Zizipho Royi is a passionate 24 year old from Cape Town, South Africa. She is smart, ambitous and she is an environmental activist. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology, Anthropology and History from the University of the Western Cape and is currently doing her post graduate studies in the Institute of Social Development at the University of the Western Cape. Her focus areas are development studies for developing countries, development management and community development. Zizipho is most passionate about Sustainable Development Goal number 2 which is zero hunger and believes that the key to achieving it is joint efforts on the part on the youth of the world.
Her strength of character comes through in how considerate and quietly reflective she is in how enquiring she is and applies her mind consistently to priorities and follows up on actions. She was the team leader for the legacy project by the university that saw to it that a Food and Nutrition Project or Food bank facility was launched timely. This project addressing food security and healthy food choices and lifestyles for students involved facilitating stakeholder support, and started as a 3 month pilot with sponsorship of dry food stock from Tigerbrands. It has to date grown to a 5 year sponsored project looking at growing the numbers of beneficiaries.
Zizipho believes that once we are able to make sure that we have functioning and working eco-systems we are turn able to ensure that we can curb the scourge of our degrading landscapes because we will once again be able to live off the land meaning that we carry with us the potential to and hunger completely. Zizipho strives to improve our world, to create a planet with a balanced ecosystem. The effects of climate change impact our eco systems to the point of completely degrading our landscapes therefore it is the responsibility of the youth to champion restoration. Being an environmental activist means that you are concerned about all factors that impact the environment.
Zizipho is also very interested in issues of Climate Change. Everything from climate change financing to hands-on groundwork. Climate change in itself encompasses so many different aspects that when spoken to with lay people may seem very scientific and technical. It is never too late to learn about climate change but it is a benefit to start at the bottom. Making eco-education compulsory in primary schools will not only equip children with the correct knowledge but will also better adults into the world knowing exactly how much they contribute to climate change and how best to reduce that impact. The implementation of the Paris Agreement would also do a lot in order to combat climate change on a global scale. In order to effectively implement sustainable development, we must not shy away from combating climate change.
People need to learn about environmental factors on their own terms in order to effectively learn and incorporate it into their daily lives, which is why there is a need for a grassroots approach to dealing with environmental issues. People are mostly motivated by things that they can see and if there could be interactive workshops to teach people about environmental issues and a national gauge to show them how they are performing as a country or city will encourage the rest of the population to be part of that positive change. Same goes with the negative effects of environmental factors these too must be made public so that these factors are no longer considered to be political ploys or acts of God but instead they are consequences of how we have been treating the Earth.
As individual we are able to make small actions the can cause people to stop and think however when we all come together we can take huge steps that will make people think and take action. Zizipho recently attended the ACE youth forum that took place at the UN Campus in Bonn, Germany and got to learn so much about climate change how much the youth is ready to spearhead the taking of information to the world. “We are the embodiment of our people’s aspirations” – Prof Mangaliso Sobukwe