“WE LEAD TO IMPACT NOT TO IMPRESS”
Written by: Mfundo Knowledge Mthembu
Silindelo Irvin Martin is a true epitome of a hard worker, over-achiever and leader by action. ‘Selflessness’ should have been his middle name as he is involved in every community movement and programme at his township of Ntuzuma.
Born on the 2nd May 1991, Martin took it upon himself to be the beacon of hope to his peers with his immense involvement in community and youth uplifting programmes in and around Durban.
Journalismiziko sat down with the humble young man, whose dreams are beyond his imagination.
“I grew up in the dusty streets of Ntuzuma D Section, matriculated at Umtapho High School in 2009, a young vibrant community developer, youth crusade, event organiser, community mobiliser. One of the co-founding member of Ubuciko Bomlomo Infotainment (UBI), co -host for Ntuzuma Poetry Session since 2012 and former Inanda 88.4 FM Teen Expression host,” said Martin.
Martin’s resume isn’t exactly like any of his peers and for a 26-year-old, he’s done quite extremely exceptionally, as he continues with his numerous involvements and programmes he’s involved in.
He added that he was Vibe FM’s 2017 Local Icon, eThekweni Municipality Civil Society Youth Sector Member, Friends of the Library, Municipality Committee as well as KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Activate Change Drivers 2013. He is also a former Communication Science Students Association (COMSA) Project Manager at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and former Umtapho Centre Tertiary Peace Forum (TPFs) Interim Member. He is selected as one of the team leaders of Essence Festival Durban 2017 taking place at the International Convention Centre (ICC).
“My inspiration growing up was one of those people who were inspired by many things but what inspired me the most is South African icons like the great Steve Biko, Mangaliso Sobukwe, Nelson Mandela, Chris Hani and the likes of Thomas Samakara. Reading stories about them, understanding what they stood for philosophically and socially, it did inspire me for the great and made me the person (I am) today,” said Martin.
Martin added that he had always been in leadership positions since back in high school where he was always nominated as class representative or prefect almost his whole entire high school years. He believes his involvement in community development emanates from his leadership roles and contributions.
“I have a National Diploma in Public Relations Management from Unisa 2015, Public Innovation Certificate for Leadership from Activate Change Drivers in 2013 and a Community Development Certificate Course NQF l5,” added Martin.
He is involved in a project called Pusha Pressa Panta Project, a project that was designed by Ubuciko Bomlomo Infotainment (UBI). This project acts as an umbrella for all their existing programmes and newly initiated programmes. UBI’s main vision is ensure to keep young people entertained and informed at the same time, whilst gearing them to take ownership of their lives.
“Pasha Pressa Panta Project Consists of 5 Programmes and that includes Road to University Mentorship Programme, Ring’ivari Youth Dialogue, Ntuzuma Youth Events, Ekasi Youth Events and Quote A Poet. I am also one of the facilitators for a Paving Projects for Wits RHI in partnership with Gugu Dlamini Foundation. The project is called Start Awareness Support Action (SASA) and its main aim is to address Gender-Based Violence and HIV/AIDS in KZN Communities,” said Martin.
Martin profusely explained and gave full definition of the message behind the SASA programme.
“Start – start thinking about violence against women and HIV/AIDS as interconnected issues and foster power within yourself to address these issues. Awareness – raise awareness about how our communities accept men’s use of power over women, fuelling the dual pandemics of violence against women and HIV/AIDS. Support – support the women, men and activists directly affected by or involved in these interconnected issues, by joining your power with others. Action – take action by using your power to prevent violence against women and HIV infection”.
When asked about how his peers feel about his commitments to working rather than spending time with them and doing what most young adults do, it turned out that him and his peers don’t see eye-to-eye on things.
“Most of my peers in general don’t understand what I am really doing. Some say I am wasting my time with non-profit organisations (NPOs) because their belief is that NPOs don’t have funds; they depend on sponsors for survival. They say I will never go far with NPOs and that I must go and look for a job like every human being,” added Martin.
He added that only a few understand his contributions to community services but that does not demotivate or motivate him because he believes in leadership. “We lead to impact not to impress”, stated Martin.
Martin’s future looks bright and one can only hope that one day he will reap the fruits of his labour. He contintues to aspire for many things for himself as well as other important people in his life, and he certainly has his eyes on the prize.
“After 5 years from now, I would love to see myself different from what I am today. I want to see change in myself, my family and friends. All in all I want to see myself driving my own ship. I want to grow my event management company into something big so I can give opportunities to others,” concluded Martin.
* Caption: Silindelo Irvin Martin speaking at an event in Durban.