#BeTheDrivingForce Week Two with Celiwe Shivambu and Courtney Morgan

The #BeTheDrivingForce campaign is in full swing! The Daily Vox in partnership with Youth Capital launched the special series called #BeTheDrivingForce to inspire young people to tackle their challenges using digital activism.

This week’s session on climate action was highly anticipated and the WhatsApp group had received a great number of interesting questions in the days leading up to Wednesday. Fatima Moosa (The Daily Vox) and Kananelo Khoetsa (Youth Capital Influencer) spoke to climate activists Celiwe Shambu and Courtney Morgan. 

Celiwe Shivambu is an International Relations Honours Student at Wits. She is a Youth and Climate Change Activist, her interests are policy making, advocacy and diplomacy. As the focal point for the Climate Change YPC Working group at Youth@SAIIA, she facilitates youth engagement with national climate policies and serves as a representative to the We Are Tomorrow Global Partnership.

Courtney Morgan is a Climate Justice activist, particularly interested in the gendered and racial experiences of climate change. She is also deeply committed to all facets of justice and human rights. She is an eco-feminist who holds a BA in Geography and International Relations, a BSc in Geography and is currently working toward a Masters from Wits university. Notably, she has worked on food sovereignty activism and the Climate Justice Charter for South Africa. 

During the Live, both Courtney and Celiwe stressed the human dimension of climate change. When asked why climate change matters to young people, Courney said that “it’s an existential crisis, threatening our future and jeopardising us as a species. Even though much of the damage happened before our time, we are the ones who will bear the brunt of accelerated heating and this is why it’s important to us”.  Celiwe referred to the Climate Change clock, which says that we have 6 years left to make things right for us and our planet.

Courtney also reminded us that climate justice demands are not separate from social justice demands, “When we ask for housing, we need to make sure that those units are fitted with solar panels, for example. Just because people on the ground don’t have the language to describe climate change, it doesn’t mean they don’t understand what is happening. Farmers know that the seasons are changing and the droughts are a very real risk for everyone”. 

Celiwe pointed out that groundwork and activism can win “Before joining the live, we saw that a dutch judge ruled that Shell has the legal responsibility to reduce all CO2 emissions!”.

Both Courtney and Celiwe stressed the importance of young people working and advocating together, by using your vote wisely and reaching out to organisations and programmes in your area that are already doing the work-

‘We need to build People’s Power!’.

Check the list of resources that Celiwe and Courtney recommend at the bottom of this email.

Check out the full Instagram conversation here:

Next week, we will tackle the cost of job-seeking. Before COVID-19, it was estimated that young South Africans spent on average R605 a month looking for work; the cost includes transport, internet access, printing, application fees, agent’s fees and even money for bribes. 

Make sure to tune into our social media for the speakers announcement! 

Also the series includes a WhatsApp group, where young people can pose questions that will be answered in Instagram Lives, every Wednesday from 6 to 7pm for the duration of the series. Join the Whatsapp group here: #BeTheDrivingForce whatsapp group 

There will also be a special pop-up newsletter for the duration of the campaign. Sign up for the newsletter here. 

You can tweet to Celiwe here  or DM Courtney here 


Climate watch.org https://www.climatewatchdata.org/

Project 90 by 30 https://90by2030.org.za/

African Climate Reality Project https://climatereality.co.za/

Climate Justice Charter https://www.safsc.org.za/climate-justice-charter/ (The Charter in English is here https://www.safsc.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Final-Climate-Justice-Charter_EN_August2020.pdf_

How you can get involved

Last week’s conversation can be found here