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Food System Heroes: Nontuthuzelo Nikiwe and the Tshwane Hub

OPEN CALL for local Changemakers to contribute towards building a greener economy in South Africa

Nontuthuzelo unites the youth in Tshwane with a shared sense of purpose!

Today, we’d like to give a shout-out to Nontuthuzelo Nikiwe, who was a part of our current #FoodSystem Incubation Program. She decided to stop due to unfortunately reaching capacity and her having limited time. We’d like to use this opportunity to express our gratitude for her participation. The work she did during her time in the program will be dearly missed. Having a young black female leader of her calibre on board was indeed enriching to the program as a whole.

Secondly, we would also like to share an OPEN CALL with you directed at young people in the Gauteng area between the ages of 18 to 30, who have been looking for joining an internationally acclaimed and growing movement that takes civic action. This is a great opportunity to join Nontuthuzelo at the Tshwane Hub, which is part of the Economic World Forums Global Shapers network.

It would be negligent to deprive you of Nontithuzelo’s inspiring story! For this purpose, we sat down with her for a chat to talk about her work and cause.

Her time at Oribi, she described as predominantly “immersive” and filled with valuable “new connections”. “It really helped me to rethink how I thought about social entrepreneurship and business practises,” Nontuthuzelo told us.

Nontuthuzelo is currently a curator for the Tshwane Hub, a youth organisation which focuses on citizen actions such as climate change, placemaking and food security. Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential to create public spaces that improve urban vitality and promote people's health, happiness, and well-being. The issue of food security motivated her to participate in Oribi’s #FoodSystem Program. For this purpose, there are currently food gardens in Mamelodi are built. These provide fresh vegetables, which have been included in the local feeding schemes.

“Our food security project is more than just about satisfying an immediate obvious need. It’s about education, raising climate change awareness and especially reminding young South Africans that they hold the power to implement change and take part in building a greener economy. We inspire the youth to become part of the solution. This very fact can be an incredibly empowering and impactful realisation….when young people realise that their actions actually matter. ” Nontuthuzelo noted.

The core mission of the Tshwane Hub is to build confidence in youth voices is part of the wider Global Shapers initiative by the World Economic Forum, which seeks to inspire our youth to start implementing change in front of their own doorstep first, this is within their city! The Global Shapers Community is a network of young people driving dialogue, action and change. Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional and global challenges. With more than 7,000 members, the Global Shapers Community spans 369 city-based hubs in 171 countries.

Young people who’d like to get involved and become purposefully active may send a short motivational letter and their CV to:

“Anyone can apply and us asking for a CV and a motivational letter is rather orientational than sectional. We like to work intentionally, which helps us to allocate resources. Also, we in particular are interested in recruiting changemakers with a keen interest in food security and food sovereignty. Once we receive an application, we’ll schedule an interview with the applicant to discuss what and how the best way forward for them would be to get involved in our Tshwane Hub.”

Nontuthuzelo’s main responsibilities as a curator at the Tshwane Hub is to maintain a standard of excellence in the hub as well as facilitate collaboration in the hub and across other hubs. She also organizes regular hub meetings to engage hub members and plan. The curatorship ensures hub members are united by a shared sense of purpose and work together to create change.

A huge part of Nontuthuzelo’s tasks is also to help each hub member to see why the Global Shapers community was created in the first place, what they stand for and how they work together.

Learn more about the Tshwane Hub and Global Shapers:

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