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‘Agents of change’ graduate from Global Citizen programme

Beyoncé and Perry’s philanthropic initiative

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Five “agents of change” from the Global Citizen Fellowship Programme powered by Beyonce’s #BeyGOOD initiative in South Africa are graduating today at Arena Holdings.
Five “agents of change” from the Global Citizen Fellowship Programme powered by Beyonce’s #BeyGOOD initiative in South Africa are graduating today at Arena Holdings.
Image: SUPPLIED

Having lost both her parents at a very young age, which left her to care for her two younger siblings, Landile Phaniso Mchunu plans to use her voice to bring awareness to the adultification of children.

Mchunu is one of the five “agents of change” who graduated from the Global Citizen Fellowship Programme powered by Beyonce’s #BeyGOOD initiative on Tuesday morning in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Being born into poverty and dealing with the hardships that life threw at her, Mchunu now uses her upbringing and tough experiences as her commitment to bringing change within her community. 

“The injustice and lack of amenities my peers and I grew up in pushed me to pursue a career in social justice and made me want to join the Global Citizen Fellowship Programme in the hopes that I will get the necessary skills that I need to do meaningful and impactful work,” said the 26-year-old. 

Mchunu applied to the programme last year and she was picked from more than 1,000 applicants.

Landile Phaniso Mchunu gives a speech on behalf of the Class of 2022.
Landile Phaniso Mchunu gives a speech on behalf of the Class of 2022.
Image: Supplied.

Being a law graduate, Mchunu who hails from KwaMashu, north of Durban, was placed in the policy team where she not only received a stipend within the programme but also honed her skills in data analysis, research and legal policy. 

“My biggest takeaway from BeyGOOD is that even though I had been given prior tools in order to achieve, the journey has been all the more better and brighter because of the people who helped my journey in this programme.

“My hope post the fellowship programme is to go back home and make a difference in my community,” said Mchunu. 

Molebogeng Matsagopane, who also had a tough upbringing, had to drop out from his BSc in property studies at Wits University due to financial difficulties. 

He then stumbled upon an email about the Global Citizen Fellowship Programme, which he felt might give him the skills he needed. 

“I dropped out in 2019, from that year till 2020 I had quite a tough time because I wasn’t doing anything. So, in 2021 I applied for the fellowship. 

“The exposure I received from this initiative will help bring change to my community with the digital skills I acquired during my time at the fellowship,” said Matsagopane. 

The three other graduates are Katlego Ramokgopa, Tshiamo Mobe and Mpho Mogale.

Speaking to Sowetan, BeyGOOD director Ivy McGregor said the graduates were taken through master classes where they were taught about mental health, how to manage their finances and bring change within their communities. 

“The model BeyGOOD has designed through the fellowship programme, in partnership with Global Citizen, aims to empower young people from marginalised communities across the African continent through paid year-long fellowships intended to advance their lives,” she said.

“This year’s cohorts from South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya will be entering at such a critical time. Their impact will be pivotal to dynamic outcomes.”

The programme was first introduced in SA in 2018 at the Global Citizen Festival at Soccer City.  American actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry made the announcement on stage. 

Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD philanthropic initiative in collaboration with Perry aims to empower young Africans to become agents of change, and provide them with the tools they need to thrive not just during their time with Global Citizen but also in any future professional environment.

About 35 youths have graduated from the programme since it started in 2019, and according to McGregor some have been placed in various places of employment while others chose to further their studies and acquire more academic accolades. 

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