John Manyozo is a young Malawian motivational speaker, blogger, social media influencer as well as the co-founder of Maphunziro265. John’s work is dedicated to improving access to quality education for young people who drop out of school due to financial challenges.
According to Age Africa, 23% of Malawian students drop out of secondary school for financial reasons. Maphunziro265 was established in 2014 to improve access to quality education for young people who lack financial resources to carry on with their studies.
The organisation has reached 10 000 young people through motivational talks, and has secured sponsorship for over 50 students. John believes that all people should have access to quality education despite their circumstances, and this would enable them to live to their full potential.
John also hosts a podcast, a blog, and is active on various social media pages where he shares content on personal development. He also leads 50 people at the International Christian Assembly where he serves as the Youth Director.
Witnessing first-hand the challenges that young people faced in the education system, John became a mentor to ensure that young people persevered through their studies to reach their full potential. He believes that education should be a human right and everyone should have access to quality education in order to live to their full challenge and to have an opportunity to change their circumstances.
In 2018, John collaborated with Charles Lipenga an architect and Leadership Coach, Tendai Banda, a Mandela Washington Fellow, Tendai Katsonga-Munemo a Chevening Scholar, Wangiwe Kambuzi, the Founder of Mzuzu e-hub, Ulala Kondowe, founder of Girls Network Malawi, and Gift Sukali, founder of HD Plus Creations, to create a project called Upgrade Yourself Series. The upgrade sessions reached over 150 young people.
John is a visionary leader through determination and hard work. He challenges the way people think. Through the Youth to Youth Empowerment, an initiative started in 2014 to provide mentorship sessions to secondary schools, John was instrumental in raising funds to sponsor 15 inmates to further their studies. He shared that it was one of his most challenging projects, as people did not believe that prisoners deserved a chance. The initiative also collected and donated 100 books to three schools.
John faces challenges head on, and is not afraid to admit when something is not working. He instead refocuses and changes strategy. In 2017 he revamped the once-off mass mentorship sessions. The Maphunziro265 now adopts a school and runs coaching and mentorship programme with 40 to 60 students over 12 weeks. This allows the mentors to offer personal career guidance. A monitoring and evaluation system has also been developed to measure the impact.
His vision and plans for the next five years are to sponsor at least 200 students, reach 5 000 university students and young professionals through the skills development initiative and to speak to over 20 000 students through motivational talks and mentorship series.
John believes that the future of Africa lies in harnessing the potential of young people. Through the exposure and influence of the internet, young people are developing new innovative and cost-effective solutions that will change the way Africa does business. He believes that young people are pioneering a different way of thinking.
A believer in lifelong learning, John encourages everyone to make a deliberate effort to learn something new every day. To make a difference in the world, John teaches that one should start where they are and with what they have. Always remain open to learning from others and from the circumstances around you. Be willing to learn from failure and criticism.