1. Zingisa Socikwa

22-year-old Zingisa Socikwa and Amonge Elethu Sinxoto are the brains behind Blackboard Africa, an online content platform for teenagers that aims to create a space for the difficult conversations that they're having.

Read more: How is it that we're still celebrating first blacks in 2018?

In an interview with M&G, Zingisa says they started Blackboard "because of the lack of media platforms that speak to young black girls in Africa," adding that "social media has also added to the problem by misleading girls to believe that all that matters in life is superficial and real issues are rarely spoken about, especially ones that pertain to our blackness.

2. Amonge Elethu Sinxoto

16-year-old Amonge is as determined as Zingisa, her cousin, in engaging African youth. In the same M&G interview, she said she is unapologetically black and explained that Blackboard is an analogy of black girls.

"We are made of a hard substance but smooth at the same time. We are black yet have spent our entire lives being written on by white chalk.

It is now time to write our own stories, stories that resonate with us, in order to influence the mindsets of the next young black girls coming up," she said.

A post shared by amonge sinxoto (@a_monge) on

3. Milla Peerutin

Milla's Instagram bio is short and sweet: "nice Jewish Girlie".

Indeed, nice she is. She made the news back in 2009 when she was just nine-years-old for bringing festive cheer to Red Cross kids.

Now, the founder of Sexteen magazine, Milla wants to create more awareness around the sexual reality of teenage girls. Her platforms enables them to talk about their experience through an anonymous medium.

4. Shaeera Kalla

A former SRC president at Wits University and a leader of the #Feesmustfall movement, Shaeera told SAHO she was very involved in politics from a young age when she attended protests and marches.

She was shot multiple times in the back with rubber bullets by the police during the movement in 2015 and 2016 and in an interview with GroundUp, she made several valid points, including the fact that NSFAS is not free and quality education.

"The system itself needs to be radically restructured as it is currently failing... The current reality is that you are either too rich for NSFAS, too poor to pay your own fees and too black for a bank loan," she said.

A post shared by @shaeera_k on

5. Zulaikha Patel

A name you might be familiar with, this 14-year-old teenager became a symbol of the fight against Pretoria Girls High School's policy regarding black girls' hair.

Read more: Hair politics and diversity in fiction - why black girls need to see girls that look like them on book covers

Zulaikha said: “Asking me to change my hair is like asking me to erase my blackness.”

The school’s hair policy was later suspended by the Gauteng Department of Education and Zulaikha made it onto BBC's 100 Women List of 2016 as one of the world’s most influential and unshakeable female leaders of that year.

Do you know any other young woman doing amazing things for their peers and would like us to give them a shoutout? Write to us at chatback@w24.co.za.

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