The world is much more than what we see with the human eye…

The world is much more than what we see with the human eye…

Max Coyle, a recent Biology graduate from the US, voluntarily came during his holiday time to introduce the foldscope to the Masinites. Max wanted to share his experiences of using the Foldscope with the learners, to feed their minds and make them think and see that the world is much more than what we see with the human eye.

This foldscope is a low-cost optical microscope that can be assembled from simple components, including a sheet of paper; a light-emitting diode; a watch battery that powers the LED and a lens (although natural light of lamp light can easily substitutde for the LED). This tool was developed by a team led by Jim Cybulski and Manu Prakash, an assistant professor in Bioengineering at the Stanford University. For more information you can click here and here.

Max introduced the microscope and its purpose to the learners and further took them through the assembly of the kit and how to operate it. By assembling the foldscope themselves, they got a chance to follow the instructions given by Max and put it together perfectly. The learners placed a small piece of leaf on the lens and what they saw was amazing and interesting, it brought up a lot of exciting questions! The fact that this foldscope is adjustable (can be moved up/down and side-ways) allowed the learners to see the microscopic world clearly and from different angles. 


The Foldscope also comes with a feature which permits one to attach a smartphone to it, allowing the learners to take pictures and zoom into what they see. This experience left our learners quite scientific- minded :).  They got to keep their foldscopes as well as extra lenses that they got from Max. Experiments like these help boost how people see and think of things. Our learners can now be their own scientists and use their foldscopes to explore what they cannot see with the naked eye!

Thank you to Max for this DIY / Biology workshop and the Masinites that took part!

UWC / CPUT Open day!

UWC / CPUT Open day!


Watching their delighted faces as they entered the gates of CPUT and UWC brought nothing but joy to my heart. This is a dream coming true and the beginning of greater things for all of them.

Knowing that the future is in their hands, IkamvaYouth learners from Masiphumelele walked bravely to all the faculties’ stalls, showing huge interest;  looking for courses that best suit them and asking the exhibitors all the right questions. The learners  gathered as much information as they could and went home with an idea of what they would like to study after passing matric this year. From the smiles on their faces, one could tell that they were happy and ready for the next step.

Thank you to CPUT and UWC for being so accommodating, the learners went home with some goodies – handy backpacks  and lip balm ?. Our Grade 12 Masinites took the first step and acted on their dreams of pursuing their studies at their desired university. Nothing can hold them back.

With this can-do attitude and enthusiasm towards education, poverty will be bypassed and chances of employment will rise ,together with our rising youngsters.

So go on, DARE to dream BIG!!!

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! 

My passion for writing stories: Sive Ncanywa grade 8 learner

My passion for writing stories: Sive Ncanywa grade 8 learner

My passion for writing stories. Sive Ncanywa grade 8 learner

First of all I love myself, I want to see myself successful so that I can be able to provide for myself and my family. I want a bright future and I know the key to a bright future is education, so I thought to myself, let me work hard at my studies so that I can be able to live my wish.
For the Year Beyond Programme to come at my school was like a dream come true to me and it  was a great opportunity to motivate me to work hard. Then I joined.

In the programme we had two sessions, Mathematics and English. For Mathematics we attend Olico sessions online/offline and for English we attend Fundza sessions online/offline. I remember one day after reading a story from Fundza, at the end of the story it had the name of the writer. I so wished that it was my name that was written there. I’ve always had the dream of being a young author, but i gave up since i couldn’t find the right people to help me. I always write stories on books and never got the opportunity to show them out.

I wished to write for Fundza.  So I asked one of the tutors if I can write stories or poems for Fundza, I was so happy when she said yes. I I’ve always had the passion for writing but never got the right people.  It’s like a dream come true; God has finally opened doors for me.



This programme has bought up my self-esteem and confidence. I am so proud of myself for being part of this programme.
I’m good at writing and reading it’s like I was made for it.


Study skills sessions for ikamvanites

Study skills sessions for ikamvanites

As Eddie Robison once said, “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential…these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” This desire to succeed in academics allowed the Ikamvanites to receive Dr Khubeka, a learning development facilitator for the Academic Development Centre at the University of Johannesburg, for a study skills and career guidance talk.

Dr Khubeka has been part of Ikamvayouth family providing study skills and career guidance talks for many years and his involvement has been beneficial to Ikamvanites, playing an important role in transforming the lives of Ikamvanites through his workshops. Ikamvayouth branches always equip learners with the necessary tools needed to survive and career guidance is one of IkamvaYouth programmes that is being implemented at all our 13 branches.  This year Dr Khubeka visited the Ebony Park Branch and conducted  workshops with learners from grade 9 to 11. Now that the learners are preparing for their midyear examinations Dr Khubeka came at the right time to inspire them with wisdom on how to tackle different examination questions.

Dr Khubeka covered the following topics in his presentation:

?     How to take Examinations and Tests

?     Types of Examination Questions

?     How to analyse an Exam question

?     How to prepare for the study Break

?     Tips for Exam success

?     Time Management and goal setting

?     Analyzing an assessment and how to make summaries

Dr Khubeka’s sessions encourages learners to stay calm in exams, and not to panic, also to be around positive people in times of examinations. Furthermore, he inspired learners to be open minded in their studies. Ikamvanites gained practical advice and techniques to use whenever they are in examinations.

The workshop was extremely valuable for the Ikamvanites and I believe that they received more concrete ideas to use in their studies.  One of the Grade 11 learners Thato Shumba said, “The workshop energizes and refocuses my passion to excel in my studies, I am happy that I now know how best to answer examination questions from now going forward.”

The workshop was an eye opener to the Ikamvanites since they were fully loaded with different skills to use when dealing with different examination questions. In his closing Remarks Dr Khubeka urged Ikamvanites to do their best and be confident in their exams. 

Lloyd Lungu

031 909 3590
2525 Ngcede Grove, Umlazi AA Library, 4031

Lloyd is a self-disciplined and highly goal-driven Industrial Psychology Honours graduate. He is currently a Master's candidate completing his second year of M.Com in Industrial Psychology at the University of the Free State. Lloyd joined IkamvaYouth as a learner in 2012, after matriculating he came back and volunteered as a tutor for the duration of his undergraduate studies at UKZN. He later worked as an Intern in the Chesterville branch. His passion for youth empowerment and inclusion has grown enormously through his time and experience gained within IkamvaYouth and has inspired him to provide career guidance to young township people. He is currently working at the Umlazi Branch as a Branch Assistant.