Ndinani Makhulela – Botswana

Ndinani Makhulela – Botswana

Date: July 1, 2015
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My name is Ndinani Makhulela, and I’m just 24 years old. I got into politics when I was 18. I think I’m the youngest councilor in the world! I’m interested in changing young people’s lives. I like to bring youth together, and tell them how life is. I like to help them see what they can do to get ahead, and develop their passions. As a young women, I get people’s attention.  We have so few women in the council, when I stand up, everyone says they want to listen to this girl. It’s nice to work in this way. I see it even more now, since the council has been working with Gender Links. Everyone knows how important it is to include everyone; women, and young people get a chance to get their views out there.

In some places in Francistown, I help get youth involved in sports, so they have access to equipment, and can participate in tournaments. We encourage people to apply to youth employment schemes. For example, some people interested in tourism get to go learn in lodges. Then they can find work through government offices and other places.

There are other young people who don’t get involved in projects, they just stay around and get involved in alcohol. We try and teach them how this is dangerous. We educate them about why it’s a problem to drink and drive, and how their decision making has consequences.

Especially in sessions of the full council, I’m always bringing in the voices of the youth and the women. In all our projects, we do what we can to encourage women and young people, to be responsible in their families, and how to work to get ahead.

There is no question that women are facing challenges in the community. Abuse is too much. There are also women who use vulgar language, and stress men emotionally; this kind of abuse also takes place in the community, and people don’t like to speak about it. We take people to social workers, and help them access councilling. In the future, I hope to keep interacting with people. I’m also looking for ways of getting closer to the community, listening to people, and connecting.


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