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21 Jun

Activist Amahle Gebane: Empowering Youth Through Social Media

“After being born in Bara (Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital) and experiencing both public and private healthcare throughout my adolescence, I have seen the inequality in our country. This is what inspires me to speak up about injustice — seeing both sides and understanding that it is unfair that one part of South African healthcare is aeons ahead of the other part.”

After spending her formative years in Soweto, she and her family moved up to the north of Johannesburg. She shares that she loves swimming and talking — a fact reflected by her TikTok page. She is one of many siblings and has been blessed with being part of a family that is very supportive of everyone’s interests and passions.

 “I have been blessed to be in a big family, where everyone has different interests, and to have a mom who embraces all those interests,” she shares. 

Amahle really enjoys exposing herself to different people and having conversations with them. “I am very passionate about speaking up and being a voice for the people. So, I believe it’s very important to expose myself to different people, not just people who have the same knowledge as me or seek the same knowledge, because how will I know the issues people are facing if I don’t speak to different people,” she explains. 

Social media is a powerful tool that can amplify the voices of those who speak up for change. Amahle’s online presence has become a driving force in promoting awareness, conversation, and actions for social justice and change. With over 160K followers on TikTok, she uses her platform to foster conversations about gender in South Africa, decolonisation, and raising awareness for Palestine and Congo, among many more. She creates content that is meant to inform and educate her audience. Her impact is evident in how her videos often come up on platforms such as X when the timeline is buzzing with discourse about the various social issues in South Africa and worldwide. Amahle’s content reflects her passion for empowering the youth through civic education. “When it comes to civic education and telling the youth about their right to participate in a democracy, people don’t really know a lot about that, and I think it’s very important to make that kind of information accessible,” she explains.

Additionally, she explains that other factors in youth mobilisation are collaboration and listening to one another because people have unique experiences and are affected by social issues differently. 

“For example, I may try to bring awareness about how living under harsh conditions affects one’s education. But I also need to have conversations with people who live in those conditions and be educated by them. We need to be mindful of the contributions everyone could make to conversations to ensure that we’re all on the same page, even if we’re writing with different pens,” she says. 

“My platform is for the community, not just my voice”. 

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