The more you learn the more you go places

“My work is to gain knowledge, learn more and pass the information to the next person who seeks knowledge.”

Buhlebakhe Kumalo identifies as a lesbian womxn from Evaton. She is passionate about making a difference in the community she lives in by sharing the knowledge that she gains from activism spaces and using them to raise awareness of the things that are happening in her community. She also wants to change the harmful belief systems incorporated in society because this will bring change to the lives of women and end the violence that we face.

Buhlebakhe is a positive person, passionate, shy outgoing but an introvert, “I also know that by saying something positive to a person who needs help I can make a difference in that person’s life.”

“My work is to gain knowledge, learn more and pass the information to the next person who seeks knowledge.”

She says that her first encounter with the 1in9 campaign was a very educational experience, because a lot of information was shared on the day and she had joined the group later in the project than other participants. “The 1in9 team supplied me with knowledge; they made me aware of things that are happening in and out of the country that I was not aware of, and had not paid any attention to until that moment at the session. I highly appreciate the opportunity that they gave me during the session.”

“1in9 has changed the way I used to see things, at first I never thought that there are people who are willing to make a difference and also uplift the youth in a positive way. Where I come from you do not have access to this information or spaces that uplift the youth. We do not get opportunities and do not have any idea where to go to access it.” The young people in the project who are from the Vaal have constantly mentioned how the Vaal feels like it is outside of South Africa; government has forgotten about the people of the Vaal. You see this as you enter the Vaal, there are very few areas that have tar roads especially the townships. Their municipality was declared bankrupt over a year ago and this translates to no service delivery getting to the people. The situation Buhle is describing felt like an over exaggeration in the beginning until you interact with the people and see the environment in which they live in.

“Mpumi, Boitumelo, Zama, and Scaps are responsible for the change in my life.” Buhle is thankful to the campaign for allowing her to join the group mid year and “allowing me to believe that I’m a worthy when I thought I was not.”

“My future plan is to see myself having all that my heart desires and changing people lives and give back to the community” and she wants to work towards changing the system that is oppressing women and black people in this country.