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Lisakhanya Ikusasa - The Future Is Still Bright

Written by: Dianne Mc Alpine

100% dedicated to the youth of Alex, Nhlanhla Mchunu, our Lead SA Youth hero for October, has set out on a mission to ensure the growth and success of Alexandra's youth, through her reading club "Lisakhanya Ikusasa".

Her team is made of of 7 friends, or 'forces' as she calls them; Sabelo Miya (19) , Pretty Cindi (19), Basetsana Makgosa (19), Magdeline Bopape (18), Mahlatse Ramodike (19), and Sibongile Khumalo (19) and Nhlanhla.

"They are all my peers whom I schooled with, I recruited them and shared my vision and mission with them they supported me and play a huge role in the work that I do."

Nhlanhla Mchunu, Lead SA youth hero

Set up in the local library, every Tuesday and Thursday from 15:00 to 16:30 and on Saturdays, the team meet up and teach the young visitors to read and write, while exposing them to morally-guided stories.

When the club first opened they had 10 children attend the sessions, but in a few short months that number has already grown to 82.

"I have always had a passion for starting something that could have a positive impact on my community."

Nhlanhla Mchunu, Lead SA youth hero

"I want to grow a moral minded generation!"

Nhlanhla Mchunu, Lead SA youth hero

Listen to her interview with @947's Anele Mdoda below:

Find out more about Nhlanhla and Lisakhanya Ikusasa by visiting their Facebook page!

The team is currently in need of books and eventually their own container that they could turn into a library that kids could visit whenever they want.

Read Mariapaola's nomination of Nonhlanhla below:

I met Nhlanhla when my company managed a programme in Alexandra called My Alex: youth perceptions of place. She is 18 and earlier this year was studying psychology. She has had to stop because of money issues. Nhlanhla is incredibly dynamic. She now works part time at exclusive books in Bedford view in the evenings, hoping to study again next year through unisa. When she is not working Nhlanhla is running a reading programme for youth in Alex at the local Library. She runs a variety of programs with different age groups and has 80 youth attending! She also interns at Alex FM and has now got a morning programme on Saturdays where the youth in her programme come in and read stories, etc. on air. She has expanded her programme to include a poetry group as she believes youth have many things they need to say but can't always say it in just talking. It is called bleeding words. She is only 18 and even though she is financially in a difficult space she gives to her community in every way she can. She has inspired me and others who were part of my Alex programme. Acknowledgement and assistance would really go far to help her reach her dream of being a psychologist and uplifting her community.



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