Nomsa Mazwai Is The Multifaceted Visionary Spearheading Community Building With #FunkItImWalking

South African multifaceted visionary, Nomsa Mazwai aka Nomisupasta, is no stranger to community and arts development projects. In fact, her name is synonymous with community building, hence #FunkItImWalking is befitting. 

FunkItImWalking is a non-profit initiative founded by Nomsa Mazwai. It promotes walking for health, safety and the environment. 

The aim of the initiative is to make it safe enough to walk at anytime of day in any condition, and to make it safe for a Womxn to walk any time of day in any condition by creating safe walking spaces. They identify a route and work with communities to make that route a safe walking space. By so doing, they then have the ability to show the community the value of safety. They identify small interventions in the built environment that could make the area safer if they exist and approach both the private or public sector to contribute towards making these changes. In addition, the initiative believes safety is valuable and are of the view that a safer South Africa has a higher GDP and a better quality of life.   

The initiative which has been running for some years, was born out of a lack of access to economies and the fact that walking gives people access to economies as you don't always have to have a car. 

The community-centred initiative is executed through three different categories which seek to address different issues such as: 

  • Monthly Soweto Walks: This edition runs every Saturday morning in Soweto and participants give one or two hours to their community by helping to clear an illegal dumping site or any other kind of community value add.
  • Walking in Heels: This edition is geared towards safety for women in the workplace. This walk focuses on a specific issue faced by women in the workplace. For instance, in 2021, FunkItImWalking called for the decriminalisation of Sex Work as Sex Workers are having their human rights infringed upon on a daily basis in South Africa. They are victims of abuse often at the hands of police, the very people who should be protecting them. They are stigmatised based on the choices they have made concerning their own bodies. Therefore, through this edition, the initiative calls for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa. 
  • 100/100: With this edition, participants get to walk with their mentor. The initiative hosts 100 industry experts and professional women, and pair them with young professionals entering the market. During this 5km walk, they get to walk with their idol/mentor and ask them questions about the profession they are entering.

Apart from being a community builder and engager, Nomsa Mazawi is also an artist, writer, poet, economist and social activist. She is a FulBright Alumnus, who holds a Masters degree in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University in USA, and the author of a book titled ‘Sai Sai Little Girl’.  

When she's not pushing community and arts development projects, she's also making music, which you can check out here. Her music does not fall under any specific genre, but rather spreads messages of hope and its relevance can be felt throughout the different themes she tackles. 

The way this multifaceted visionary is applying her MA in International Political Economy and Development qualification; from arts to community projects, and how she addresses socio-economic issues; executing theory into practice with projects that improve the well-being of the community, is gratifying to watch. 

For more information about FunkItImWalking, click here.

Credit: FunkItImWalking | DaLovie Photography
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