Impact SA

Columba Leadership, Afrika Tikkun Services and ImpactSA highlight African Youth Leaders

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On 16 June we reflect on the tragic events of the 1976 Soweto uprising, and during the month of June, we celebrate the youth of our country – their potential, their future and their achievements.

ImpactSA, together with Columba Leadership and Afrika Tikkun Services are launching a campaign in which we profile African youth leaders and youth mentors under the theme set by the Department of Women, Youth and People with Disabilities: “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society”.

With South Africa’s 50% unemployment rate, there is a perception that the country’s millions of young people are inadequate, and even part of the economic problem – with many individuals turning to crime and the streets for survival. However, evidence and stories regularly emerge to show us that the youth already have the potential within them to progress and succeed in the economy.

We invite you to hear stories from young African leaders who are demonstrating the power and potential of youth, and doing so while including others in their journeys.

We will hear their stories of unlocking their own potential to their journey of success and how they’ve mentored others to see the potential within themselves.

With corporate South Africa heavily involved in learnership and employment initiatives, these African youth leaders will lend insight into how the corporate sector might develop mechanisms to recognise and release the vast potential that lies within the continent’s youth.

In addition, we’ll get the advice and guidance from our participants as to how young people  overcome the obstacles they encounter on a daily basis and unlock the vast potential within themselves.

In a build-up to Youth Day on 16 June and running over the rest of the month, we’ll profile change makers and entrepreneurs such as KG Mabusela, Selebogo Molefe, Akan Nelson, Fred Swaniker and Ian Mangenga as the African youth leaders and mentors of today.

About Columba Leadership

While many see young people as inadequate, and part of the problem, Columba Leadership believes that young people already have the potential within them to progress and succeed. Our task is to elicit this potential, and to capacitate schools to do the same.

Since 2009 more than 10 000 youth and educators from South Africa’s most underserved communities have graduated from Columba Leadership’s three-year, foundational programme.

Resilient and aware of their ability to lead change in their own lives – as well as in their schools and communities – these alumni now form a national network of ethical leaders who are embedded into the economy and broader society.

In close association with the Department of Education, Columba Leadership partners with South Africa’s high schools. Schools become aware that learners, working in partnership with adults, can do much to strengthen schools through self-driven and self-sustaining social action projects. As fellow learners and the wider community benefit, these projects provide opportunities for youth to gain relevant experience and increase their resilience in the face of real-life challenges.        

Despite including many at risk youth and the impacts of Covid, of the 2021 Columba matriculants:

  • 74% were selected for formal leadership positions at school
  • 94% of those who started with us in Grade 10 completed school
  • 91% passed matric
  • 82% passed with a tertiary qualification

Columbans are consistently more likely to be in further study or employed post school.

Columba Leadership’s purpose is to transform the culture of schools to change the trajectory of youth to become more resilient, engaged, connected and future-fit.

About Afrika Tikkun Services

Afrika Tikkun Services (ATS) was established with the belief that every young person deserves the opportunity to realise their potential. ATS is focused on fulfilling the career and skills development and placement mandate of the Afrika Tikkun Cradle to Career 360º Model. The model is designed to enable the economic empowerment of South Africa’s youth.

Many of our youth are trapped in a cycle of poverty and a poverty mindset, unable to comprehend their individual potential and contribution to society. ATS equips our youth by empowering them to create innovative solutions to long-standing global problems. Through varied solutions, ATS correctly positions South African youth to transition into the economy and become active commandeers of their own power.

ATS broadly offers the following services:

  • Work Readiness
  • Specialised Skill Training
  • Youth Employment Service (YES) Placements
  • Learnerships and Internships
  • Work Experience
  • Recruitment
  • Bursary Management
  • Consulting (B-BBEE)
  • Enterprise and Supplier Development

As a Level-1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) advisory, recruitment, training, and placement company, ATS provides B-BBEE advisory services and skills training. These services support clients with achieving full integration of youth employment and placement solutions. ATS works across all five elements of B-BBEE namely:

  • Ownership
  • Management Control
  • Skills Development
  • Enterprise and Supplier Development
  • Socio-economic Development

ATS’s goal is to “create an economically thriving South African society by investing in our youth.”


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