This young South African is the living, breathing definition of what it means to carry the baton from her ancestors across the finish line. As the co-founder of Blackboard Africa, an organization aiming to stimulate youth to find their voices & to celebrate their identity by equipping them w/ mentorship and leadership training, she exemplifies the meaning of what it looks like to connect, love, uplift, and build with those deriving from the African Diaspora.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Sinxoto and speak on who she is behind the accolades and what draws her to this work. As a Global Teen Leader, a young woman who has graced the stage to give her own TedX Talk, and an individual who finds herself rubbing shoulders with the likes of Beverly Bond and Michelle Obama, we get to dive deeper into the life of the fabulous philanthropist and close friend of mine, Amonge Sinxoto.
Q: We know you for your revolutionary work and community based activism, but tell us about Amonge. When not busy changing the narrative, what do you love to do in your spare time?
A: I am a creative and therefore thoroughly enjoy doing activities that stimulate my creativity such as: writing, reading, watching thought provoking film and television. I love to be informed on current affairs and engaging in conversation about the world.
Q: Throughout your professional career, you've been exposed to many opportunities and individuals, but what exchange topped the cake?
A: Michelle Obama was one of the most exciting people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Because of all that she represents for young women hoping to positively contribute to the greater good of society.
Q: What would you have told a younger version of yourself?
A: Stay Delusional! I have on many occasions been called delusional because of the optimistic view I have on the impact of the individual on greater change. I would tell a younger version of myself to hold on to that because what drives me to seek out progress and evoke change is the belief that I can achieve it.
Amonge's pride for her country is not only evident, but alive and blazing. It is something beautiful to see this young queen be so deeply rooted in where she derives from; knowing the origins of South Africa's dignity, rich history, and racial turmoil. I took this opportunity to ask a few questions revolving around what it means to be African.
After posing the question to her, she responded by stating, "it means knowing that I have a home, a lineage of conquerors, kings and queens." She went on to further express, "Being African means that I have a plethora of cultures and heritages as well as a wide pool of rich history to contribute to through my actions going forward." So eloquently put, I continue to admire how Amonge embraces who she is, where she comes from, and what she's dedicated to accomplish as she continues venturing the many paths she's destined to walk.
I asked her a few other questions about her icons, people she idolized, and how she would describe those deriving from the African Diaspora; this is what she had to say:
(When questioned who her idols were)
A: I don't find idols in people. I do, however, identify qualities in individuals that I admire and aspire to attain and surpass. Some of these individuals would include, but are not limited to: Steve Biko, Michelle Obama, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Ava DuVernay, and Winnie Madikizela Mandela.
Q: What are the three words that come to mind that capture the essence of the word "African"?
A: Rich. Visionary. Prosperous.
When I look at Amonge and what she continues to accomplish, I see the vision as clear as day; I see our ancestor's dreams being fulfilled as she further strives and succeeds. Everyone should take note of the work she is doing and get involved. I asked her to further inform us of her endeavors with her nonprofit, Blackboard Africa, and how we could all assist and become apart of her movement.
Q: What sparked the creation of Blackboard Africa and what do you hope people gain from you, your work, and this organization?
A: A burning desire for a platform that authentically represented what I felt it meant to be an African youth in the 21st century. There was nowhere we could voice our opinions and frustrations and have them notably recognized. Furthermore, I hope that people are enabled to introduce change in their own communities. I want people to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and be able to value their opinions enough to voice their grievances.
Q: How important is young, African representation in business, entertainment, and politics amongst you and your peers?
A: Representation is increasingly important to my generation because we all want to be able to relate to these various industries and feel able to pursue those careers. It gives an opportunity for everyone to see themselves in their heroes.
Q: Lastly, how can other self-identifying African individuals became apart of this movement and support your cause?
A: People wanting to get involved in Blackboard Africa can contact us on any and all forms of social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) to become content contributors to our website or by joining the leadership class (details will be released within the coming year). Be on the lookout for all information via our social media. The other alternative is to get involved on a sponsorship level by contacting us via email@example.com or by simply interacting with us on our digital platforms.
Join the movement. Join the revolution. Aid and support this amazingly gifted young woman in connecting, loving, uplifting, and building with African youth. She can be found on the following social platforms:
IG: @blackboard_africa & @a_monge
Facebook: Blackboard Africa