Mutetelenu Kalama (26) is an inspiring youth activist committed to helping young people find success. More importantly, he wants youth to succeed in the areas of education, the environment, justice and equality, and community development.
The Development Studies graduate from the Zambia Catholic University knows exactly how important it is for young people to have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Through Kalama’s non-profit organization, Agents for Change Foundation, young people are equipped with skills to provide future-focused solutions to the challenges they face.
“Over the years we have been advocating for the rights of young people through using radio medium. Agents of Change Foundation equips Zambian youth with basic tools and skills in radio broadcasting and leadership. In turn, they start their own shows, or participate in others that are focused on social change,” Kalama says.
She is also an avid environmentalist and believes that young people should be at the forefront of efforts to address climate change issues.
It is no stroke of luck that she is a designated youth ambassador and facilitator volunteer for a child-led United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signature program called Unite4Climate. The programme has helped train over 2 000 children in climate change issues over the last five years.
“Having been raised in a patriarchal system, I developed a strong desire to empower women,” she says. It is her commitment to ensuring mentorship for the girl child that led her to form an initiative called ‘Istandup4Her’. This initiative provides mentorship to girls around issues of health and education.
She is part of the Kupes Young Women’s Network where she draws a lot of inspiration through mentorship.
Kalama is also a sports enthusiast and volunteers for Grassroot Soccer Zambia where she is a life coach on HIV prevention through a curriculum that uses soccer tactics for both girls and boys in school. “In March the All ladies league Women Economic Forum awarded me with the “Young Women Creating a better place for all 2018” for amplifying the voice of young people… in the formulation of policies,” Kalama says.
The go-getter is also an Ashoka South Africa change-maker, influencing change in Southern Africa and elsewhere.
“My advice to fellow young people is for them to follow their passion and pursue the things that make them happy in life. They should always be eager to learn new things. Be true to yourself and be humble,” she advises.