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We are born with African rhythm in our blood and music forms part of our fibre as South Africans. Lebogang Mashigo is channeling this to bring about change among the rural youth of Mpumalanga, giving music lessons to kids through her non-profit, Nubreed.

“Nubreed represents hope and the future. We inspire and make a difference through music and the arts,” said Lebo during a recent chat.

But Nubreed is not just about music, it also equips youngsters with life skills, business development, as well as mentoring to give them a leg-up and provide them with the opportunity to rise above their situation.

The idea for Nubreed came about when Lebo found that music and the arts is something young people are particularly fond of, and when she discovered that music isn’t taught in public schools, it became a no-brainer.

According to her, focusing specifically on young people is an important part of overall change in South Africa, because she believes that our future leaders need an environment where they can grow. “We can only realize change and development when our young people are developed and empowered,” she expressed.

Right now Nubreed is serving rural communities in Mpumalanga, but Lebo says she’d like to expand the programme to other provinces and branch out from rural communities to semi-rural and also townships, where the need for youth development is greatest. Her vision for Nubreed is to open the first school of the arts in her community of Thembisile Hani in Mpumalanga, while also creating opportunities for young artists to participate in exchange programmes with leading arts schools abroad, all while enabling them to create sustainable jobs using their artistic talents.

She’d also like to see people of all ages get more involved with youth programmes such as Nubreed, and encourages communities to share their skills, experiences and wisdom with their younger members, enabling youth-led change that will benefit everyone.

And while empowering the youth is Nubreed’s main focus, according to Lebo people of all age groups can benefit. “The beauty about the arts is that this medium doesn’t discriminate.”

Asked about what words of encouragement she has for young South Africans, her message is simple, yet powerful: “Change should start in our thinking. We are the solution to our challenges. Brighten the corner where you are.”

With initiatives like Nubreed, Lebogang Mashigo is not only living the SuperLife herself, but also creating opportunities for others to rise up and do the same.

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