Through The Eyes Of A Millennial: Sydney Madibo


Sydney Madibo is wise beyond his years and has created a remarkable profile for himself. Being a public speaker for about 10 years now, he’s a massive inspiration, not only for the youth, but South Africa as a whole. He’s a hero who comes complete with a big smile, an open heart and drive, not a speedo and cape.

Through The Eyes Of A Millennial: Sydney Madibo

Who Is Sydney Madibo?

Sydney is the Winner of One Day Leader, Season 5, on SABC 1 and has used every opportunity as a stepping stone to continue being an inspiration to the youth. When asked to define himself in his own words, he says he is “a student, speaker and an aspiring entrepreneur,” as well as “a life-long learner and a community and nation builder for the current generation and the next”.

Sydney Madibo

What Are Sydney’s Passions?

“Well, if I were to talk about them we’d be here for a long time, but I’ll point out a few,” he laughs as he explains, “The ones that stand out are youth empowerment, active citizenship, education, literature and being a music enthusiast.” He goes on to say that in one way or another he is influenced by all of these. Apart from all of the above, he also has a company/movement with his friend where every year for two or three consecutive months, they host a show called The Naked Truth Poetry Music. Busy guy.

Tell Us More About Your Company ‘Little Big Steps

The company was started by a friend of mine, Busi, who wanted to run drives for orphanages and give back to communities. I’ve always been interested in the same line of work. We decided to join hands and register Little Big Steps as an actual organisation that does active work. Little Big Steps is a non-profit organisation, and we work with the poorest of the poor, among other things, speaking at seminars to try and get funding and the rest of the world involved. We also focus on projects that uplift the community. Because of our participation in different communities, we got a Gauteng Premier Youth Excellence Award in 2018 as an NPO.

Sydney Madibo

Why Do You Feel The Need To Inspire The Youth, Especially Those From The Townships?

If you have ever been hungry, and if you have ever been broke, you will understand how much that really can demotivate you. For me, more than anything, it’s bad life experiences that we experience at a very young age… As we grow, you realise that you have to make the choice of either blaming the world and ending up being miserable even when you do work… or taking it upon yourself to see that the next person, or whatever number of people you can reach, do not go through the same things you’ve experienced.

You know that road and those experiences, and you know how to navigate out of them – to get to entrepreneurship, public speaking and varsity and all the other things. All you do is try to present these opportunities to the next person.

How Does One Motivate The Youth To Take Initiative, Especially With Mandela Day Coming Up?

It’s not about how much money or resources you can give. One needs to understand the very slim distinction between resources and empowering the youth; those are two different things. You want to move the youth from a state of dependency to being active citizens. Move them to a point where they have to ask themselves where they can get these resources themselves. Empower the young people to want to be educated and to see that they can use their education to develop themselves and others as well.

What Does Democracy Mean To You?

To me, it’s an opportunity to be what my forefathers couldn’t be. The opportunity for me to move as I want to move. The opportunity for me to speak as I want to speak. To empower as I want to empower. And it is also an opportunity for me to realise that the level of my success, or the lack thereof, does not depend on my skin tone, but on how my character is built. It presents limitless opportunities for not only young people, but every single citizen to be the best version of themselves.

What Will You Be Doing For Mandela Day?

Sydney says that everyday is Mandela Day for him, but he plans to attend The 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture.

The Future Is…..

The future is anything and everything because it is ever-changing. The future is young; the future is youth empowerment, youth in parliament, youth in government.

Through The Eyes Of A Millennial: Sydney Madibo

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