Ms Neliswa Nyandeni
LEAP Learning and Living Labs Leader
LEAP Science & Maths Schools
‘Put in work, and work shall put you in.’ These are the words that Neliswa constantly lives by. She is a visionary, innovator, a lifelong learner and a co-creator who firmly believes that life is about serving, and when you serve one another that is how you operate at your core. This, she believes is where each of our purpose lies, in doing something of service. Neliswa founded an NGO called WomanIAmYou in 2018 after identifying a gap between young and older women. It is a female owned organisation created to empower, uplift and enable women from different walks of life to expand beyond their horizons.
The entity seeks to create a space where women can come together and impart wisdom drawn from their individual experiences to create a strong sisterhood. She realised that what you can be, do and achieve is limitless if you are willing to put in the work. Each day you are presented with a blank canvas and your intentions, habits become your ballpoint pen. Though we are presented with different situations, we are faced with a choice to succumb to the hand that is being dealt or reposition your posture to see what good could come out of the situation at hand. What is it teaching you? How is it shaping you? What is being drawn out from you?
This thinking has enabled her to lead the LEAP Learning and Living Labs. L3 Labs are embedded in the philosophy of Ubuntu-led Education for Sustainable Development (SED) and underpinned by the values of Ubuntu. The L3 Labs are innovative and transformative spaces of learning and teaching situated outside the traditional classroom. In environments with limited access to technology, learners are empowered to explore alternative avenues for scientific inquiry.
Seeing black women lead and be comfortable with hearing their voices in large spaces is her greatest inspiration and she is constantly reminded that all the work that we put in to claim back our power as black women is making the journey easier for the generations that are to follow after us.
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