While Laaiqah Taliep, a Grade 12 learner at St Cyprian’s School for Girls and Allan Gray Scholar, is technically no longer a babe, she’s sharing wisdom that is well beyond her years. A video she recently created to promote awareness about water misuse and its effect on climate change has already garnered 4 000 views and is likely to continue doing so.
A lot of technical skill and empathetic understanding went into creating Laaiqah’s very poignant animation. It’s clear that she appreciates what’s at stake when even one drop of water is wasted. Coming from Maitland, Cape Town, a humble community that is rife with poverty and unemployment, Laaiqah has had first-hand experience of poverty. “I believe that my experiences have moulded me into the compassionate and empathetic individual I am,” she explains.
The inspiration for becoming a water activist came from her belief that a lack of water is the root cause of poverty. Water is the basis of all life; without water we face problems such a food scarcity, which leads to malnutrition and the hindrance of the productivity of a nation. “I felt it was my obligation to promote awareness. As a young person with the privilege of opportunity I felt it was necessary to take advantage of the power I hold, whether or not it be on a small scale.”
She wants her video to highlight not only the problems surrounding water scarcity and pollution but also how humankind is ironically responsible for the issues causing our world to suffer. “I believe we lack the empathy and awareness required to affect change. My video is, therefore, emotive and hopefully moves its audience enough to obligate them to make a difference.”
In addition to all the views it has received on Facebook, the video has also been promoted on the CIFF organisation’s Twitter page and website as well as on the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation’s blog. “The video has received a larger audience than I could have ever imagined, and for that I feel truly blessed.” She has also managed to promote it within her school and schools in the vicinity as well as in her home community. The positive comments she’s received so far signals a great future for this video and the many more she plans to create.
Laaiqah started a YouTube channel so that she could upload the video and make it more accessible. She hopes that her message will reach many more around the world. The plan is to upload many more videos that will focus not only water awareness but on many other issues our world is faced with. She also plans on sending the video to more schools in Cape Town and then creating a campaign called One Drop; she wants the youth to get involved. “I hope to inspire more youth to make a difference … I strongly believe that the possibility of change lies within our future leaders.” If Laaiqah Taliep is anything to go by, our country will soon have gems coming more oft out of the mouths of more babes.