Yola Mgogwana

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Yola Mgogwana
Born2008 (age 14)
Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa
Years active2019–present

Yola Mgogwana (born 2008) is a South African climate activist, from Khayelitsha, Cape Town.[1][2] Mgogwana started her activism in 2019, at just eleven years old when she started working for environment. It was after she became interested in pollution, irregular weather patterns and a water problem in her country,[3] she has inspired many youths in South Africa to join her in her fight for climate justice. Mgogwana has often been treated as South Africa's equivalent of Greta Thunberg.[4]

Life[change | change source]

Mgogwana is a student at Yolomela Primary School in Khayelitsham one of Cape Town's most poorest suburbs.[1][5] Her environmental educator is Xoli Fuyani. Her educator is both a mentor and a key collaborator in her work. Her educator is also the Environmental Education Coordinator at the Earthchild Project. It is a non-profit organization Mgogwana is connected with.[6][7][8]

Climate activism[change | change source]

Mgogwana has been an active presenter in schools. She has repeatedly attempted the South African government to take immediate action on climate change. In January 2019, she began volunteering with the Earthchild Project Eco-Warriors. It is an afterschool program. It aims to combine leadership training, life skills and environmental education.[9][10] The Earthchild Project is a non-profit organization. It aimed to bring environmental education into communities and classrooms that did not already have access to this knowledge.[11][9]

In March 2019, she joined her first youth climate march outside Cape Town's Parliament. She was demanding better policies and justice.[5] During this event, she spoke to an audience of 2,000 youth in Cape Town about climate justice.[5]

In August 2019, she was a keynote speaker at the UNFPA's symposium on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Gender and Climate Change Resilience in Johannesburg. Her work fits within the increasing recognition amongst youth worldwide. She was working for her generation the most severe consequences of climate change. However, they would have contributed little to the devastation of the environment. Her activism has been inspired by the Zulu word "Ubuntu", meaning "I am, because you are".[12]

As of 2022, the African Climate Alliance, Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action, and groundWork, Mgogwana is currently involved with the youth-led #CancelCoal court case to prevent the South African government's coal fleet expansion in Mpumalanga.[5][13]

Media mentions[change | change source]

Mgogwana has received recognition in both national and international media as a notable young climate activist. Mgogwana has been given recognition for being South Africa's equivalent of Greta Thunberg.[14][12][15][16]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Evans, Julia (2021-09-29). "OUR BURNING PLANET: Dark days ahead: A bleak future awaits future generations if world leaders and industries continue to ignore climate crisis". Daily Maverick. Archived from the original on 2022-04-22. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  2. "Yola Mgogwana". afternoonexpress.co.za. Archived from the original on 2021-11-24. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  3. Holder, Josh; Kommenda, Niko; Holder, Josh; Kommenda, Niko. "Day Zero: how Cape Town is running out of water". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  4. https://www.timeslive.co.za/authors/andrea-nagel. "These young climate change activists are SA's answer to Greta Thunberg". TimesLIVE. Archived from the original on 2020-11-14. Retrieved 2020-11-11. {{cite web}}: External link in |last= (help)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Bonthuys, Jorisna (2022-04-18). "CLIMATE DESPAIR (PART THREE): Our own Greta Thunbergs, Anelisa and Yola, fighting the floods of the climate crisis in South Africa". Daily Maverick. Archived from the original on 2022-04-22. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  6. admin. "Earthchild Project". EarthChild Project. Archived from the original on 2021-01-25. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  7. "Yola Mgogwana - Giraffe Heroes Project — #StickYourNeckOut for the Common Good". Archived from the original on 2021-04-16. Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  8. "Changing the script for climate change - EarthChild Project". Archived from the original on 2022-05-04. Retrieved 2022-05-04.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Content, Saara Mowlana | Partner. "Meet two young eco-warriors stepping up in the fight against climate change". W24. Archived from the original on 2022-04-22. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  10. Otten, Olivia (2016-06-17). "Children in Nature". EarthChild Project. Archived from the original on 2021-03-06. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  11. admin. "About Earthchild Project". EarthChild Project. Archived from the original on 2021-12-22. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Meet generation Greta: young climate activists around the world". the Guardian. 2019-06-28. Archived from the original on 2020-11-11. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  13. "Africa Climate Alliance et. al., v. Minister of Mineral Resources & Energy et. al. (#CancelCoal case)". Climate Change Litigation. Archived from the original on 2022-03-25. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  14. "From Europe to Jo'burg, from Tanzania to NYC: ACA ambassadors sure were busy during term 3! – African Climate Alliance". Archived from the original on 2020-11-19. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  15. "In a Sea of Denial, This 11-Year-Old South African Activist Is Speaking Out Against Climate Injustice". Global Citizen. Archived from the original on 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  16. Abrahams, Kim. "This local 11-year-old is fighting climate change one tree at a time". Drum. Archived from the original on 2020-11-16. Retrieved 2020-11-12.