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.
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.
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.
Safe: /se?f/ adjective 1. Protected from, or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost. 2. Not likely to cause or lead to harm or injury; not involving danger or risk. The need for safe spaces has become more urgent than ever as bigots have become emboldened and feel that they no longer need to exist in the shadows. We want to know what 'Safe' means to you for our new collaboration with @whatmakesusgirls_events This is a call for art, photography, and writing submissions centered on the word 'Safe'. All submissions to be emailed to email@example.com
4. Shaeera Kalla
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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