YOLISWA NOMAMPONDOMISE YAKO (35)
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Councillor, Municipal Public Accounts Committee Chairperson and MP: Municipality of Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth
Yako says she didn’t consciously decide to enter politics: instead, the vocation found her four years ago, when the EFF came into existence and she read its manifesto.
“It spoke to many of the concerns
I had regarding the direction of this country and the future of my children. I didn’t expect to come this far simply by signing a membership form, but the EFF’s really been a school at which I’ve learnt a great deal,” she says.
Since joining the party, she’s grown tremendously and says her greatest achievement has been joining the National Assembly at the behest of EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu.
“I believe the reason we have so many protests in SA is that our politics lack true empathy. They’re grounded in personal greed, rather than a desire to improve the lives of our people. We seem to have forgotten that through service delivery and empowering our people, we can achieve honest generational economic emancipation,” she explains.
Yako envisages a country in which basic human rights like quality education and sanitation, running water and electricity are available to all, in which the judicial system isn’t influenced by wealth and in which women and children are safe.
She greatly admires the women in SA’s government, as well as her female colleagues in the EFF. “I believe our politics could change drastically through greater female representation. The men in politics gatekeep key positions of power.”
Her two sons, aged 11 and six, are her biggest motivators, as is the reality of poverty and lack of education among so many South Africans. “I’m determined to do more for them. Even if it’s just me in my little corner, whatever I contribute could go a long way,” she says.