Currently leading Greenpeace Africa’s Open Campaigning Project, Angelo Louw is a cause communicator, working on developing advocacy strategies for non-profit organisations and causes.
The project aims to empower ordinary Africans with the tools and knowledge needed to run local campaigns aimed at preserving their heritage, the environment.
Through the platform, vuma.earth, accessible across the continent, Angelo assists campaigners in developing advocacy strategies that will help them achieve maximum impact and awareness. The platform has seen several success stories since its launch in June last year – it was highly instrumental in driving public discourse around single-use plastic.
Angelo started off as a journalist, but became very despondent after realising that most newsrooms operated like corporations, as they cared more about the bottom line than their responsibility to society.
He joined LoveLife which had an opening for a writer at its youth magazine, UNCUT. It was at LoveLife that Angelo realised that it was possible to contribute to something much bigger than himself, and that it was his responsibility to do so. After joining loveLife, he soon became editor of UNCUT, at 25 years old the youngest editor of a nationwide publication.
He was nominated for a New Generation Digital and Social Media Award for a controversial Masturbation Month campaign in 2013. Angelo was later honoured with a Nelson Mandela Community Leadership Award the next year.
Angelo then joined the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute as the advocacy officer. He was passionate about HIV awareness, but knew that the pandemic was deeply rooted in socio-economic factors. The Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute advocated for a broader redress of policy, aiming to shrink the poverty gap in order to eradicate these social ills.
While there, Angelo was nominated into the National Task Team formed by Nedlac to sensitise grassroots communities about new National Minimum Wage Legislation. While working on the Nedlac Campaign, Angelo helped launch South Africa’s first magazine for queer people of colour, Gayle.
Angelo then completed a postgraduate certificate in “Media Innovation & Marginalized Groups” at the University of Maryland (UMD) in America, as a Fulbright recipient.
While studying he became a contributor for MTV Staying Alive and helped queer female magazine, Tagg, expand its digital footprint across America. He served as an Assistant Editor at the title, and was later inducted into UMD’s Lavender Leadership Honors Society for his LGBTQ advocacy.
Upon his return to South Africa, he was presented with the opportunity to lead Greenpeace Africa’s open campaigning project, admittedly his biggest and most intricate role to date. Angelo believes in bringing socioeconomic causes to people’s attention and offering people an alternative discourse.
While he recognises that the non-profit space faces tremendous resource constraints, this is also an opportunity to think more creatively.
He is fundraising for his first book, a collection of his columns and opinion pieces published internationally. He hopes to have the book in libraries in the next five years.
Angelo believes that there has never been a better time to influence the world’s thinking. It’s time that we contributed to greater global conversations, because the world is finally listening. He believes that you do not really affect change in the world if you are too scared to stick up for what is right. The world is not dangerous because of those who do wrong, but because of those who watch and do nothing.
Winner in this category!