Khaltsha resident turns his house into youth hub

Mbulelo Nqirana explains why he decided to make his house available as a youth hub centre.

For more than 20 years, Mbulelo Gqirana’s Site C house at B section has been a place of fond memories and it is the only place that he has ever lived in and called home.

However, Mr Gqirana has decided to make a bold move.

He is going to move out of his house and turn it into a youth centre.

The 29-year-old, who is deeply passionate about community upliftment, said he has worked and volunteered for various development organisations over the past 10 years.

His passion for community development, he said, stems from his experience of the endless challenges township youth are battling.

But, he said, for the past six years he had been contemplating and consulting his family about turning the house into a youth hub – and it had not been an easy decision for his family to accept as they had their own fears about his intentions.

He was driven by the desire to create a safe space for young people in Khayelitsha to brainstorm their ideas while advocating for change in Site C, he told Vukani.

Mr Gqirana said he understood the importance of community development and believed that everyone had the responsibility to play a role in changing their communities rather than waiting for sponsors to come to their aid.

“This is a big step and I’m fully aware of the risks and challenges that I might battle with.

“I know there are some people who might say why is he not selling the house and making money instead of what he is doing.

“We must start creating legacy projects that would benefit the community at large.

“The aim is to empower, nurture and develop young people of Khayelitsha with all the skills they might need to make an impact in their local communities.

“I want this home to be a place where the next generation of community developers would be made,” he said.

From next month he plans to have a series of lunches with different community stakeholders in Khayelitsha to foster partnerships and discuss how best to use the space.