2022 Y.I.L Fellows.

Africa's Young Innovation Leaders


We selected people that have shown a track record of excellence in their personal development, career, and academics.


Our fellows have some level of mastery in a hard skill. Beyond getting a university/ polytechnic education, they have obtained further training in some skill.


Our fellows are graduates of various institutions, from diverse disciplines. In this edition, we have participants from Nigeria, the Gambia, Benin Republic, and Ghana.

Palesa Mlangeni is a visionary that hails from Emalahleni, South Africa, she is an active force in the youth development space. At the tender age of 19, she co-founded a youth development center called Kuyenzeka Youth Centre which gave birth to her other endeavors. She has been the provincial chief mentor for the Department of Social Development in 2019 and became a youth delegate for Unite 2030. Through that global opportunity, she has been part of Ubuntu Leaders Academy, she is a member of the SDG 4 UNESCO network, and she attends various ECOSOC conferences. She is an avid advocate for SDG 4 in the global context and applies that as a leader who implements that by initiating, developing, and executing programs for her center and the teams she leads in accordance with the relevance in her community. These are some of the global opportunities that have shaped her mind that is rooted in the belief of collaboration for the greater good, servant leadership and lifting others as you rise yourself.

Rebaone Marcia Swartland has A Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Sociology, and Heritage Studies from Sol Plaatje University and it was conferred to me in 2021. She had the honor of being part of the participants of the Enke 2015 Trailblazer program that was hosted by the Department of arts and culture and Love Life. Also, was awarded a Peer Educator by Sol Plaatje University in 2020, where she worked closely with the campus clinic and was responsible for facilitating health sessions. Moreover, she prides herself on civic leadership and community development, so she is part of this amazing youth forum in her community, where they encourage and support youth through sports and arts. Further, in 2019, she was the Facilitator of Sol Plaatje University’s Nokuthula Simelane and Sarah Baartman exhibition and the Gender-Based Violence exhibitions and campaign. She is passionate about helping other people realize their potential and discover themselves and she enjoys watching movies with family and dates with friends.

Lebogang Metsileng holds a BCOM Honors in Industrial Psychology, from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and is currently certified as a ‘peoples’ operation specialist’. Growing up as a young woman, she had the opportunity to lead and take up space in various leadership positions that have shaped my character as a leader. Amongst many of them, she led the student representative council (SRC) as a deputy secretary. Lebogang actively participated in her community of Alexandra as a community leader for ‘Community organizing working group-COWG’ during the COVID-19 lockdown. She had the honor of being part of the ‘ASRI-Future Leaders Program’ a program that helped me understand the politics of the world and how she can strategically participate in them to better the livelihood of others. She is a young woman of many hats but would love to be seen as a social entrepreneur. She is the founder of a learning and development company known as ‘Tutored by Gomora’ that focuses on academic mentorship for learners of all kinds and corporate learning. She seeks to make an impact in her community by empowering others and helping them see the greatness that lies in them. She is a firm believer in entrepreneurship and believes it is through it that we can acquire economic freedom as a nation.

Jack Nonyameko Dimpho is an aspiring Psychologist. She is honest, hardworking, and always thrives to excel in anything that she does. Her focus is on mental health accessibility and affordability for young professionals and people at large, both of which she believes are crucial for Africa’s transformation. Realizing the struggles, she has faced, especially as a student and not having the right information and facing challenges with affording therapy sessions, she wants to create an affordable and easy-to-access space for learners and university students. She is a Digital Customer care Consultant by profession at Multichoice South Africa. Miss Jack has worked with Telesure Investment Holdings and is currently working with Multichoice as a consultant. In 2019, she enrolled at the University of South Africa to further her studies as her passion to help was always at the forefront of everything she did. In May 2022, she took part in the Great Kei Unemployment Hackathon with The Empire Partner Foundation where she was awarded the Nyara Youth Development award for her work and participation in the hackathon. In her free time, she loves to read, write, think, and listen to good music. 

Malama Lovemore is a Medical Doctor, entrepreneur, and innovator with a passion for problem-solving for the benefit of humanity. He is a 2022 young graduate from the University of Zambia where he bagged two bachelor’s degrees; BSc in Human Biology and a BSc in Medicine/Surgery. As a 2020/21 Global Changemakers grant winner, he ran a project ‘Zero NCDs’ that aimed to address Non-communicable diseases using an integrated method of mobile health outreach programs and Telehealth. With zeal in knowledge acquisition, he possesses certificates in project management, digital marketing, NIDA best clinical practice, and data science( python programming) among many other academic accolades. Currently, he is participating in the ALX software engineering as a means of acquiring further digital skills necessary for innovation in global public health and medicine. Due to his passion for problem-solving, he founded Elmore Evenly Care, a non-profit organization that seeks and utilizes innovative means in solving community problems in health and education. He has experience volunteering in international and local NGOs with exposure to profit-making industries. As a diligent and hardworking young man, he has a keen interest in technologies and innovations leading to excellence and success. He aims to contribute to building and offering scalable innovations that propel the facilitation of development in health, medicine, and education.

Runyararo Tembani is a master’s degree holder in Child Sensitive Social Policies and a BSC Degree holder in Psychology. She also has a Certificate in Project Management, Monitoring, and Evaluation. She is a 2021 cohort member of the World Young Women Christian Association (WYWCA), 2019 Young Women Christian Association of Zimbabwe (YWCAZim) Champion under the State of the African Women Campaign, 2017 South African Institution of International Affairs (SAIIA) Young Leaders Conference (YLC) Delegate. She has three years of professional experience in HIV/AIDS programming and sexual reproductive health and rights education for young people. Runyararo is proficient in psychosocial support and diversified skill sets including project management, leadership, social media, interpersonal, writing, and communication abilities. She is passionate about social change, volunteering, leadership, human rights, and advocacy. She is on a mission to be a menstrual health innovator, solving issues around menstrual health and reducing period poverty.

Chanda Steven holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Certificates in Psychosocial Counseling and Therapeutic Arts, Project Management, and Entrepreneur Mentorship and will be completing his Medical Degree next year. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Empowerment for Sustainable Change, a non-profit organization that empowers communities through academic sponsorships, vocational skills training, financial empowerment, mentorship, and mental health services provision. In volunteering, Steven is the Head of the Medical and Counseling Team at Mother of Millions Foundation, Project Manager at Lushomo Initiative, Global Youth Ambassador at Theirworld, Entrepreneur Mentor at German Sparkassenstifung for International Kooperation (DSIK) Southern Africa, and a Counselor at Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Zambia. He is passionate about empowering communities and thus continues to think about innovative ways of scaling up the projects currently being done as well as the implementation of new ones

Jessica Chonzi is a Human Resources Practitioner by profession. She holds a BSc Honors in Psychology, Masters in Business Administration. She has 7 years of experience in Human Resources in the Mining industry. Currently, she is working at Mimosa Mining Company, one of the largest platinum producers in Zimbabwe. As an aspiring Human Resources Business Partner, she is skilled at driving the company strategy through HR systems, fostering and reinforcing culture change, building a high-performance culture, talent management, and change management. She is an advocate for Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, especially in male-dominated industries. As an advocate for Diversity and Inclusion, she spearheaded the Women in Mining Forum which supports women in Mining in their careers and advocates for the attraction, recruitment, and retention of women in the mining industry. As a YIL fellow, she aims to come up with innovative systems and initiatives for Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace across Africa.

Naldo Arnaldo Baptista is a Philosophy graduate, Young Human Rights Defender, Youth Engagement, Communicologist, Speaker, and Social and Environmental Activist. She has strong communication skills, project management, facilitating training and adaptation of more than 5 international programs in the areas of governance and leadership, education and its challenges, communication, international relations, human rights, the environment, and technologies.

Susan Mwandila is an emerging entrepreneur passionate about education and Youth Empowerment. Equipping them with the necessary skill and knowledge to enable them to contribute to the economic development of the country,  she is doing this through her start-up Larn Innovation HUB, which is an edtech startup teaching children in primary school STEM lessons and equips them with character competencies such as collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking. She is a beneficiary of various incubation programs among them the Tony Elumelu Foundation Programme, African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperation (AWEC), Standard Chartered Women in the Technology incubation program, and is a graduate of the DLN entrepreneurship institute. 

Tinokunda Natalia Chimhowa meaning ‘we conquer ‘  in the native Zimbabwean language is a forth year Regional and Urban planning student. She has a Drone and Data Technology certification from the African Drone and Academy, which she got from a scholarship from  Unicef Malawi. A drone specialist who is enthusiastic about drone technology and its implementation in the African community. She has a drone pilot license from the Association of Unmanned Vehicles Systems International in the USA and another remote license from the Department of Civil Aviation, Malawi. Tinokunda has participated in the World Bank Youth Summit 2022 as a delegate working on solutions to inclusion in growth using technology. As a child growing up she’s always had the heart to enhance growth and technology, this opportunity to grow and to be mentored by experts will help her enhance her skills and knowledge. She’s currently exploring Machine Learning and OpenStreetMap data-related technologies which will enhance her cartography skills and artificial intelligence knowledge. 

Takudzwa Gerald Maweto is a  Zimbabwean Boilermaker and the co-founder of Destiny Child Foundation which is an innovation leadership organization. He is interested in building a sustainable society by equipping the youth with skills that allow them to make a living and protect the environment as well. He is building an engineering company as well, centered on youth employment and empowerment. He dreams to be a better leader with the help of the YIL fellowship enabling him to equip others.

Sensenta David Alinaswe is a goal-driven, Biochemist, that sees a future in which scientific contribution from Africa is well recognized and respected. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry, he is an aspiring candidate for a master’s and Ph.D. in the same field of study.  A successful participant in the 2019 Next Einstein Forum, subsidiary member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, passionately motivated entrepreneurial scientist, that believes  “the only change that one wishes to see, is that which he makes”. This statement drove him to the launch of SciRech-solutions, a research organization that helps STEM university students in their research. He aims to one day use this platform to change and shape the face of Africa. Currently working at one of the leading tertiary education institutes in the country, he is gaining skills in knowledge delivery and interpersonal relations, shaping the next group of scientists in every opportunity he has.

Katiso Samuel Maleke has a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resource Management graduate from the National University of Lesotho and a Postgraduate Labor Law candidate. His core skill is linked to his qualification in conflict resolution, mediation, and reconciliation. As a leader, he contributes most of his time at the Hands of Life, an NGO based on enhancing leadership and inspiring young people to express and enhance their intellect. He works at the Elisabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation where he aggressively contributes to the eradication of HIV through peer support groups and medication adherence and Youth engagement toward sexual reproductive health. Katiso has participated in and headed various change projects with the United Nations Development Program, the United States Embassy, and the European Union throughout all of Lesotho. He is also a humanitarian with various badges under his belt, a YALI fellow, and a strong mental health activist.