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Change the world

28/06/2023

“I want to play a part in opening avenues for young Africans to rise and take their place on the world stage” says Jackson Tshabalala, 30, from the Leva Foundation, who was named in the Civil Society category of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans for 2023.

“I imagine how the little I do can influence the lives of those who come after me, and that drives me”, Jackson says.

He holds a BA in industrial and organisational psychology and English language studies from Nelson Mandela University and a post graduate diploma in management practices from Henley Business School:

As the operations manager for Leva Foundation, Jackson is a future-oriented thinker who believes that young South Africans have a crucial role to play in the world and that education and access to resources are key.

He has exceptional leadership skills. Heading up HQ staff members and regional coordinators across the country with more than 200 coding ambassadors on the ground, he has helped the Tangible Africa project engage with 100,000 learners and trains 20,000 teachers across South Africa, as well as in other African and European countries.

Tangible Africa introduces coding concepts without the use of computers. Jackson pitched the Tangible Africa project at the Africa Union Commission and Partners Innovating Education in Africa (2022) flagship programme in Tunis, Tunisia, winning second place.

He also hosted the national Coding4Mandela tournament on Mandela Day where over 6,000 learners engaged with the Tangible Africa project.

Jackson is heading to Ireland this year to lead a training programme for teachers and learners in that country. His wish for South Africa is to see a drastically reduced youth unemployment rate and higher investment in entrepreneurship.

He wants the country to be one that produces global leaders who contribute positively to the development of the continent and the world. South Africa should develop technology hubs where young people can create innovative education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities that solve global energy and environmental issues.

“My brother bought me a “cops and robbers” handheld game set for my sixth birthday. The joy I felt that day is the joy I want people to feel. Because of this, I foster environments where people care about the joy others get through the work they do. This has allowed me to enjoy the work I do and therefore achieve more”, Jackson says.

As great as the wealth of our natural resources is, it is the young people of Africa who will unlock its potential, he says.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160
elma.dekoker@mandela.ac.za