The amandla.mobi Campaigner Fellowship gives writers and community organisers training in best practice campaigning, intensive coaching, and hands-on practical experience running campaigns.
This four-month full-time paid Fellowship is open to Black women and gender non-conforming people and is based at the amandla.mobi offices in Johannesburg. Six spots are available to be filled for our annual Fellowship programme. You can read more about our Campaigner Fellows here:
Due to COVID-19, we were forced not to run the Campaign Fellowship in 2021 and 2022. Now that it’s 2023, we are back with the Campaigner Fellowship Programme and hope to meet six new fellows.
“I learned we all have a responsibility to fight injustice in any way we can. I worked with NGOs after the Fellowship, using my experience gained. I am now finishing my degree and working as a journalist.” – Clio Koopman, 2018 graduate.
Here’s what those involved with the Fellowship had to say
Media and communications trainer Paula Fray (frayintermedia) says:
amandla.mobi’s Campaigner Fellowship stands out as the best practice in the sector. It seeks to grow a cohort of activists with a deep understanding of the practice of campaigning and the critical thinking behind each campaign.
We learnt lessons in 2018 so we could focus on each campaigner’s strengths in 2019. We moved communications training to the start of the programme, tweaked the content, and built real-time communications for campaigns into the Fellowship.
Seeing campaigners work on actual campaigns, watching them write columns, give interviews and launch new campaigns on the amandla.mobi platform is a personal highlight.
Digital campaigning trainer Jamila Brown says:
amandla. mobi’s digital fellowship is creating a new generation of movement leaders and social justice advocates equipped with technology as a tool for change. The Fellowship plays two parts: 1) to revolutionalise the Internet and technology in South Africa, and 2) to make technology and the Internet accessible to every South African.
In 2019 I trained Fellows in digital campaigning. It was a truly beautiful experience to build community with Black South African women and nonbinary advocates. Next year I will also inspire Fellows to become trainers, and to transform material into their language(s) and context(s).
The greatest testament to the Fellowship is that Fellows are running campaigns and are doing incredible work from running digital campaigns to writing hard-hitting op-eds. I am so proud of them. It is an honour to be a part of their growth.
One of our 2019 graduate says:
From the beginning of the Fellowship I got to understand what challenges Black people, especially Black women, in South Africa face on a daily basis. I gained knowledge about radical change, and the confidence to do the work. I learnt that writing must inform, educate and encourage people to stand up and take action. I learnt about interacting with different kinds of people, understanding where they come from and what their issues are. I learnt it is important to maintain human connection even in the digital space. The training was challenging, and I got to understand how digital technology can be a game changer for activism and campaigning. I formed relationships with amazing women who taught me so much. Ultimately, I gained a voice in society.
My highlight was the coaching and mentoring by the South African and US-based activist trainers. The sessions were fun and challenging. Many discussions, arguments and disagreements took place. It was a very creative space for me. I had to dig deep and do self-introspection. I had to re-evaluate my goals and decisions, and why I wanted to be an activist. I got to learn that changing things takes time. You need a clear goal and vision of where you want to get with a campaign or it will be easy to crash. These sessions involved creating campaigns, writing opinion pieces, being creative with image designs, videos, audio recordings, and failing and trying again.
Voices from other graduates
Gaboitsiwe Kgomongwe (2018 graduate): “The fellowship helped me identify the kind of activist I want to be and the type of activism I’m suited for. It confirmed that I prefer NGO work because that’s where I see myself making a difference in society. I was awarded a scholarship for an MA in Gender Studies at UCT’s African Gender Institute; hoping to graduate in 2021.”
Yolanda Dyantyi (2018 graduate): “The Campaigner Fellowship exposed me to a variety of tools within civic technology and the digital landscape I can use to make my voice heard on social issues. I’m grateful for the opportunity and experience because today I’m working towards my own feminist-inspired digital platform.”
Matshidiso Mabe (2019 graduate): “The Fellowship was an invitation to “reimagine” a different world amid the injustices; then be intentional about my ‘ask’ when it comes to justice. I now know we all have power, irrespective of our social settings. An inclusive and just society is the main focus of my enterprise, Capacity Developed.”
Thokozile Mntambo (2019 graduate): “This opportunity gave me many tools I can use to bring change in my community and advance my career as an activist. The Fellowship gave me skills to grow as a leader and to share values with other Black women by challenging injustice through campaigning. I have started an organisation, Ikhaya Labantu Black Lives Movement, that aims to support the fight against GBV, and support ecofeminism and LGBTQI communities in townships.