Local Hero 2023 nominee Gwebindlala to address international workshop

Activists from Brazil, SA, and Indonesia in Turkey to debate the needs of rural people

Nkosikazi Nosintu Gwebindlala to speak in Istanbul.
Nkosikazi Nosintu Gwebindlala to speak in Istanbul.


Daily Dispatch Local Hero 2023 nominee and deputy traditional leader in KwaBomvane, Nkosikazi Nosintu Gwebindlala has been nominated as a fellow of the international Global Leadership Academy.

She will spend a week in Istanbul in Turkey putting the needs of rural people on a global platform at an international workshop.

Gwebindlala, who is from Nqileni village, will leave SA for Turkey on Sunday and will be back on October 1.

The GLA brings together 20 impact leaders from Brazil, SA, and Indonesia for the workshop.

The rural activist and development champion, who is the founder of Nosintu Gwebindlala Foundation and chair of the internationally recognised Bulungula Incubator board, was nominated by colleagues in the NPO industry.

As a deputy head of the Jalamba traditional council, Gwebindlala rules over four big administration areas in Wild Coast in Xhorha and rules from Mgojweni Great Place.

The Global Leadership Academy is a global academy for leaders who work with voiceless communities. 

“With all my many caps, I was nominated — in my capacity as founder of the Nosintu Foundation — by fellow colleagues in the NPO industry, Sonia Giese and Rejane Woodroffe. I run an NPO called Nosintu Gwebindlala Foundation which deals with social welfare justice — injustices and challenges.”

She is also the provincial chair of the Eastern Cape Contralesa Women’s Wing.

“I am so excited that the work that I do can be recognised and heard internationally.

Here at home (it’s not recognised and people are not aware that social welfare injustice is a pandemic and should be declared such because if you are undocumented your life is in limbo.

“You cannot access any kind of help or social grant or get employment.

“I’m also hoping to network to get funding as we are not funded by the department of social development.

“When we started last year we were funded by a Swedish funder.”

Gwendlala is married to Nkosi Vuyani Gwebindla, an attorney and Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders member.   

The Nosintu Gwebindlala Foundation in Xhorha is a beacon of hope for many rural communities who struggle with social welfare services.

It helps them with applications for birth certificates, IDs and social grants. 

The 50-year-old leader is a retail planner by profession, but she has a big heart for rural people.

“Being the wife of a traditional leader, problems always come to the great place every day from community members

“We decided to establish an NPO with the social development department in March 2022 to address these problems.

“Our focus for now is on social welfare challenges and injustices, though we do work with other challenges such as gender-based violence.

“We believe social welfare injustice is a pandemic and a generational challenge.”

She said since April 2022 they had helped 502 beneficiaries with 430 completed cases, which equates to a 86% success rate.

The 12% remaining cases are still outstanding due to turnaround times on the complexity of the query with the relevant department. 

She said the working relationship with government departments was getting better every day. 

“We are at a point of understanding each other’s mandates and getting to realise that we all have a common goal — to help traditional rural communities get better services.”

She said though the foundation was not funded by the social development department, it had resolved many difficult cases. 

“These achievements mean we are the voice of rural communities.”

According to its website, Global Leadership Academy is focused on creating an inclusive future at grassroots level for women and leaders who are not sufficiently heard or represented in leadership narratives.

“The GLA aims to transform current learning and power dynamics within the impact space by focusing on the following themes as its mission: Amplify unheard voices by recalibrating power dynamics.

“The focus of the GLA will be on amplifying voices from the south in general, and of underrepresented groups such as women and grassroots leaders in particular,” the GLA site said.



Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.