From a Photography Workshop to Exciting Professional Photography Gigs

Hi, my name is Mbali Radebe, and I consider myself a change maker, poet, content creator, radio presenter, and aspiring project manager. 

I joined Ubuntu Hub in September 2022, and the project has had a significant impact on my growth, both in my interpersonal skills and in my career. As an aspiring project manager, I had the opportunity to collaborate with innovative and brilliant minds towards a common goal. I learned more about the importance of environmental care and mutual support, experienced the power of learning by doing, and, most importantly, had the chance to bring my ideas to life.

One of the standout moments during my time at Ubuntu Hub was the photography workshop held at Braamfontein with “We Are,” featuring Lee-Roy Jason, one of South Africa’s top photographers, as one of the speakers. Following this workshop, Lee-Roy Jason welcomed me as a member of his photography team. This led to photography opportunities on major stages, capturing household names in the South African entertainment industry, and securing collaborations with renowned brands.

Another profoundly impactful event at Ubuntu Hub was “Make Something Week,” held in Braamfontein with a surprise trip to Tembisa. This week-long initiative taught me that anything is possible through collaboration, a willingness to learn and teach, and by gathering the right resources. I gained insights into upcycling and the consequences of consumerism. Being part of the team that orchestrated the entire process, from planning to execution, was an enriching experience, and our team spirit remained strong throughout.

Written by Mbali Radebe


Rising from Adversity: Karabo Seretsi’s Journey to Redemption and Success at Ubuntu Hub

“Arriving in the city of Johannesburg for the first time to attend an audition at Ubuntu Hub turned my life around.”

Meet Karabo Blake Seretsi, a 19-year-old from a small town in the North West province of South Africa. She grew up as an odd one out at home, school, and in the community, with a deep anxiety about talking or meeting people. Blake immersed herself in church activities, and spending time alone became her solace. This reclusive personality persisted until her parents convinced her to join sports at school, and she decided to be part of the hockey team, where she excelled and felt confidence in herself for the first time.

This newfound self-worth was shattered when her parents separated in 2020, and she had to move to the Gauteng Province with her mother, which also meant changing schools. This move coincided with the global lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She only got to attend her new school for two months before staying at home. This led to a relapse in her childhood personality disorders, and she was ultimately diagnosed with manic depression and generalized anxiety, requiring admission to a psychiatric hospital.

As time passed, her journey to recovery began, and in 2023 she met a new friend who sent her a text inviting her to Johannesburg for an audition for the Leak fashion show at Ubuntu Hub. She arrived in Johannesburg for the first time. “I had never heard of Ubuntu Hub before, but when I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by friendly faces and voices. The Ubuntu Hub staff explained the project to the audition group, and I really felt at home, like I had found a home.”

After the auditions, she was invited to be part of the 100 Movement, an NGO modeling agency that harnesses the talents of young and aspiring models without charging a fee. Then, Ubuntu Hub hosted Make Something Week, where she volunteered to be an MC for the musical show “a dream I always had.”

During the Make Something Week musical show, a TV producer was part of the audience and spotted her amazing talent, offering her her first job as a TV presenter for a show called Lyrics Debunked. “Ubuntu Hub has become a safe space for me and has opened up opportunities that I never thought possible for me.”

Story provided by Ubuntu Hub, Johannesburg, South Africa


Ubuntu Hub’s Influence on Global Youth Engagement

At the heart of Ubuntu Hub lies the spirit of “Sankofa,” a Ghanaian proverb urging us to never forget where we came from no matter the great heights we reach.

Late November 2023 marked a pivotal moment as Andile Mlambo, a dynamic youth lead at Planet One’s Ubuntu hub, received a golden ticket – an invitation to represent indigenous communities at the 28th United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP 28) in Dubai. Propelled by the Ubuntu hub’s ethos, Andile was chosen to represent indigenous communities and persons with disabilities at COP 28, thanks to Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, a civil society organization fostering discussions on marginalized groups in energy and climate change.

As the curtain closed on 2023, the ripple effect continued when the impact of Planet One’s Ubuntu project resonated not only with the youth leads but also with the broader youth community. In a remarkable turn of events, two key figures from the hub, Thapelo Ngobeni and Magile Khiza, seized the opportunity to travel to Stockholm, Sweden, for the Planet One Global Youth Exchange.

These opportunities serve as testaments to the transformative power of Planet One, creating avenues for young minds to learn, explore, and engage with the world. Andile reflects on the whirlwind of experiences, saying, “As a youth lead at Ubuntu hub, our calendar is brimming with bookings and projects. Thanks to established organizations like Earthlife Africa, we occasionally step into workshops, sharing our insights on critical climate issues.”

The alliance between Planet One’s Ubuntu hub and Earthlife Africa Johannesburg has cultivated a space where youth, women, and differently abled individuals converge to discuss the pressing challenges of climate change. These dialogues have become fertile grounds for exchanging perspectives on climate justice, food sovereignty, water, livelihoods, and the future of generations.

Andile’s journey from the Ubuntu hub to COP 28 was not merely a delegation; it was a privilege and an honor to be a change agent. “To attend COP 28 as a delegate of change was a special honor. My participation was enriched by the knowledge gained through being a youth lead at Ubuntu hub, attending intersectionality workshops, and engaging in weekly global meetings. These experiences have shaped my activism, allowing me to be a voice for South Africa’s indigenous communities, differently abled individuals, and an advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Planet One’s Ubuntu hub stands as a beacon, empowering the youth to become catalysts for change, fostering global connections, and shaping a future where diverse voices harmonize for a sustainable and inclusive world.

Story provided by Ubuntu Hub, Johannesburg, South Africa


My Ubuntu Hub Impact Experience 

Many individuals envision a space that would make them feel recognised and heard. Quite often these  kinds of spaces are within arm’s reach, however our youth do not know much about them let alone  know the kind of support or initiatives that are provided. For the past few months, Ubuntu Hub has  engaged with youth from various artistic and environmental backgrounds, offering a platform that  initiates creativity and encouragement. The Hub assists youth around Johannesburg with amplifying  their voices, their artistic gifts, and their environmental projects or ideas. 

Personally, Ubuntu Hub has provided me with amazing opportunities and skills within the  environmental and maker-space. These range from social media and climate justice workshops,  strengthening my environmental passion towards protecting the environment, learning how to fuse my  artistic talent with activism, as well as socializing with like-minded individuals and learning in-depth  about the importance of diversity.  

Growing up in a township, I have recognised that lack of environmental awareness is a huge issue that  still prevails in parts of South Africa, and only a few have information about places like Ubuntu Hub.  My journey has equipped me with the right knowledge thus far to educate and inspire other young  individuals sharing similar values and passions towards creating a greener future.  

The constant effort made by Ubuntu Hub to reach more youth across South Africa through Instagram  and Facebook, has encouraged youth, including myself, to voice out their gifts to a broader audience.  One of the aspects that I appreciate the most at the Hub is that regardless of the project, workshop or  activity hosted; you ultimately always leave the space with a different viewpoint and at the end of the  day your heart is inspired to do more for yourself and others.  

The thing is, we all come from different backgrounds, and we constantly search for a place that enables  us growth and sparks creativity. At the core of our search, we want to feel like we belong and feel a  sense of appreciation towards our crafts. The fact that I found these qualities in a space like Ubuntu  Hub, filled with enthusiasm and innovation, allows me the chance to express my talents and appreciate  that everyone’s journey can be supported. 

Story provided by Ubuntu Hub, Johannesburg, South Africa


From Soweto to the World: Lubabalo Jafta’s Journey in the Youth Climate Movement

In the vibrant heart of Soweto, a young and inspiring individual is making waves in the world of climate change and spirituality. Meet Lubabalo Jafta, a local theater actor who recently realized his dream of recording a podcast show that explores the deep connection between climate change and spirituality.

For three years, Lubabalo poured his heart and soul into crafting a podcast that would shed light on the profound question of how climate change affects our spirituality. Armed with just his trusty mobile phone, he embarked on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment.

One fateful evening, while scrolling through social media, Lubabalo stumbled upon Ubuntu Hub. This discovery changed the course of his journey. He decided to pay them a visit, and this visit turned his long-held dream into a reality. At Ubuntu Hub, he found state-of-the-art equipment that he could use for free, which was instrumental in bringing his podcast to life.

Lubablo Jafta

We celebrate this young champion of climate justice and spirituality. His dedication and unwavering passion have led him to become a leader in a youth movement focused on creating a brighter future for our planet. Lubabalo is now at the helm of a remarkable podcast show, collaborating with other talented young minds from Soweto who share his belief in achieving climate justice within their lifetime.

Lubabalo’s story is an inspiration to us all, demonstrating how determination and the right resources can empower individuals to make a real impact on the issues they care about. He’s an inspiration, not just in Soweto, but for a global audience. His story reminds us that by pursuing our passions and uniting with like-minded souls, we can create a world that’s more in tune with our spirituality and the environment.

Podcasting equipment at Ubuntu Hub