LIVE recently met up with the dynamic duo of Thina Jita (Sales and Marketing agent) and Sisanda Madantswi (Project Manager) at Shake The World South Africa (a campaign that, among other things, focuses on women empowerment and rural entrepreneurship). We caught up with them to find out more about Shake The World and the work they do around the country.
What is Shake The World?
Thina: Shake The World is a global campaign that aims to raise awareness about the millennium development goals set by the UN. We achieve that through the production of bracelets. Each bracelet is a different colour and represents a certain goal. It’s also about empowering women. The ladies who make these bracelets are craftworkers and rural entrepreneurs based in rural KZN and most of them are previously unemployed. We work with an agency called Africa Ignite to promote and sell the bracelets and the money goes back to the women who made them. That’s how they earn a living. We chose this model because instead of giving people money we believe in enabling them and giving them tools to help themselves.
What Do The Colours Mean?
Sisanda: Well, as Thina mentioned earlier, each colour stands for a certain goal. The light blue bracelet represents reducing child mortality while dark green is for environmental sustainability. Dark blue is for promoting global partnerships, red represents combating HIV/AIDS, pink is for promoting maternal health, yellow is for eradicating poverty and hunger and orange is for promoting gender equality and women empowerment.
How’s The Campaign Been Received?
Sisanda: The campaign’s been well received, mostly because we usually sell certain bracelets to certain companies or campaigns. For example if we’re selling to Pikitup, we’ll sell them the dark green (environmental sustainability) or if we’re selling to a Women’s rights campaign, we’ll sell them the orange bracelet (which stands for gender equality).
You also host a series of parties called “Party with a Purpose”. Please tell us more about that.
Sisanda: We had to come up with a way to grab people’s attention. But because we deal with very serious topics we had to package it in a light way. So we decided to throw parties every now and then but always associate it with what’s happening in the country. For example, we’ll have one this month and, this being Mandela month, we’ll make it about Mandela.
You also have celebrity ambassadors at “Shake The World. Please tell us more about them.
Sisanda: At the moment we have three celebrity ambassadors: we have actress, producer and presenter Rosie Motene as our ambassador. We also have Metro FM presenter and house DJ, DJ Zeal as another ambassador as well as Phindile Dlamini – who is a very successful social entrepreneur. The plan is to have a celebrity ambassador for each goal.
Both of you are social entreprenuers. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into social entrepreneurship?
Thina: Social entrepreneurship isn’t for people who are trying to get rich. There’s no money in it, but you get to change people’s lives. Could you imagine that something like selling bracelets would employ over a 1000 people? That’s what fulfils me. I’m not doing this to get rich. I want to make a change.
Sisanda: Social entrepreneurship doesn’t bring in enough money as a corporate job, it has to be done out of passion. If you don’t have a passion for this, you’ll get sick of it pretty quickly.
The #2014Elections have set an exciting and vibrant context for the future of South Africa politics to unfold upon. What happens now that you’ve voted? How do we gauge whether we’re “moving the country forward”, whether we’re “bringing change” or “economic freedom in our lifetime”? Stick with #LiveVIPZA and we’ll give you analysis, debates, comments, polls and all YOU need to understand, enjoy and interact with SA politics.