Yoliswa Cele making strong and positive impact across Africa

Published: 03 October 2014 | by Janine Dube
Yoliswa Cele making strong and positive impact across Africa
Yoliswa Cele - Photo supplied
Yoliswa Cele, a young social entrepreneur based in New York, US, has been working on social development projects related to Africa, particularly South Africa for a while now.

Currently, she is the Development Associate at Shared Interest, which is a social investment fund raising capital from individuals, foundations, and financial institutions in the US to support micro-lending, agricultural cooperatives and small business in South Africa.


Yoliswa with Imbizo H.C colleagues - photo supplied


Yoliswa began her work after she was one of six young African panelists selected to meet and interview American singer Alicia Keys, for the series "MTV Base Meets" in 2011.

On her interview with Alicia Keys, Yoliswa said: "The discussion touched on topics such as women's empowerment, H.I.V./A.I.D.S., and creating change to counter crises.

"Seeing her passion for making a change really inspired me to let go of the excuses and realise that I could do what I could with what I had and that would be good enough."

Yoliswa decided to do something to bring about positive change to people in South Africa and has since done some remarkable things.


President Zuma meeting people from Imbizo H.C


In addition to working with Shared Interest, Yoliswa also serves as Junior Director of Imbizo H.C., a South African community organisation promoting dialogue and engagement on economic, social and political issues.

She also contributes to development and marketing for Nalane an NGO providing a comprehensive after school academy in Lesotho.

Through Imbizo H.C and Nalane, Yoliswa and those she works with have been able to help people find work, access scholarship resources and embark on a very effective book campaign for children.

"I've been able to be a part of raising over $30,000 towards initiatives related to social development  back home," Yoliswa told OneVybe.


Delegates at the 'Moving South Africa Forward; The Diaspora's Role' with H.E. President Jacob Zuma.


Some of the highlights and rewarding moments for Yoliswa have been hosting President Jacob Zuma for a community dinner and meet and greet this for two years running.

This year they had an even bigger and better event with the president while he was in New York during their "Moving South Africa Forward; The Diaspora's Role" with H.E. President Jacob Zuma."

She has also managed to honour Archbishop Desmond Tutu for Shared interest's 20th anniversary.


Desmond Tutu at the Shared Interest's 20th anniversary


"My favourite however was being able to organise a benefit dinner that provided a Christmas party and school supplies to children in my home town of eNanda. That was an indescribable feeling."

Working on causes that benefit South Africa while she is based so far away in New York, US, can be quite a challenge.

Yoliswa concedes that it requires a lot of effort to mobilise the South African community in New York even though they are still very patriotic.   

"I've spent most of my life in the US so for me engaging with a South African of any ethnicity is something I appreciate," she said.

"I've made a great effort to meet and interact with all things south African this side and to become a resource of information for recently migrated south Africans."

"I currently work with projects related to South Africa but my objective is to make a strong and positive impact across Africa. As an African, I see this as a duty. One project at a time we can change the world."


South African President Jacob Zuma with Imbizo HC



Yoliswa Cele and President Zuma in New York


For more information on how to get involved with the fundraising events and all the work Imbizo H.C and Nalane does for the community please visit:
IMBIZO H.C's work via Facebook
Nalane.org
ImbizoHCNYTwitter
Imbizohcny.wordpress.com
blogforlove.come.za.

- OneVybe

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