Most of us have stories to tell, we are a walking inspiration. Speak up! You never know who you will inspire.” – Ntandose Hlabangana.
Intelligent, compassionate, inspiring, mover, shaker and change-maker are just but a few words that describe Ntandose Hlabangana, lawyer, humanitarian and now published author.
Ntandose Hlabangana is part of the Global Shapers community, a network of Hubs developed and led by young people who are exceptional in their potential, their achievements and their drive to make a contribution to their communities. She has co-authored a book with 79 other youths from the Global Shapers community from across Africa titled Africa80, set to be launched at a prestigious event at Crowne Plaza, Rosebank, South Africa on the 25th of May.
From a young age she took an interest in sport, excelling in football and earning a soccer scholarship to college, which saw her migrating to the United States of America and subsequently graduating with a degree in law.
“I did not get it then but realize it now that I was not born to conform or fit in, but I was born to stand out and set new standards.” declares Hlabangana.
While studying in the USA, Ntandose founded Rising Hope Foundation with the help of her family back home with the aim of helping Zimbabwe’s underprivileged and orphaned children but it was not until she moved back to Zimbabwe after finishing her law degree in 2014 that the foundation started to take shape.
“When I returned to Zimbabwe I had to start from scratch, although the foundation had been legally registered nothing much had been going on in terms of community work.” she says.
“As I was doing research on the needs of my community, I found out that most of the schools needed support in terms of infrastructure development and resources and that the existing environment of most schools made it difficult for learners to fully participate and engage in class, and also extremely for teachers to execute their duties whole-heartedly. Rising Hope Foundation then shifted its focus to empowering underdeveloped schools and creating conducive environments of learning for students and teachers alike.”Ntandose said.
Zimbabwe’s education system has taken a dip in the past decade, with the country facing a major political and financial crisis, it is no surprise that the majority of government run schools have become synonymous with dilapidated classroom blocks, poor housing facilities for teachers, broken chairs and desks, and shortage in textbooks, especially in rural communities.
In the book, Africa80, she focuses on the African education system and how the development of a strong educational system empowers communities especially its women.
She points out the benefits of education saying “In a society riddled by patriarchy, most women find themselves through education, it reduces cases of child marriage which are a major issue in Africa and allows us to question unfair practices perpetuated by religion and culture.”
On the 25th of May 2016 Ntandose and together with other co-authors of the Africa80 book, who include notable Zimbabwean personalities, Alvin Nyika, Phuthumani Mlotshwa, Gerald Chirinda and Tommy Deuschle, make African history as they launch the Africa80 Foundation and Africa80 book whose theme, “Transformation Through Collaboration”, speaks volumes to the potential that lies in youths working together to achieve common goals.
These young Africans are claiming their seat on the table and demanding their voices and recommendations be heard especially on issues that involve young people.
“Do something that gets you heard and called to sit on the leaders table.” said in her message to other young women.
Hlabangana cites Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Harper Lee, Maya Angelou and J K Rowling as some of her favorite authors of all time and is an avid reader who has dabbled in poetry writing, although currently she is immersed in law books in preparation for exams.
Africa80 is offering 100 young African leaders an opportunity to be part of the history making launch of Africa80 the book & foundation on the 25th of May 2016 in Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa. If you would like to attend the event click here to apply or simply go to their Facebook page, Africa 80, for more information. Paradoka is a proud media partner of Africa80.