Play Your Part ambassadors off to US

MWFellows---text2014 Mandela Washington Fellows during the Summit with President Obama. (Image: Young African Leaders Initiative)

Two Play Your Part ambassadors have been chosen to participate in President Barack Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship Programme for Young African Leaders.

Bongekile Radebe and Sandiso Sibisi are both social entrepreneurs devoted to improving the lives of others.

Radebe is a 23-year-old woman from Mohlakeng, in Randfontein. She’s a passionate, value-driven and dynamic young leader who works in youth development and social entrepreneurship.

Sibisi has been leading and participating in community development for six years. Her most relevant contribution has been towards the development of previously disadvantaged young women.

THE FELLOWSHIP

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders began in 2014 and is the flagship programme of the American president’s Young African Leaders Initiative (Yali), which empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.

In 2016, the fellowship will give 1 000 outstanding young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to hone their skills at an American higher education institution. They will also receive support for their professional development once they return home.

The fellows, who are between the ages of 25 and 35, have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organisations, institutions, communities, and countries.

In 2015, fellows represented all 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa; 50% were women. It was the first time 76% of the fellows spent a substantial period of time in the United States.

HER DESTINY

Bongi---textBongekile Radebe is passionate about women empowerment.

Radebe has been recognised as a future promising leader by Destiny magazine. Her passion for female leadership led her to found Her Destiny, a social enterprise that has partnered with Toni Glass, the tea company. Her Destiny influences empowering conversations between young women in connecting generations, improving personal development and understanding financial literacy.

Her Destiny helps young women to participate in the economic acceleration of South Africa, to talk about issues that affect women the most and to work together to overcome challenges.

Through Her Destiny, for every Toni Glass bottle of iced tea sold, R1 is contributed to their Young Women’s Education Fund. The fund helps to ease the living experience of young women at university.

Radebe is a patriotic young South African who plays her part by promoting the culture of nation building.

BORN TO SUCCEED

sandiso---textSandiso Sibisi is helping skill women in the business sphere.

Sibisi has been leading and participating in community development for six years. Her most relevant contribution has been in the development of previously disadvantaged young women.

Her programme, Born to Succeed, primarily focuses on business skills training, professional development, job placement and mentoring of unemployed young women in Gauteng.

She founded the organisation, as well as took charge of all fundraising activities, and designed, organised and marketed the programme. Today it is staffed by an administrator, communications officer, project manager and marketer. It attracts previously disadvantaged young women from all over the country and appeals to Johannesburg investors.

Sibisi also serves on the bursary committee of the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa. The committee focuses on helping previously disadvantaged, bright students from rural communities get university funding.