoyed the served meals.  Before they could resume, the girls had to do a mini ice breaker just to get them ready for the next activity. The second activity was very insightful; the people from Thought works were showing the girls how to create their own applications and robots on their own devices using the support of Android.

“The world of computers is a world full of wonders” Buhle Byl  IkamvaYouth Ivory Park Grade 11.

At the end of the event, Thought Works glamoured up our girls with the t-shirts and they looked beautiful, they couldn’t stop taking photos.



IkamvaYouth Ivory Park would like to thank Thought Works for the invitation; it was really nice to be part of those who attended.