A Port Elizabeth youth facilitator and dramatist is one of the 700 African youth pioneers set to advance toward the United States to participate in this year’s Mandela Washington Fellowship Young African Leaders Initiative next month.
Xolisa Ngubelanga will participate in the civil leadership category of the initiative at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
Ngubelanga will join the university for a six-week programme to improve his leadership skills alongside fellow leaders.
The Rhodes University, part-time MA creative writing student is the founder of Jo Kinda, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to educating pupils from various township schools in Eastern Cape through drama, public speaking, reading and the arts in general.
“When I grew up I was exposed to books and I am now a living example of what reading does to the human mind.
“However, I grew to notice that I was more exposed to colonial knowledge than what I identify with and that is what brought about the need to produce content that solidifies the existence of the black community,” said Ngubelanga.
“Literature created an opportunity for me to find myself and that’s what we are trying to do as Jo Kinda.”
Ngubelanga was recently awarded the Standard Bank Ovation award 2017 for his political production Flamebook.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders will run from June 20 to August 1. While Ngubelanga is in the US, his production, Pieces of an African Drum, will be in the Arena at the National Arts Festival in July.