Taking Up Spaces Of Leadership

Desire Ncube is a young woman aged 31. In 2017, she trained as a Youth Champion under the SAfAIDS Asikhulume, Ngatitaure, Let’s Talk project. As a young person, she is bold and unafraid to speak out on behalf of other young people and is also chairperson of the School Development Committee of her local primary school. This is an indication of her dedication to community development and of how well she is perceived in her community.

Desire does not mince her opinions on child marriage. It must stop; adults must stop stealing the future of children.

She says that being vocal as a young person in community development processes does not always make her popular with the elders in her community, she insists that she will always speak up for what she believes in. While it is true that the space for youth involvement and engagement is not friendly and open, Desire insists that young people must engage and was not shy to remind young people at a cascade training that many of their faces were missing from community development meetings.

The call was for young people to pull together, “Even if you are afraid to speak up, you are welcome to attend the meetings. Just come and write what you want known on a piece of paper and give it to me. I will say it on your behalf, but you have to be there.”

She emphasises teamwork and says that if they come out in their numbers, young people will be able to turn things around in their communities.