Content Partner: Activate! Leadership for Public Innovation

My name is Mduduzi Edison Tshabalala. I grew up and live in a township called Sebokeng, 32km south of Johannesburg. I went to four different primary schools in the Vaal Triangle (now Sedibeng District). I then went to Suncrest High School where I finished my Matric. I went the FET route, studied business studies, and achieved a National Certificate in Business Administration at PC Training and Business College.

While I was studying I was already involved in the Performing Industry. I was a B-Boy. I got involved with quite a few B-Boy and Hip-Hop dance crews in the Vaal. I am outgoing, and through my B-Boy experience I have come across many different characters and have involved myself with initiatives that were promising and full of hope.

The role of ‘sales man’ has always been part of my life from early days of growing up in Sebokeng. I have worked with an enterprise by the name of ‘Made Alone Ride Alone’ [MARA] which gave birth to the ‘Keep Digging’ Foundation. I am still working with them and am currently involved at the Sebokeng Library as a Community Library Committee member. I am a committed volunteer there.

The one thing I know about myself is that I have a caring attitude. I have developed a passion for volunteering and through my voluntary work I gain more knowledge and can support others. The experiences I have gained were achieved through working with organisations to further my professional development. The very dynamic character I have become has enabled me to grow my network. I have realized the importance of developing good communications with other people and organisations.
I am a charismatic person and have got some initiatives off the ground. I managed to register an NGO by the name of Botle Ba Tlhaho Environmental Group [BBTEG], the organization is a proud and committed initiative concerned with the issues of environment in the broader context, incorporating the arts.

To be more specific BBTEG has been engaged in issues of cleaning and greening the community of Sebokeng as a campaign. It has developed a research project in conservancy and rehabilitation within the neglected public wet areas. The most inclusive and aspiring research work BBTEG is busy with is the Air Quality monitoring program facilitated by the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance [VEJA] together with the Bench Marks Foundation.

Through becoming part of the 2012 Activate group, I am very delighted to have met up with other youth with similar experiences. The experience is an adventure of self-discovery and unleashing the potential within. In having to achieve some of the given home tasks I experienced a breakthrough in becoming exposed to more opportunities. The Gauteng Group Intake 2 has been a positive experience for me, and has motivated me to network and share.

After the first module of the program, I saw all my failures as challenges. This meant I came to accept them as being part of a learning curve. In this regards failing could also be perceived as being part of the journey to success which has made me the passionate and courageous person I am now. I certainly believe in striving to uphold and instill a sense of hope and to encourage others to do some good for the betterment of communities.


Activate! Leadership for Public Innovation is a national network of young people committed to social transformation. United across race and class, they will develop the perspectives and skills of innovation needed to tackle some of South Africa’s most challenging social issues.
To find out more, contact Activate! on: or