Mashokane Mahlo (4th Year Candidate Fellow) recently attended the One Young World Summit held in Johannesburg during the first week of October. She recounts some memorable moments of the event and shares her hopes and plans for the future.
One Young World (OYW) is considered the world’s largest youth gathering, and second only to the Olympic Games in terms of the number of nationalities being represented. The conference aims to create networking opportunities, and facilitate debates and solution generation around the issues facing our world today. OYW delegates also have the unique experience of receiving counsel from the likes of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Sir Bob Geldof, Maria Ramos, Sir Richard Branson and Jamie Oliver, to name but a few.
A rigorous application process along with a proven track record for leadership are requirements for becoming an OYW delegate and, eventually, an OYW Ambassador with access to a global network of young leaders set on creating a positive change around the world.
As a B.Com graduate from the University of Cape Town, director and founder of Young Entrepreneurs Media Platform (YEP Media), and speaker at the 6th SA Innovation Summit, Mashokane fitted the bill perfectly. She also felt more at home than most of the other delegates, being able to boast that Johannesburg is her home city.
When asked why she attended OYW the answer came as a simple “It had been praised so much that I just had to find out what it was all about.” Herein lies the making of a journalist – curiosity. It comes as no surprise then that Mashokane’s dream is to run her own African media conglomerate, and that her brainchild YEP Media is currently pursuing the production of a new television show, The Next Big Thing, set to feature young successful South Africans. This is in keeping with YEP Media’s vision to connect and showcase young entrepreneurs in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
“I met really amazing individuals who brought the realisation that no matter where we all come from, we are all linked even if only by the fact that we fight the same problems, care about the same issues and ultimately want the same things – development, socio-economic welfare and greater opportunities for everyone.” This was also the moment when Mashokane realised that “we are all world citizens and more dialogues should be held trans-nationally on great platforms like OYW and not just locally.” And she draws on the words of Sir Bob Geldof, a Counsellor and Speaker at OYW, to further bring her point across: “We should all be less Chinese, less American, less Nigerian, less Scottish, less Indian etc and more world citizens – we do not face national problems but world problems.”
When asking an individual with such trans-national ideas such as Mashokane what excites her about the future, there is no hesitation: “I am looking forward to growing YEP Media and working with creative, innovative and passionate people. I believe there is a need for a company like this; one that focuses on youth media.”
“Experiences such as speaking at the SA Innovation Summit and becoming an OYW Ambassador showed me the potential of what we seek to do at YEP Media: broadening minds and celebrating Africa’s uniqueness. It truly is exciting times!”
We look forward to journeying with her as she strives to respond to the imperative of all world citizens in making a difference.