As a trained youth facilitator, Muzi Nkosi from Cosmo City took it upon himself to dedicate his time and energy to making a change in his community. This came after he moved to Cosmo City four years ago and saw a dire need amongst young people who he says are unemployed and deeply discouraged.

After identifying a large vacant area of land that was being used for illegal dumping, Muzi started a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) called Perfect Ministries and so began the journey towards ploughing back into the community.

“I went to the Johannesburg Property Company and applied for the land, two years later our NPO was granted the rights to use the land to service the community. We now have plans to build a clinic, an early childhood development centre and a business hub for youth owned enterprises,” said Nkosi.

In the meantime however, Nkosi has planted a vegetable garden and now feeds 100 orphans and destitute children every day from his fresh produce and other donations. He also entered the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Youth Service Grant Competition and has been selected among 82 other young community workers as the winners of R10 000 each.

The NYDA Youth Service Grants Competition called for entries from young people who are involved in community work or have existing ideas of giving back to their communities through youth service and volunteerism. Part of the criteria was that 50 young volunteers had to be involved in some kind of community intervention.

Nkosi, eagerly applied his mind and successfully roped in his volunteers to plant seedlings and begin levelling the ground for even more vegetables to be planted.

As a brainchild of Yershen Pillay, NYDA Executive Chairperson, the Youth Service Grants Competition outcome remained an eagerly anticipated story to tell for the NYDA as a motivator to encourage more youth to take up service in community transformation. Naturally when Pillay heard about the work Nkosi and his team were doing in Cosmos City, he was eager to visit the initiative.

“The NYDA Youth Service Grants Competition was targeted at enabling youth volunteerism whilst telling the stories of all those young unsung community leaders around the country. Like so many other youth, Muzi and his team are doing their part to reduce hunger and bring together their community around common challenges,” said Pillay. “Interestingly, some of Muzi’s volunteers are unemployed young mothers whose children directly benefit from the feeding scheme after school each day and this way a value-chain of giving back and working together is perfectly achieved.”

“Our aim as the NYDA is to promote a culture of volunteerism amongst the youth of South Africa and such competitions help to encourage more young people to get involved in National Youth Service. We are proud to have invested R1 million into a National Youth Service competition that has exposed youth leaders such as Muzi Nkosi and the phenomenal work that many young people are actively engaged in on a daily basis,” says Pillay.

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Caption: NYDA Executive Chairperson, Yershen Pillay with Muzi Nkosi in Cosmo City.

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