By Megan Kelly

Meet Nene!

We are thrilled to introduce you to Nene Walaza!  Nene is the Marketing and Communications manager for Kliptown Youth Program in Kliptown, one of the informal settlements outside of Johannesburg.  Nene has a wonderful bubbly personality and the best attitude!  Kliptown Youth Program is so lucky to have her.  After years of emailing with Nene we finally got to meet her when we traveled to South Africa.  She could not have been a more gracious host and welcomed us to KYP with open arms!  Nene, you are an extraordinary role model to the girls in Kliptown and beyond!

1. Tell us about yourself!

My name is Nelisiwe Walaza from Soweto in South Africa. I am 27 years old working for an amazing organization called Kliptown Youth program which helps to provide opportunities that will enable young people to rise out of poverty. I serve as a Marketing and Communications manager and a dance teacher. I am a very bubbly individual and love involving myself in anything that brings transformation to young peoples lives more especially young girls. I am an activist at heart and believe I exist to make change in others lives. I am an example that young people will be the change the world hopes to see and bit by bit we will get there.  I love being outdoors, I love dancing as a happy, I am just a natural star who loves people and socializing. My motto in life is to sell your brand, your smile is your daily brand no matter how hard it may be.

2.  How has education impacted your life? Is there a specific memory and/or person that influenced you?

When I look at education and the great impact it has done in my life, I truly pat myself on the back and say, getting educated was the right decision. I respect all quotes in the world written about the power education has because with education no matter how disadvantaged you are, no one can take away that knowledge you have worked hard for to learn. No one can take education away from you.

I have traveled the world because of education, become a leader at such a young age, represented my country in the Ilive2Lead leadership Summit in China Nantong, where I had to write a two page essay of why I’m the best to represent South Africa in this summit.

3.  What is your hope for girls around the world?

I hope girls see how powerful and amazing they are. I dream of a world where there are no topics about women empowerment and figuring ways on how we can empower girls because need no em[empowerment, Girls are powerful on their own. We are strong, gifted and preciously made human beings who can take on anything, anytime.

My hope for girls is to love themselves, care for themselves, look in the mirror everyday and say you are more, you are needed, you have a purpose and the world is waiting on you.

We are in the world where we are raising young women we want to see in the future, so watch out because the future is WOMEN.

4.  What inspires you about Tailored for Education?

I am inspired of how amazing it is that Tailored for Education had the heart to find one essential and very significant thing that children from all over the world need, one need that helps so much in so many aspects of life. Your self-esteem, your dignity, your pride, walking tall with confidence and worrying less about who will be buying my next school shoe or school shirt, what a need they are fulfilling. The fact that they gave themselves time to see how important and how much having a school uniform for a child in school is and how much it makes a huge difference, that is just inspiring. This definitely defines great global leadership and global change.

5.  What advice that you would give your 12 year old self?

Never fear the unknown. The world is need of an amazing girl like you. You are the hope of tomorrow. Rise and show them what you’ve got.