The United States Embassy recently announced the selection of young Zimbabweans who were invited to participate in the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship Programme under the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in the United States of America.
TellZim News took time to compile brief profiles of some of the young leaders who have been selected to be part of this year's programme.
Saddam Mapundu is the Founder and Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Youth Movement Combating Climate Change (ZYMCCC), an organization which works with youths through training and incubation in setting up viable social enterprises which address climate change in the areas of clean energy, climate resilient farming, and sustainable waste management.
He has over 3 years' experience in the field of environmental advocacy. Saddam is also engaged in charity work with the Lions Clubs International Leo Program serving on the LEO District 412 Board (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi & Mozambique) in the capacity of Global Membership Team Leader (GMT).
He is also co-founder of the Zimbabwe Engineering Students Trust and is studying towards his Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Fuels and Energy at the Chinhoyi University of Technology (Class of 2018).
A committed activist, he is set to continue promoting the use of renewable energy across Africa in order to protect the environment and climate and to create sustainable employment for the youth. Post the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Saddam plans to expand the work of the ZYMCCC in providing training to more youths in Zimbabwe and to also grow his energy start-up company, Galactic Renewables.
Dzikamai Bere is Coordinator of the National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG). The NTJWG is a platform established by 46 organizations focused on transitional justice in Zimbabwe to influence policy on matters relating to justice, accountability and social cohesion. Dzikamai has over nine years' experience working in the justice and human rights sector in Zimbabwe. He holds a Master's Degree in Peace and Conflict Transformation from the Swisspeace Academy. Dzikamai is an author and a girls' rights advocate. Upon completion of the fellowship, Dzikamai wishes to continue the work of promoting dialogue, justice, and accountability in Zimbabwe.
Abel Dzobo is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, and academic with over six years of experience in script-writing, directing, producing, cinematography and editing. Abel is Operations Director of KreativeHive Corps, Zimbabwe's premier audio-visual content production company.
Here, he runs the whole gamut of film production and produces documentaries that tackle Zimbabwe's unheralded challenges such as cancer, maternal mortality, the scourges of child marriage and child prostitution, HIV and Aids.
He campaigns for freedom of expression, economic justice, exposes corruption and the upholding of citizenship rights. He holds a Master's in Media and Society Studies from Midlands State University and is a part-time media lecturer at Great Zimbabwe University, where he teaches documentary production.
Besides establishing KreativeHive Corps as a global film company, Abel wants to establish a fully-fledged Zimbabwean film industry through training and linking established filmmakers to funding and exhibition platforms in a country where the sole broadcaster, ZBC-TV, does not broadcast content deemed critical of the government. Driven by passion for a just society, Abel will also train marginalized groups and rural communities in digital storytelling so that they tell their own stories and hold officials accountable.
Godfrey Kurauone has close to five years' experience in local governance, specifically focusing on policy making and community development. Currently, Godfrey is a Ward Councilor in the City of Masvingo, where he focuses on policy making, community development, and service delivery.
He holds a diploma in Personnel Management. He is the youngest Councilor in the history of Masvingo urban. Godfrey is also the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Manpower and Finance Committees of Masvingo City Council respectively and the National Chairperson of the Youth Forum Zimbabwe.
Godfrey is driven by the commitment to see youth participation in governance issues, social responsibility and democratization of the society. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Godfrey plans to focus on advocating for youth participation in governance and decision making and also leadership training.local