Last week we introduced you to the Duke of Edinburgh Award; an exciting self-development award programme available to all young people aged 14 to 25 worldwide, equipping them with life skills to make a difference to themselves, their communities and the world.
This year the Duke of Edinburgh Award office in Zambia appointed five Duke of Edinburgh Award ambassadors to help raise, support and upscale this international award’s profile in Zambia. These ambassadors are Youth Activist Erasmus Mweene, local musician Pompi, Miss Tourism Zambia Winnie-Fredah Kabwe, and past participants, Olunga Otieno, and Esanju Maseka.
This article introduces you to these five vibrant young people. Get to know who they are. Hear their stories. Be inspired!
Popularly known as Pompi (The African Eagle), Chaka Nyanthando is a Zambian musician who has been active in the music industry for 10 years. Pompi is a holder of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award which he got when he was at Baobab College. He acts as an ambassador for African youth, showing the achievements that can be had by using your talent effectively. With an honours degree in business systems, this bright young star is highly inspired by the message of the gospel and his music is a creative combination of Afro-soul, R&B and rap.
In 2012 through the American State Department, Pompi went on a tour of the United States, to study how music is used for civil engagement. Along with 20 other media personalities, selected from 20 countries, he was awarded an international visitor’s leadership programme certificate. The multi-award winning artist is currently serving as a Youth Ambassador with the American Embassy in Zambia, Brand Ambassador for Proflight Zambia and has also been selected as one of the 10 Lusaka Global Shapers by the World Economic Forum.
Winnie-Fredah is an Economics student under the University of London at ZCAS (Zambia Centre of Accountancy Studies) and holds a Diploma in Banking and Finance.
She is currently the reigning Miss Tourism Zambia 2012/13, Youth Ambassador of the Infotainment Movement and a professional model signed to an international modelling agency. Winnie-Fredah is passionate about youth programs, tourism, fashion and charity work, just to name a few.
She is also part of the Smart Partnership Movement, whose main purpose is to bring together people from different backgrounds in order to share ideas, experiences and challenges through a process known as DIALOGUE.
What interests Winnie-Fredah about the Duke of Edinburgh Award is that it encourages young people to set their own goals and take up the challenge of achieving them through hard work and self-motivation. Winnie-Fredah believes that the award programme teaches young people to have discipline which in the long run will benefit their future as they will make responsible and informed decisions.
Erasmus is an award-winning luminary, founding director of Youth Activism for Change (YAFC), one of the 10 Lusaka Global Shapers selected by the World Economic Forum, Country Ambassador of Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN), Zambia’s National Focal Point for Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) and President of Kairos Society in Zambia. Passionate about youth empowerment, youth job creation, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, anti gender-based violence, philanthropy and social entrepreneurship.
Esanju is a student at Mulungushi University studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics. Her journey with the Duke of Edinburgh Award started in high school where she went through the bronze, silver and gold levels of the programme. Esanju confesses that during the programme there were many times that she felt like quitting. But the satisfaction she got from completing each challenging stage gave her a reason to want to do the next level. Having completed over 50 hours of community service, learned a number of new skills, participated in various team sports, all in an effort to complete the Award program, Esanju says the Award has helped her live a more fulfilling life.
In 2011, Esanju was selected to be part of the Zambian debut team at the 3rd International Gold Event (IGE). This event is a triennial gathering which brings together Duke of Edinburgh Award gold award holders from different National Award Authorities (NAAs). It aims to instruct and inspire those who have attained the highest level of the Award to undertake on-going leadership roles regionally, nationally and globally. There Esanju pledged ‘to create opportunities for more Zambian youth to get involved in the Award.’
Esanju is currently serving on the Duke of Edinburgh Award National Board as a youth representative. She is excited to be working with the National Award Authority, as it works to increase the accessibility of the Award Program to more Zambian youth.
Olunga has worked with young people in a variety of situations ranging from multi-racial and private schools in up-market estates, to informal settlements and streets of Nairobi, Kenya. He has risen over the last 10 years to become a Youth Development Practitioner with experience in designing, implementing and leading youth empowerment and development programmes in Kenya and across Africa.
A former participant of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award for Young People, Olunga rose through the ranks to become Africa’s Youth Representative on the International Council. This is the global operations board and governing body of the International Award. He is currently a member of the International Programmes Advisory Group, Africa Regional Training Panel (ARTP) and Strategic Think Tank for the Duke of Edinburgh International Award Foundation. He is also a One Young World Ambassador and a mentor for the youth in several countries in Africa.
There you have it: five young people all with a mission — to encourage the youth of Africa to greater heights. We wish them every success.