My Declaration for Peace in Syria

Over 100,000 people have been killed and 8 million driven from their homes, 2 million of them seeking refuge in neighboring countries, since the conflict first erupted in March 2011 between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and initially peaceful opponents seeking to oust him.

With a mission led by Professor Åke Sellström probing allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. People of Syria need help and the voices of other people around the world. Especially women and children. It's been said that 2013 was the year in which the Syrian conflict deteriorated beyond all imagination though on the other hand; its been repeatedly noted that 2013 will be remembered as the year in which the world bid a sad but celebratory farewell to the man who became South Africa’s first post-apartheid and democratically elected president with a message of reconciliation for all.

With the Conference set for January 22 2014. Syrian parties need to be called to end the violence and provide humanitarian access and for States and organizations with influence on the Syrian sides to help them prepare for constructive engagement.

About resolving the humanitarian conflict in Syria. United Nations Secretary General Mr Ban declared. “We must make 2014 the year of protecting people – their security, their fundamental rights, their basic well-being.”
He noted that the coming year will be a key period for difficult transitions in Afghanistan and the Arab world, urged Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to show “the leadership and foresight that will at long last produce a comprehensive peace agreement,” and appealed to Government s and the opposition in Ukraine and Thailand to act with restraint and refrain from violence

New efforts need to be revised by peace and reconciliation institutions to ensure the constructive resolution of the conflict happening in our African countries comes to an end.

Is this the future we want to see in the world?

The future is in our hands, right now we call for peace in Syria!

Twitter handle: @zanelemabaso23
Tags: #Syria #FreeSyria2014 #WomenofSyria

Movie Review: Baggage Claim

So, today I set out on a journey to watch "Baggage Claim"... ALONE.
It's just one of those movies I prefer watching by myself, for no particular reason.

The lead actress in this movie was Paula Putton, who plays Montana Moore. Her mother,  has been married over 5 times. (How lucky does a woman really get? I have heard many say "twice as lucky" but over 5 times? Lord have mercy).  Well lucky her, she was able to live up the trend after her second divorce - anyway! She's not the reason why I'm writing this review.

It's her beloved eldest daughter Montana that caught my attention. Her dire need to find the man of her dreams (as many ladies so call it "soul mate") and desperately wanted to be a bride and not a brides maid - for the 9th time! (Her youngest sister was said to be getting married too, adding more salt to the wound.)

So she met a guy, and as much as she knew exactly what she didn't want - Graham (played by Boris Kodjoe) seemed like the guy of her dreams, the very gentleman that sent shivers down her spine and butterflies about her belly and  she sure did  hope she would  spend the rest of her life with him.
As handsome, charming, successful and as gentle as he seemed, he broke her heart. He riddled his way into making her believe that she was the only woman he had at that time, reminiscing on the past and envisioning the future together with her on a romantic cruise ship - which lead to a rather heated, romantic and steamy scene. Don't ask - I don't know the details - my eyes were closed.

Later on, following the advice from her seemingly promiscuous and "single but always ready to mingle" best friend and colleague Gail (Jill Scott), Montana followed Graham to his apartment and... as it ends up, she learns that he had a companion, to make it worse, they were expecting a child.
I could hear women within the cinema chattering about  what an "awful liar and player" he is and I was left thinking - Why do people do that to one another?

Oh well, luckily she was still highly motivated and determined to find a husband. "You don't need a man to define you" her friend Gail said, I could again over hear ladies in the cinema behind me humming in agreement: "uhmm you tell her girl!" and "Yes, you don't!". Funny enough about 95% of the women there had their partners sitting next to them. Thinking about it seems ironic, hense their agreement with the statement. I'd bet the men their dating- to some expert play a role in the way they behave, speak and live their lives (It's just an opinionated thought - no hating)

"Personally, I might not fully know what I want in a man, but i certainly do know what I DON'T want, and that is what matters most."

Knowing what you will NOT settle down for helps with knowing what's right and what's not so right about a frielationship. (friendship to relationship)
Not many women hunt for men as bad as Montana did (maybe they do, but in a more discreet kinda way). However I do know that behind closed doors- women are VULTURES.

                      "The magic is not in getting married, it's in staying married" - William Wright

mentioned after talking about his mother and father who were married till dead did them part. Derek Luke (William) sure did know what he was talking about. At this point in time during the movie - I assumed that William and Montana would eventually end up getting married, but pretty little Ms Moore searched else where though the man of her dreams who had been friends with her for 25 years was right under her nose. (Don't we all ladies just always fall into that trap)

Montana sets out to meet Damon Diesel  (played by Trey Songs). They complement each other. All I was hoping for was that Damon would be the one man to sweep her off her feet. But oh - poor girl got her heart torn into pieces, when the "Crazy Lady" Janine (Tia Mowry) lashes out an unbelievable tantrum when she discovers her younger boyfriend Damon was cheating on her - with the lady from the bar (Montana). So, as Janine continues demanding to be let into the apartment - yes HER apartment where she had been staying with Damon, where Damon had invited Montana and were about to get "Frisky". Deamon revieled to Montanna that the Range Rover he was driving - wasn't his. The apartment - wasn't his. The express airticket card - wasn't his. I'm just thinking: "oh boy..." sadly she spent most of the night out side in the rain hiding from the crazy HULK lady breaking everything and looking for her  in the house.

Hear this...she finds her way out, and into a situation where she met both her ex's in the same flight at the same time. Shocking scene isn't it? Well she handled it perfectly well and left with ex number 1. Langson Jr (Taye Diggs) who owned a puppy named Juicy and was running for congress. All i can say right now is: "Juicy...Go pee!"
Sooner than later heard him repeat the saying "Behind every great man,  is a great woman" and he continued "But sometimes to be the greater woman, you have to be quiet - she must follow and he must lead" That just rubbed me up the wrong way for some reason. "I wouldn't want them to think you are leading" Like uhm? Okay, get yourself another puppy! Bad dinner date number something!

She calls her friend of 25 years, William Wright, who sacrifices everything for her, to fetch her in Georgetown Washington DC. The moment he pitched up, I yet again felt the connection between the two.

They drove along and she fell asleep on his chest whilst he was driving, before we know it, A song which they both danced to during their prom night when they were in high school turned up, Remarkably, they both still remembered the moves and it was just the prefect scene. William is a keeper right? Syc! She was having
a dream.

                       The way a woman keeps her kitchen is the way she keeps her man?

Those "wise" words came from her mother. True or false? Because if it is true, I better stop leaving the dishes in the sink for so long before i wash them. (Eeeuw, what does that even mean!)
I usually say a man that doesn't eat sushi or doesn't know how to use chop not worth keeping. (I can barely use chop sticks myself dammit! - But that's not the point - Haha - Anyway.)

As the old tale goes, she meets yet another man, who reveals: "You can never have too much of a good thing" he said. My mother would always say "Too much of a good thing is bad" - and I still believe her.
Junk food topped with lots of candy almost killed me during my teenage years. 

"I'm taking some time off to journey the world. I'd love for you to come with me." That's a line I wish to hear in my lifetime (or maybe say to someone - rather). "If you need marriage, you need to find somebody that needs it too." Best line every I guess.

Lesson number 1: A perfect guy doesn't exist. Don't burden yourself looking for him becasue you will miss out on the very small things infront of you in the interim.
 Lesson number 2: Don't do things you don't want to do simply because you want to make the other person comfortable - yet you're not. (Well in other situations, this could be the best option to opt for, but in case you thinking of settling down, rather choose carefully, than spare the rest of your life living with regret.)

Funny how Montana speaks like she's intoxicated. She had to give an announcement at her sister Tanya (La La) and fiance (Terrance J's) engagement party. She said "Love yourself with or without a husband. If you are really inlove with your man and cannot live a single day without him. By all means get married, but if you are making the deceison of getting married for any other reason, then you are making the worst decision of your life." Luckily little sister Tanya, took her older sisters advice and together with her fiance decided to wait.

Thereafter listening to Montana's mother break down about her first marriage to her late husband and the true love they shared, the entire scene just sent a stream of tears down my cheeks. The music playing in the background had no justice either, the combination (of the music, the words and characters) evoked a great sence of emotion and I cried silently during the scene.

Calling from outside, standing besides his flashy car, hotel owner and successful business mogul Quinton (Djimon Hounsou) calls out for Montana's attention. Montana looks down through the window but realising that William Wright is the man that she actually want to spend the rest of her life with, tells Quinton: "I want more than expensive gifts and extravagant trips. I want a life time. As silly as this may sound...I wont settle for anything less." after a moment of silent and realization, he gently responded: "As silly as this may sound ...I don't think you should."
Oh Romeo and Juliet ain't got nothin' on this! Haha!

Honestly though, there was a scene before that were Montana, Gail and Sam (played by Adam Brody) were together opening gifts from William Wright addressed to Montana, where I was like "Oh hell no - Adam Brody should NOT have been given a gay character!" It was awkwardingly funny and just plain weird.

Then the race to Paris (the most romantic destination for a couple to spend time together at) was on. The running around to get to the airport on time for the flight reminded me of how I personally ran around the airport after landing in Frankfurt, Germany on route to take a flight to Paris and... missed my flight. Sadly there was no William Wright waiting to propose to me at the terminal departure gates - But Montana found her husband.

And they lived happily ever after (We hope.) What a beautiful Movie!

Here is a sneak peak containing the official  trailer for Baggage Claim, a must watch I tell you. Watch and learn ladies (and gentlemen). Enjoy :-)

Sharing my all time favorite movies with you! On "Movie Reviews with Zanele Mabaso."  :-)
Twitter     : @zanelemabaso23

Being Mr/Ms Stingy

Being Mr/Ms Stingy in the networking world might not come with great complications, but sure does come with karma.

As many of us dread networking session and introducing ourselves to a massive audience that consists of unfamiliar faces, networking is a successful marketing strategy to use, especially for business owners, company representatives and yourself.

When it comes to networking it is important to network for the right reasons, which will ensure that you get a positive outcome from the engagement and know what you will utilize the information and contacts you get, to improve yourself, your business and others in the long run.

You don’t have a clear vision about what you want out of the contacts you create, you will be stuck in what you know and what you have , which will ultimately automatically limit your chances for creating a bigger and more trusted network, and relatively seal in your chances of attaining and achieving.

As much as networking is a skill, networking is a lifestyle

With networking being an action that happens progressively on a daily basis either formally or informally in different setting, places and occurrences. As much as the contacts you get are useful for you, it’s important to share. Sharing of contacts is not only an act of kindness but an opportunity for both yourself, the candidate you are sharing the contact with and the contact it's self. Lesson: Be willing to give, even if you won't get anything in return, a kind gesture goes a long way.

With each person you meet, there are associations, groups and clubs they are part of that consist of powerful and effective people within their networks. Though some might not have the opportunity of meeting the same people that you meet within your circles, it's good business to share those contacts with those you believe might uitilise to better their business and personal goals. Lesson: Be willing to share your contacts, knowledge and relevant information with others

'It’s not about who you know, but who knows you.' - Zanele

Keeping a relationship with your contacts
Maintaining your relationship with your contacts and following up on them after networking sessions helps with remembering who you are, and having you play a role in their engagements. When you share contacts, it makes it easier for the primary contact to remember who you are when referenced by the retriever of the contact. Being in the mind of your contacts not only paves way for first priority when it comes to referencing but it is good for business, it's not about who you know, its about who knows you.

Have a strategy
Some of us have trouble with keeping up with contacts after our networking engagements. to avoid having hundreds of business cards where you do not remember 75% of the peoples faces associated with it after networking, it is important to have a strategy. Besides sending emails of acknowledgement (keep the emails short, 250 characters is long enough) disclosing your engagement and possibly schedule an appointment to meet.
Usually due to over crowded schedules for work, one might not get the time they require with the individual they wish to follow up on, but setting a 30 minute coffee break during the week to learn more about the associate is a good strategy. not forgetting the 72 hours rule to following up, 3 days is the best time to communicate with your contacts, after 3 days, they might not remember you and they might have set new agendas for themselves. So keep that 3 day rule in mind.

Understand the power of other peoples networks
With each person you meet, there are associations and groups they are part of that consist of powerful and effective people within their networks.
It is important to understand the power of other peoples networks as the contacts they have could be highly influential to not only yourself but your acquaintances as well.
Yet again, Don't be Mr or Ms Stingy when it comes to sharing contacts. Let your guard down and spread the network and circles. Lesson: You get what you give in.

Twitter: @zanelemabaso23

PS: Don't be Mr Stingy! ;-)

The One Young World Experience

The 4th One young world Summit held in Johannesburg was a tremendous success!

Through the exceptional plenary sessions with various industry leaders from global business, entrepreneurship, civil society to government and recreation (sports). The information and experiences shared were uplifting and certainly inspiring and motivating. engaging in open dialogue discussions on socio-economic issues such as: Sustainable Development, Youth Unemployment, Education, Global Business, Leadership and Governance, Human rights and amongst a few others transparency and integrity.

One of my favorite sessions (well, there were countless, to be honest) but one that stood out and resonated with me the most was the session with the phenomenal Dr Mohammed Yunu's on Social Business. I founded the Young Social Entrepreneurs Academy, a start-up pan-African social enterprise in November 2012, close to a year now. When I did, I had a vision, a vision that consisted of ideas, inventions and creative illustrations driven by my imagination...a vision I believed nobody else in the world would ever have. The vision manifested each day, which involved the planning of new strategies, evaluation of goals and objectives and the creation of a propelling mission statement and plan of action. All that still exists and with Dr Yunu's talk during the opening ceremony held at Soccer City with over 1200 delegates from 190 countries around the world. Realized right then - that all the delegates that flew from all over the world to be together in Johannesburg for that particular week, also had visions of a greater future and even more different than the vision I had. Everyone had ideas, innovations,goals, ambitions and set objectives they wanted to accomplish...all in all we all share the same vision, and that was - to change the world. To visualize a world that we want to see, and create it for our generation and the  next generation to come.

Now, being a young and emerging social entrepreneur, getting words of encouragement from an experienced professional in the field of social entrepreneurship is always exciting and daring. Mohammed Yunu's shared how social business is rapidly changing communities and providing a better life for all, also inspiring delegates to think about the eradication of poverty and ensuring that we live with the motto "impossible is nothing" , by reiterating "We can make the impossible - possible." Well - that gave me a leap of faith to hold on to and practice right after the summit.
In addressing pressing socio-economic challenges, Kofi Annan reassured us that indeed - "We have the knowledge, resources and capabilities to overcome these challenges" He continued by saying, what was needed to make the change happen, with ensuring that our voices are heard was: "effective political leaders and effective democratic institutions.." (Well done to the launch of the  "School of Government" in South Africa, weeks after the One Young World summit, that replaced the Public Administration and Leadership Academy, Such an institution hopefully aims to achieve that and many other goals and contribute to social and political governance, leadership and the advocacy sectors. )
Bob Geldon, an icon that many look up to was as assertive as always and like anybody else would say, if you really want to get things done "Go on with it, get sh*t done"

Besides the plenary sessions, the summit had an official welcome, where all the individuals who helped with making the summit a success were welcomed and thanked, including the Councillors and a message from keynote speakers and the major of the City of Johannesburg was delivered. Later on, were performances from the Soweto Gospel Choir joined by song bird and South Africa's very own internationally renounced singing sensation:Lira, who blessing the masses with her hit single "Feel good" (oh, we certainly did FEEL GOOD alright!).
The South African Sasol Orchestral played a tune and what an atoning group those young fellows are, they owned the instruments and delivered a ground breaking performance. I remember thinking "they should definitely be invited to the presidents inauguration next time" (oh well - anything to showcase their talents of course.). The various schools that were invited to the ceremony that consisted of 8000 pupils from schools in Soweto, enjoyed themselves at the stadium - and thanks to the 2010 World Cup that was hosted in our national grounds- when you bring "South Africans" and "Stadium" together - you get "Vuvuzelas", and those could be heard throughout the proceedings of the opening delivery. Well enough- Kate Robertson and David Jones knew how to keep them silent. Everybody sure did have a joyfully fantastic time. (If you missed it, the video's above)

The break through sessions were held  in different communities across Gauteng, addressing pressing socio-economic challenges and strategically finding new ways of steering change within existing and possibly potentially new systems that exist around the world. Furthermore, I must say the networking sessions were used to my best benefit, I got the opportunity to engage in open discussions with young leaders from around the world, doing amazing things in their countries of residence. Happy to say, I believe, I have new friends from over 100 countries who share the same ambitions and global vision as myself. As much as collaboration was on of the most reiterated topic during the duration of the summit, collaborations, merging and creation of new projects has since elevated after the summit. Young leaders are keeping in contact through the summit's Facebook group with over 800 members, created by  One Young World Ambassadors.

Well, there is a lot else that happened that you can reflect on by following One Young World on Twitter and  to watch the videos  posted on the summit, there are more videos on One Young World Youtube Channel and

The last day was filled with excitement and with Winnie Mandela being present and delivering a keynote speech on the history, present and future of South Africa and the possibles there are for determined young people with the drive, zeal, commitment and motivation to succeed - changing the world is set to be done. Having had a session on "knowing Nelson Mandela" with leaders that knew him well. Winnie's presence was certainly eye-opening and inspirational for all who listened in and chanted "Amandla!" at the end of her speech, which is a Xhosa and Zulu word, when translated - means "power" - the word is still associated with struggles against oppression, however at that very moment, the chant signified unity! With youth from around the world in one dignified space, we certainly were unified and formed - a One Young World!

In closing, The 5th annual One Young World Summit will be happening  in Dublin, Ireland in 2014.

Thanks to Brand South Africa for sponsoring myself and 3 other exceptional young leaders making a difference in our homes, communities and greater societies. Hopefully at some point our impacts will not only shape our economy one day, but transform the rest of the world!

Read more about the Summit, Delegates and Brand South Africa Press Releases here:

Zanele Mabaso 
One Young World Ambassador
Twitter     : @zanelemabaso23

Interview with Theo Sowa

The 9th Edition of the prestigious annual Womens Forum in Economy and Society Global Meeting and conference was held in France Deauville from 16-18 October 2013. Ilive2lead International which is an organisation that plays a significant role in professional development of women from developing and developed countries around the globe, conducts youth leadership training programs in fields of Government and Advocacy, Sustainable Development, education (to name a few), in different countries in regions every year. They do this through their exceptional International Leadership Summits, being an ILive2Lead Global Ambassador was invited alongside 5 other young women from 5 different countries to represent the youth delegation of official media representatives at the Global meeting. On the first day of the forum, I got the opportunity of getting to know an incredible woman who has played a major role in the development of women across the continent for many years. A truly well accomplished  pioneer of change and inspiration to many:  Theo Sewo, the CEO of African Women's Development Fund:

With the challenges that women face in the world of work where most industries are still made dominated and women are rising as role models for more young women leaders to follow in their footsteps. The well-spoken Theo shared what it takes to be a woman in the 21st century: “One has to be strong, have a clear vision and work hard” Theo added that the most important element was to have a strong sense of self : “To be successful you need to have a strong sense of yourself, because if you don’t; you will get distracted by other people’s perceptions.”

Theo has played a vital role in the development of women through the African Women’s Development Fund where she currently heads as CEO, she has worked on women’s rights issues covering  a range of activities with a special focus on the promotion and protection of women’s rights in armed conflict situations, as well as work evaluating and strengthening women focused development programs in Africa. Theo shared what the African Women’s Development Fund aims to achieve and how it contributes to the sustainable development of young women in Africa, she said: “The Africa Women’s Development Fund is the first continent wide foundation for Africa women, it was set up by African women and signifies the work of African women’s organisations in Africa. AWDF tries to get funds to the organisations that can bring change to their communities”, Theo mentioned the changing of perceptions from people about Africa and women in Africa and how they aim to bring about change on the perceptions through generic organisations lead by women across the continent.

Being in a world where young people want to not only be heard but do things that will revolutionarise their current oppression's and situations. Theo shared what impressed her about young leaders and what she would want to see more young people do. “I like the energy and the ability young leaders have to cross many boundaries and work together effortlessly.”  she further explained would she like to see more young leaders work better with current leaders as she believes there is great power in inter-generation where the younger generation dialogues and exchanges insights leading to change with the older generation proactively, “also to see young people tackle together, head on some of the issues we haven’t managed to solve yet . Drafting solutions and creating positive change where change is needed”.  I, personally, sincerely believe  exchanging knowledge and ideas on issues that oppress women and relating to women rights  such as, social injustice and violence against women,  amongst a few with other young leaders and coming up with not only innovative solutions to addressing them but making appeals and recommendations  to global organisations that have the power to implement and foster the change will  assist in creating a better world for young women in developed and developing countries. 

Theo has extensive experience of working with grant making organisations and foundations. She serves currently as a board member of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (a multi million pound grant making organisation); is a Trustee of Comic Relief and the Chair of its International Grant Making Committee; and is a member of the Africa Advisory Board for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Having addressed thousands of women at the opening and welcome of the Women’s Forum by the program committee, with exceptional women leaders ; Maria Livanos Cattaui, Nina Gardner, Ann Walker Merchant and the President of the Women’s forum Veronique Morali. Theo spoke profoundly about how women have the ability to influence policies through effective collaboration. She added: “Girls and women are not victims; they know how to create change and make a difference. But they lack the funds to do so.” and resonating with many when saying; “When we work together, we work differently.”

 With young women rising across all nations and being pioneers and advocates of change, Theo concluded with words of motivation and encouragement to young women who aim to create change within their communities “There is a great generation of young people with new ideas and new ways of thinking , where those ideas have the ability to reshape the older ways of thinking and doing things. This is your moment, make the most of it and your ideas and don’t let people tell you cannot make it, because you can indeed make a big difference to this world.”

Theo is also an Advisory group member of the ‘Every Child a Reader’ literacy initiative, a member of the British Refugee Council Leadership Group and a board member of the Graça Machel Trust.  Not only is She  an outstanding and powerful leader, but she is an example of an individual that exemplifies a true role model, committed and dedicated to her work and those of others.

“Women rights are not just women’s rights, they are indivisible – rights are indivisible” – Theo Sewo

Website     :  
Twitter      : @il2lorg   
My handle: @zanelemabaso23 @yseacademy

One Young World Summit 2013

"One Young World Leadership Summit, where leaders start leading"

Thanks to Brand South Africa for sponsoring me to attend the One Young World Summit 2013 as a delegate, held in Johannesburg from the 2-5th October 2013 with young people between the ages of 16-30 from around the world.

What IS One Young World?

One Young World was founded in 2009 by David Jones and Kate Robertson. We are a London-based charity that gathers together young people from around the world, helping them make lasting connections to create positive change.

We stage an annual Summit where the young delegates, backed by the One Young World Counsellors, debate and formulate solutions for the pressing issues the world faces. No youth-dominated event outside the Olympic Games brings together more countries than One Young World.

At the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Summits delegates were guided by a line-up of Counsellors that included Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Bob Geldof, Kofi Annan, Professor Muhammad Yunus, HKH Prince Haakon of Norway, Jamie Oliver, Jack Dorsey and Joss Stone.

After each Summit, the newly-minted One Young World Ambassadors work on their own initiatives or lend the power of the One Young World network to those already in existence. Of those in employment, many return to their companies and set about creating change from within, energising their corporate environment. Since the 2010 Summit, One Young World Ambassadors have been creating change on a global level. Previous initiatives have included the presentation of The Missing Millennium Development Goal to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the creation of the first-ever African Student Leaders Summit.

To date, almost four million people have been directly impacted by the work of One Young World Ambassadors. There are currently more than 130 projects and initiatives involving in excess of 100 countries.

Find out more about One Young World which will be hosted in Dublin in 2014 and start looking for sponsors to attend the Summit. I am hopefully looking forward to attend in another OYW summit where i will be present as a speaker at the event focusing on Youth Unemployment Leadership and Governance, Global Business and Sustainable development which are my primary areas of interest.

My One Young World Delegate profile:

I will be taking tons of pictures to share with the world through:

Facebook Click here: Direct link to my profile,
Twitter Click here : Direct link to my profile
Instagram "zanelemabaso23"
and of course blogger!

I will be tweeting under: @zanelemabaso23 , @YSEAcademy, @Brand_SA and @oneyoungworld, @PlayYourPartSA Hashtags: #OYW #OYWSouthAfrica #BrandSA #SouthAfrica #YoungLeaders, #Leadership #Governance #Youthunemployment #globalbusiness and #YSEAcademy or #YSEA

My YouTube Video on The One Young World Summit, done prior attaining delegate status. #Motivation

Follow me on twitter @zanelemabaso23 , To all international delegates and ambassadors attending the Summit, we welcome you to JOZI!

Become a Social Entrepreneur

Be a Social Entrepreneur

"Social entrepreneurs don’t just dive into building their organizations. They create business plans, make connections, and explore new ways of making their ventures excel. Being a social entrepreneur requires a structured business mentality backed by a strong sense of social responsibility. Getting an education will foster those attributes and give you the tools and resources to make a difference in the world."

Not only do  social entrepreneurs are judicious in their business decisions, but they draw their motivation from knowledge of social issues. Therefore  educational opportunities that support both of those traits are rare. Many business degrees don’t focus enough on social justice while many human services degrees don’t give you the quantitative edge required to succeed as an entrepreneur and this is where the Young Social Entrepreneurs Academy comes in, offering programs that are accredited, and valuable that not only focus on leadership but social entrepreneurship and social enterprise development to encourage more young people in South Africa to venture into entrepreneurship by combating socio-economic challenges. 

Become a social entrepreneur by joining the Young Social Entrepreneurs Academy, and join us as we set the pace in moving towards active citizenship.
Programs will soon be updated on the website which is currently under construction and admission requirements will be made available as well.

A Project90x2030 Youth Leader

      Project90x2030 Highlights 4 Inspirational Youth Leaders
Project 90 by 2030 was established as a national project of the Goedgedacht Trust in July 2007. The project's main purpose is to challenge South Africans to change the way they live and the way that they relate to the environment.

They focus particularly on lifestyle change that can be measured through carbon footprint reduction.

The name reflects our objective of a significant (90%) change by South Africans in how we engage with earth systems. 

Find out more about the Youth Leaders Program and Club Network on the Project90x2030 website

Click here to follow Project90x2030 on Twitter

Click here to follow Project90x2030 on Facebook

The Khulula Foundation

Interned from February  to August 2013, have been excited to work with the Khulula Foundation as a Marketing and Social Media Guru. The journey was an experience worth every milestone. 

The Khulula Foundation is a non-profit public charity established in Washington, DC and operating in South Africa and the United States.

Our Mission: The Khulula Foundation seeks to develop the next generation of change-agents from low-income communities in South Africa by providing them with a transformative university preparatory education within their community.

From their Facebook page was the introduction and warm welcome to the team:
"/əˈhem/ We are excited to announce another one of our awesome KF interns. ZANELE MABASO is a Marketing Graduate Student from Pretoria, currently completing her Bachelors in Business Administration Degree majoring in Marketing Management with the IMM Graduate School of Marketing.

Zanele is an active committee member of the Golden Key International Honorary Society and Board Chair of an International Organization, Young Women Social Entrepreneurs in South Africa.
She has worked with numerous non-profit organizations on membership and executive board status in South Africa and the experience, knowledge and skills she gained from doing voluntary work within various communities resulted in her founding a non-profit organization called The Young Social Entrepreneurs Academy. Zanele Is a change maker passionate about social, economic, educational and entrepreneurial transformation in South Africa.
We are so excited to have her on board and we look forward to welcoming her amazing talent and energy to the KF team♥"

with KF Graphic Designer intern: Kamohelo Kauno
The  Khulula Foundation Interns 2013 ,Standing: Zanele Mabaso, Kamohelo Kauno
and seated: Lebalang Molobele and Rene Scholtz.

See what the Khulula Foundation is up to on these links:
 Khulula Foundation Website
 The Khulula Foundation on Facebook

Speak Your Mind

Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.

I have realized that it takes one person to lead a discussion or conversation.

Where all you have to do is...


I had been utterly horrified of public speaking and talking in front of my classmates in primary school.  I recall an occasion when i was 5th grade, doing oral presentations on a given topic where i had to present to a magnitude of roughly 30 students who were from different backgrounds with vast personalities and characteristics.
We had class clowns (which are those that made fun of other pupils and when their turn came to present, they would ensure that they eye ball who ever laughs at them and usually they were the worst of presenters), Next were the superlative in public speaking, who delivered an oral presentation and even went through the trouble of formulating supporting material to show the entire class. These pupils were the individuals who started preparing from the day the teacher notified the class of the day of presentation (which would be 2 months prior the dead line) . Then were the individuals who were in-between - they did their best at times but in most cases thought they could pull anything off without preparation. Those were the individuals who got judged and picked on the most, often because one never knows when they will deliver their top performance. 

I was one of those pupils.

Now less than a decade later after primary school, I am faced with the vexing challenge of  articulating my message  in a manner that will be appealing to more than just the group of people I am surrounded by at that given moment. A message that has to be shared on local and international platforms for youthful engagement. Most times, I used to not say a single word when given the opportunity to speak due to fear of judgement as well as heading so deep in thought and thinking so much that I would ultimately start to having conversations with myself and debate whether the statement I were to address is of great relevance or not. 
Only to find out that the next person, seated next to me would; stand up, take the mike and boldly address the exact same question which I, personally and mentally, thought would have been a “stupid question”.
Counting back to the different platforms I have been exposed to where, when I eventually said something, the entire assembly would proudly support my statement and I remember at some particular events, where I mentioned phrases or raised questions of interest or concern, and  received massive applauds for, where later would be asked: "Zanele, why were you quiet the whole time?" and "That is the most thought provoking outlook that I have ever heard from a young person, through all my years of leadership training".
I must say, I was impressed that I managed to impress everyone, which was an outcome beyond my intent. 

This has made me become conscious of the number of chances I have had which I voluntarily let wander past me ...simply because I was "nervous" or "scared" or "not confident enough" to speak my mind due to "fear". Where I have learnt that: "Fear is a false impression appearing real."  Today, I intend to motivate other young people, to not worry about not having had public speaking training skills before embarking on a journey of content delivery and speech facilitation, but for them to feel free, even though its hard...and speak their minds, even if their voices shake!

Amongst a few, Maggie Kuhn - an activist and the founder of Grey Panthers is my ultimate inspiration for mental stimulation leading to personal and professional development, who once said: "Stand before people you fear, and speak your mind - even if your voice shakes!”.  she further on went to say, "When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say." Now that is a powerful message! 

This message has been written to inspire young people who are active members of organisations or societies who are given the platform to express themselves lead by their sentiments and opinions, but hold back due to fear of judgement, public speaking and being heard. We are fortunate enough to have rights such as freedom of speech and feedom of expression unlike other developed and developing countries around the world...exersize that right.
However, it takes ONE person to lead and that person should be YOU. No matter how faint your body becomes, how heated your palms get and how fast your heart beats... if you have something to say and you believe in it then: "Don't ever be afraid to say it. Remember, there is no right or wrong and your contribution will not only benefit you, but others that had the exact same response in mind, but chose to not speak." Zanele Mabaso

Take a pledge today and repeat: “I will stand before people I fear and I will speak my mind, even if my voice shakes!” 

Below is a video with some of Maggie Kuhn's quotes that i admire, to inspire you as they inspired me! Speak your mind!


The reprecussions of girls dropping out of school due to
pregnancy cannot be underestimated.

To my dismay, was shocked to discover that according to SA Stats 2011 reports, 20 000 children who SHOULD be at school were NOT, yet the South African Schools Act requires that children up to the age of 15 MUST attend school. A massive 48 000 children aged 16 -18 years  are not attending school of which 27%  of the  50 000, citied money as the reason for not being in school.

There are 24 500 public schools in the Republic of South Africa and about 15 300, which cater  for more than 7 million pupils that do NOT charge any school fees. As appalling as this seems, leads me to question, “Why are they not in school then, The Department of Education has provided, why are they not  taking advantage of such opportunities?”
Well, the Reasons for such behaviour from the teenagers were:

·         Pregnancy
·         Violence in schools
·         Lack of transport
·         Illness
·         Family commitments
·         “I'm too busy”
·         Lack of interest,
·          and believe it or not, “Education is useless”


Think about it: How and where do we begin to instil the importance of education taken into consideration the presently high youth unemployment rate amongst Matric and tertiary graduates in the country?

Do we have a chance, perhaps- to fooling them into going back to school?


Of those kids who were in school, 6% said lack of school textbooks was 1 of their obstacles in learning which is quite a great improvement from the economies  21% rate in 2002.

In 2011 alone, 510 000 girls had given birth and 13 000 girls were pregnant.

One can only do so much to prevent a young woman, driven by adolescence and the anxiety to fulfil the curiosity of lust, from falling pregnant.
The problem of teenage pregnancy amongst school girls is a major concern and is a constraint in elimination of gendered parties in education.

With teenage pregnancy being the common denominator contributing to the high level of high school drop outs amongst other reasons pertaining to lack of financial ability, violence and lack of interest in the education system, leads me to tapping into the pregnancy pandemic (so it will be if not already is) and determining solutions to best reduce the level of such in schools.

To add, condoms are available in some schools, but why then is the rate of pregnancy not cutting down?  Immediate assumption is that, though education pertaining to life science is offered (in theory) the young school boys do not know HOW to use the condoms.

We need to come to terms with the fact that learners ARE
having sex and that this will NOT change.


 Solutions I best believe could assist with our national dilemma after the staggeringly high youth unemployment rate amongst countless socio-economic challenges are:

1.      Condom dispensers

To add more condom dispensers in schools with the highest and lowest pregnancy rates because, it is not guaranteed that the first pregnancy is the last, The more kids they have as they themselves are kids and unemployed, the deeper they plunder themselves into the roots of poverty

2.      Practical Life-orientated Education

Life orientation and biology (life sciences) can  teach a child so much, yet even so much more meets imagination and anxiety to have the curiosity fulfilled. Teaching the boys and girls how to use condoms would come in very handy.

Girls have the advantage that with female condoms, one can wear them more than 4 hours BEFORE engaging in sexual intercourse, which means WOMEN should too be thought how to utilise and where to find protection. (Women condom’s are also useful to combat the level of unwanted pregnancies resulted through rape- having a female condom on every 6 hours (due to uncertainty of the dangers that might arise, hense some live in poor conditions looted by rapists, also prevents contact with sexually transmitted diseases).
              Easier access to birth control should also be taken into thought.

3.      Leadership Development Programs

In the most impoverished areas in South Africa, I noticed the lack of leadership development initiatives and peer mentorship groups. The young girls and boys have no lucrative mentors who they aspire to be like (besides role models they only see on the entertainment screens -who don’t often portray corrective standards of living). Now having leadership development programs that the children can engage in to keep them  busy after school comes to great use as well as allow schools to integrate and hold networking seminars and workshops and conferences so  children can meet, learn and be influenced by other children from other school that they are not used to.

4.      Keeping them busy, more sports

Keeping them busy is basically the prioritised mandate, that leads me to encouraging more sports and participation in extra mural activities. Come to think of it the only 2 primary sports in disadvantages areas is Netball for the girls and soccer for the boys, with both being  competitive sports, means only a selected few get the opportunity of being in the sports group and represent  the school where hundreds of others  who have the desire to engage in sports (yet lack the skill to do so - which can be enhanced easily through practise- are left behind. Then what do they do? They keep themselves busy the best way THEY know or think how. Which is also where substance abuse comes into play, which is on its self a social issue amongst the youth in South Africa.

5.      Teachers need to be motivated.

Could the teachers be the ones to blame? One could only investigate and wonder. Some teachers still teach discipline through violence which scares the children away as previously mentioned that they list violence as one of their primary reasons why they leave school.
Trust me, from experience and with a family that started off as teachers and retiring after more than 20 years of teaching though retiring  still in their early grown ages, I sure can tell you  plenty about being surrounded by children of all personalities, more than 30 and above in a single class on a daily basis.
Teachers need to be more motivated, inspired to wake up in the morning and  deliver a sermon on  the days subject and topic at hand. The department surely must have tried something of such sort, but just as it is important to make education creative and fun, teachers need to also feel the fun aspect when delivering their topics to the children.

6.      Granting the children recognition for accomplishments

From my experience or rather perspective, children LOVE being given recognition. Therefore influencing teachers yet again to give children recognition and motivation will enhance the child’s devotion on their education and ability to do better.

7.      Using Imagination to build interest in school

The use of imagination, children are the most imaginative human species one could find on the face of this earth, especially those younger than 10, but they then again need motivation and inspiration to imagine and predict their future’s after all: "The way through a child’s heart is through his mind.”
Having them engage in activities that will stimulate their intellectual capacity and ability to think they can be; “ anything they want to be, you can be who you aspire, dream and want to be , proved that you give in the equal input (effort ) to get the desired output (results)”


Lastly, we have always began in the beginning by  identifying a problem and through determining what the problem is, believe finding a solution is the best and quickies t way to change the situation for the better. And though we find solutions that do better lives, it is also about high time we sit the children down and ask them “what can we do for YOU”, “what do YOU want” and take it from there...

TWITTER : @zanelemabaso23