Ukuzibuza – five students from St John’s College and Roedean School have remotely built and launched an online platform to respond to the injustices and challenges faced by local and international youth.
Johannesburg, South Africa (19 August 2020) – Five Johannesburg-based high school students have used their time in lockdown to drive positive social change.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of socially conscious protest movements, including Black Lives Matter and the fight against gender-based violence, the students, from St John’s College and Roedean School, have remotely built and launched an online platform to respond to the injustices and challenges faced by local and international youth.
“The platform is called Ukuzibuza, which means ‘to ask oneself’, because that’s what we all need to be doing right now. It’s a space for other people my age to explore their own feelings about issues that are affecting them, from race and sexuality to the changing nature of education. At the same time, we’re helping young people find confidence in publishing their own writing and using their voices,” says Sazi Bongwe, co-creator of Ukuzibuza and a matric student at St John’s College.
Beyond the positive social impact of the website, heading up the creation of the platform also aligns with Sazi’s goal of studying applied mathematics and economics at a top university in the United States. Sazi and fellow Ukuzibuza co-creator, Eli Osei, teamed up with Crimson Education, a global mentoring company that connects students with admission strategists and tutors to assist them with the complex application process for overseas universities.
“When I pitched the website idea to my extracurricular and leadership mentor at Crimson, I was still quite sceptical about whether it would work. She assured me that it was worthwhile and immediately started helping me create a plan for getting it off the ground. She supported me and provided a lot of guidance in terms of logistics and dealing with people,” says Sazi.
“Top universities are looking for candidates who demonstrate leadership and innovation during this time. The work that Sazi and Eli have done is a great example of how students can build an impressive university application, even with school and club-based activities, extracurriculars, competitions, and events being cancelled. Students have more time, power, and flexibility in their extracurricular options now than they think,” says Rebecca Pretorius, Country Manager at Crimson Education.
Crimson supports students who are interested in developing impact projects, like Sazi and Eli’s, through the ‘Crimson Youth Fund’, a philanthropic arm of Crimson Education, created to provide students or recent graduates aged 13 to 21-year-olds with essential resources to bring their event or project to life.
Bongwe, Osei and their team, Joseph Goldblatt, Jun Tan (St. John’s College) and Ruby de Lanerolle (Roedean School) are encouraging anybody with something to say to submit articles to be featured on the website. For more information, or to submit a piece of writing, visit www.ukuzibuza.com.
In September, Crimson Education will be launching the local arm of their private online high school, the Crimson Global Academy (CGA), in South Africa. Applications are open for the new academic term. CGA offers internationally recognised, academically rigorous A-level qualifications with world-class teachers; small classes; synchronous learning; flexible class scheduling; one-to-one support, and a wide variety of examination and testing options.