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Skating towards a brighter future

If you grow up in a place plagued by crime and unemployment, like the inner city of Johannesburg, you might think your fate is already mapped out for you. But, a skateboarding crew is aiming to change all that.

Ayanda Mnyandu wants to change the way young people in his neighborhood think about themselves – by introducing them to skateboarding.

Since the beginning of the year he has been the operation manager for Skateistan – an international skateboarding NGO.

Besides entertaining children and teenagers and keeping them off the streets, the free skateboarding lessons organized by Skateistan motivate the local youth and help boost their self-confidence.

DW’s Gaia Manco went to meet Ayanda at the Troyeville skate park in Johannesburg, to discover what skateboarding is able to teach about life in a challenging environment.

Listen to the report by Gaia Manco in Johannesburg, South Africa:

Skating

Date

Tuesday 19.08.2014 | 16:36

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Cape Town violinist blasts stereotypes

In the townships of Cape Town, playing the violin or the cello has been something for the few people who could afford the expensive instruments and regular lessons. But now one young man, 23-year-old Siyathemba Nteta, is challenging the stereotype that classical music is for rich white people. He teaches children in his township how to play the violin – and even holds lessons in the local language, Xhosa.

Listen to the report by Kim Chakanetsa in Cape Town:

Cape Town violinist blasts stereotypes

Siyathemba Nteta

Siyathemba Nteta says people were surprised when he started playing the violin – but that didn’t bother him (Photo: K. Chakanetsa)

Siyathemba Nteta with violin student

Siyathemba teaches in Xhosa, the local language (Photo: K. Chakanetsa)

Siyathemba Nteta with violin students
Siyathemba’s students are discovering the joy he found at age 13 (Photo: K. Chakanetsa)

Siyathemba plays in the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Here’s their Facebook page.

Date

Tuesday 02.07.2013 | 11:04

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Rwandan refugee fights for education equality

From official documents to funding and red tape, refugees in South Africa face numerous hurdles when it comes to attending a university. But Alice Wamundiya, originally from Rwanda, is committed to helping her fellow refugees get an education. She is a founding member and chairwoman of an organization called UTRS – Unity for Tertiary Refugee Students.

Listen to the report by Kim Chakanetsa in Cape Town:

Rwandan refugee fights for education equality

Alice Wamundiya

Alice’s father helped give her an appreciation for education (Photo: K. Chakanetsa)

Alice chairing a meeting of the UTRS committee

Alice chairing a meeting of the UTRS committee (Photo: K. Chakanetsa)

Fritz Ako Agbor on campus at the University of Western Cape

Fritz Ako Agbor is nearly done with his studies – in part thanks to Alice (Photo: K. Chakanetsa)

Date

Tuesday 30.04.2013 | 12:21

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Cape Town artist beautifies local quarter

The Woodstock neighborhood in Cape Town was once a thriving industrial area, but as the factories closed down it became more known for crime, gangs and drugs. Now the area is changing once again – this time for the better. Responsible for some of the more colorful changes is a young artist known as FreddySam who is working to uplift the area one mural at a time.

Listen to the report by Kim Chakanetsa in Cape Town:

 

Cape Town artist beautifies local quarter

RickyLee Gordon aka FreddySam in his studio at A Word of Art

RickyLee Gordon aka FreddySam in his studio at A Word of Art (Photo: Kim Chakanetsa)

Gamiet Karriem assists with the art tour and has lived in Woodstock for 34 years

Gamiet Karriem assists with the art tour and has lived in Woodstock for 34 years (Photo: Kim Chakanetsa)

FreddySam painted this mural for a woman who has lived in this house for nearly nine decades - and may be forced out soon

FreddySam painted this mural for a woman who has lived in this house for nearly nine decades – and may be forced out soon (Photo: Kim Chakanetsa)

FreddySam's large-scale murals leave behind a strong impression

FreddySam’s large-scale murals leave behind a strong impression (Photo: Ricky Lee)

FreddySam wants to change his neighborhood's image

FreddySam wants to change his neighborhood’s image (Photo: Ricky Lee)

FreddySam has a knack for details

FreddySam has a knack for details (Photo: Ricky Lee)

Date

Tuesday 19.03.2013 | 13:32

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Opening doors for Cape Town kids

According to Jonathan Jansen, a renowned professor at the University of the Free State, thousands of children fail in South Africa’s poor education system every year. However, 26-year-old Lonwabo and several other young men are trying to counter that with a non-profit organization they founded, called Unako. They provide mentorship to school children and also help schools in poor communities to build libraries.

Listen to the report by Faatimah Hendricks in Cape Town:

Opening doors for Cape Town kids

Children in Cape Town celebrate the opening of their library

Children in Cape Town celebrate the opening of their new school library

School project in Cape Town

Kids at Zimasa Primary School did an art workshop with Unako

Date

Tuesday 11.09.2012 | 12:19

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South African neighborhood turns purple

Lavender Hill is one of the areas in Cape Town, South Africa with a serious gang problem and the highest unemployment rate. Subsequently, there are many cases of drug abuse and domestic violence. Marcelle van Zyl started a project in the area called Lavender in Lavender Hill. The idea is to keep the youth off the street and create employment opportunities by cultivating lavender and making soaps, teas and oils with the plant. The project started last year, but is lacking funds and therefore cannot employ more than five people at the moment. But Marcelle is working hard to keep the initiative going, as it is impacting positively on the community.

Listen to the report by Faatimah Hendricks:

Lavender Hill

For more on the Lavender Hill project, go to their Facebook page.

Lavender Foundation sign

Lavender fields

Marcelle wants to purple the neighborhood

Lavender project

The Lavender project doesn't just beautify, it brings jobs for locals

Date

Tuesday 28.02.2012 | 16:17

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