Meet Tawonga Msowoya, a Students with Dreams alumni from our 2017 to 2018 cohort, who recently attended, and presented at the IMPACT! AFRICA summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
She is the co-founder of Pamthunzi, a project seeking to address the general under-development of fundamental literacy skills amongst the youth, providing a platform for critical examination of social issues affecting them and utilizing creative and artistic tools to aid the process, using a human centered design approach. Her co-partners Grace Sichinga and Tamandani Emelda Giva together came up with the idea of the project and carried it out in its initial run.
Following up on the progress of her project since Students with Dreams, we had the pleasure of hearing from her on her experience from the IMPACT! AFRICA summit, which ArtGlo’s Students with Dreams programme officer, Lekodi Magombo also attended. Here is what she had to say;
How did you come across this opportunity?
My sister forwarded the link to me knowing the kind of work I am doing, and I also saw in on opportunitydesk.com, which I subscribe to. I basically sift through everything and find what applies to my line of work and apply to pretty much everything.
How did you feel about pitching?
Nervous, because I was given 90 seconds to pitch what I do to a crowd of people who I was trying to get interested in working with me. I felt better after working on my pitch with Lekodi and excited as well as hopeful to pitch to people who have never of my work or Students with Dreams from a student dreamer.
How was the pitch?
It was nerve-wracking and exciting, in a room full of young people doing all those great things, I was nervous that my work would not be good enough. But the response afterward reassured me and made me feel better.
What was the response after the pitch?
People got to know more about what I do and I had a chance to network. We also had the Youth Champions dinner where I had a couple of people come up to me and say they were impressed by me and my teams work in regards to involving the people we are trying to reach out to through our process of project planning and asked me for some pointers and offered support.
And in regards to art, I met an amazing artist who does activism through poetry with whom I exchanged contacts with and I am looking forward to collaborating with him and how he may help me as he visits Malawi often.
What are you looking forward to?
From the conference and my experience with the Changemaker Exchange, I am looking forward to growth as I used to think that as a student, it is alright to grow slowly but now I know I should not fear growth and taking our vision further in Malawi as well as other countries.
I am looking for a collaboration with other countries in particularly South Africa and Zambia and to have a programme that runs simultaneously in all countries that merges all our interests, so you can look forward to that, it will be amazing.
I am also looking forward to myself, because we learnt a lot about well-being whereas Dreamers, we often tend to put our dreams before our own well-being, which is what I have always done, so I'm looking forward to being grateful and taking of myself in order to advance my dream.
What is your message to other Dreamers?
Keep dreaming, cause its easy to think that the dream stops at Students with Dreams and that all your SWD project will be for is to look good on your CV and that's it.
There are so many opportunities out there, don't let the common misconception that opportunities are hard to come by deter you from growing yourself as a person, as a leader and a Dreamer. Keep dreaming.
And cast your net wide, because I literally applied for everything that said "student" and "young leader," anything that said "change-making" and I have received rejection. So, do not be afraid of rejection; do not let that stop you; there are so many opportunities out there that you can fit into.
And what I learnt with the Changemakers Exchange is that you have something to share so keep dreaming because you have something to share with the world.