A young women continues to be inspired, against all odds.

It is unusual, that authentic and genuine organizations come and stay in our community, other organizations give up after their first try, but not ‘The Great People of South Africa” I am happy to be a part of change makers”.

When a young woman from Khayelitsha, a community characterized by violence, patriarchy, human rights violations, and no access to basic services, such as clean water, adequate housing, and quality accessible healthcare, decides to pursue a career in Law. She has her mind set on a future where her community no longer stigmatized by their failures.

Esethu Mpiti is 21-year-old young women living in Khayelitsha town 2, this is the community where 90% of The Great People of South Activities take place. It was only going to be a matter of time for her and our organization to encounter one another.

“I heard about the organisation The Great People of South Africa through Mr Gatshane, our community leader, who told me, they were having a community outreach program based on gender-based violence.

At first, I really did not want to go because every time an organisation would visit a township, they acted like the people are illiterate and their opinions did not matter. But I experienced the exact opposite when I arrived at our community hall not only were people participating but the members of the organisation were listening to everything everyone said, they offered advice and created an atmosphere that felt secure and comfortable which allowed for people to share their experience with, not only gender-based violence but violence in general. The youth and adults all engaged and gave advice to each other and had a chance to vent out our frustration with our justice system.”

As a Law student, she immediately took interest in the organization, she pleaded with us, that we do not disappear after this program, she had many questions as she persisted to ask about our existence, when the organization was formed? and why she has not heard about us before? She excitedly said, “I have to tell my friends about this”!!!

Esethu is our driver of change because she has triumphed against all odds. She has overcome life’s difficult circumstances as a young woman growing up in Town 2. When she first came to our program, she was writing her final exams for her higher certificate in Law from the university of South Africa.

“I believe myself to be a shy, talkative person. I am shy when meeting people for the first time but once I get to know them, I become my talkative self, ‘The Great People of South Africa space has allowed me to be my total being. I used to be in a debate team in high school and this was my opportunity to speak up about various issues, be it economic issues, social justice, and political topics. Participating in the organizations activities has really unleashed the high school debater in me. She said as she chuckled through this conversation.

Esethu has since attended four programs, and in all the programs she has always invited other young women in Town 2.

Esethu has never looked back. She has recently completed her Higher certificate in Law and is pursuing an LLB Degree, she hopes that her studies towards Law will enable her to legally fight against injustices that takes place in her community, against women, young girls, the LGBTQIA+ and people living with disabilities. She is a young woman with dreams, and she is acting on realizing her dreams. “When I found out that, “The Great People of South Africa” organization functions as a Paralegal advice centre, I knew that it had been faith that brought me to this organization,” said Esethu.

Esethu has since invited her parents to our workshops as they have taken interest in her newly found passion in the organization. “One day she came home and asked us if we could let her join a march to Parliament against gender-based violence. we are always concerned about her safety because South Africa is a dangerous place for young women like her, particularly our community. She told us about this new organization she has met and wants to be a part of, we were very hesitant because we also know that some marches always turn violent and Police get involved.

We did not wish for her to go but Zintle called us as her parents and asked that we borrow her our daughter, she reassured us as parents that she would be back home safely and that the march was planned well and the Police will be there to only ensure their safety. We had truly never seen her so excited about a new adventure of this kind. We welcome this organization in our community because we can see their efforts to try and empower young women”. Said Esethu’s mother.

Esethu, has since been joined the organization As a Paralegal intern, she has been teamed up with the organization’s Paralegal Athandile and together they have responded gender-based violence related cases.

“I was extremely excited when I was asked to formally join the organization and intern as a Paralegal. I have never had any work experience before and I was overly excited as this opportunity allows me to learn more about Law and how to put it into practice, I love it here” said an excited Esethu.

Esethu is sure to have a successful legal future, she is a formidable young woman who loves her community and wishes to see other young women being able to dream beyond the poverty that torments her community. She is a game changer and joins the feminist movement with pride and joy. ‘I am passionate about women issues and I think that is also another factor that attracted me to “The Great People of South Africa” I want to see women win, always!

“Women have always had to sit on the side and watch man do everything, those that opted to fight this patriarchy would be name called by these very same men. I am here to challenge the status quo, that women are only good in certain areas. I want my little brother to grow up seeing women shaking what most thought was unshakable, the oppressive patriarchal system”. She spoke.