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"You can say the right things but have no impact. You need to say them in a way that people can understand and access," says Disruptor, Zanele Mji.

Khwezi Mabasa describes himself as an activist. “Someone who takes all their knowledge and energy and channels them into initiatives for social, economic and political change.”

He’s the programme manager at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a German institute that supports South African civil society through programmes designed to build an inclusive political economy. He started in student politics as an undergraduate at the University of Pretoria. He was elected ANC Youth League branch secretary and then political education officer for the South African Students Congress.

He went on to become the national policy co-ordinator for the Congress of South African Trade Unions, convening the National Climate Change and Health Committee that championed the working-class perspective on climate change.

Then, for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, he served on the Forestry Sector Charter Council. Mabasa, 29, feels it’s a myth that young South Africans are politically apathetic, rather he sees political expression taking new forms on platforms such as social media and the arts. Part of his agenda is to reclaim space for young people’s political conversations.

He is a PhD candidate at the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at Wits University, studying how African women bear the brunt of climate change and the survival strategies they employ.

Find Magasa on Twitter: @ProfModo